Caterpillar Champions AI drilling tech
Champion Iron has signed a letter of intent with US-based manufacturer Caterpillar to introduce AI-powered drilling technologies on Cat equipment at its Bloom Lake mine in Canada.
The agreement involves the deployment of a remote-controlled, semi-autonomous and fully autonomous Cat electric drilling fleet.
The partnership is expected to help Champion optimise operational productivity at the mine whilst reducing energy consumption.
A drill-to-mill strategy will be introduced to improve the drilling, loading, and hauling processes, as well as the milling process as it will offer enhanced milling performance by supplying an optimised mill feed.
Caterpillar’s integrated technology, which uses artificial intelligence, real-time data and analytics will support Champion’s ability to examine the status of machines, technologies, and materials.
Champion expects this to allow more timely and accurate operational decisions for the miner and ensure consistent execution across its mining value chain. The collaboration aims to improve workflow between mine and plant and provide a more efficient end-to-end enterprise process.
Champion CEO David Cataford said: “The aim and vision of improving mining practices and ultimately reducing waste and energy use is the foundation of this collaboration.”
“The entire Bloom Lake team has already demonstrated its ability to operate at a consistently high level, since commissioning the mine in 2018. In doing so, we have continuously strived to improve operations utilising the best existing and new prospective mining technologies.”
“Drill-to-mill aligns with our core value of respecting the land that we exploit, as it will enable us to responsibly extract non-renewable resources using the best means possible.”
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