February 13, 2023
"We saw potential to remove some of the constraints we have underground. You can’t see around corners, and you can’t see through rock, so understanding where things are – where people and machines are – is a lot more difficult than in a typical workplace on the surface."
OZ Minerals rolled out the first feature in 2019: Mobilaris Situational Awareness, a solution for surface control room operators. Mobilaris Onboard, a solution for underground operators in vehicles, followed in 2021. Thanks to real-time 3D visualization, anybody with access to a tablet or a PC can quickly understand where machines are operating.
“Mobilaris Situational Awareness allows you to see, live, at any point in time, where all the equipment and people are in the mine. It also allows you to navigate to locations, equipment and refuge chambers,” said Bruce.
OZ Minerals had initially installed Wi-Fi tags on all its vehicles, which provided accuracy to around 150 meters. With Mobilaris Onboard, it can achieve accuracy to 5–10 meters without any extra infrastructure, and all that is needed are basic OBD2 adapters or a Doppler radar. Implementation started with trucks and loaders, and now the entire underground fleet has been equipped. This has significantly improved realtime position information.
"Everyone at the site operations center – dispatchers, mine controllers and haulage control – is now using Mobilaris Situational Awareness. Previously, it could take quite a bit of time to search for a piece of equipment, but it only takes seconds now to see its last location."
The system also helps OZ Minerals with its fleet management – to determine where trucks are, for instance – thus becoming a tool in the decision-making process. “For those who are perhaps new to the mine, we’ve been able to insert points of interest on the map, for example where it is best to hold. Cycle times are well managed, despite underground operations becoming a lot busier,” said Schmidt.
OZ Minerals then implemented a second Mobilaris feature: Mobilaris Onboard, a tablet in a vehicle that acts just like a car navigator but without any need for a dedicated tracking infrastructure. This provided everyone underground with a tool that enabled them to easily understand how equipment was positioned around them. “This is another piece of information that the operator can use to make a decision – and all of these minute decisions add up to a more productive and safer workplace,” said Bruce.
"One of the main benefits is that we’re able to travel down and get to our locations a lot better."
For truck captain Joel Dodd, everyday work has become easier thanks to Mobilaris Onboard. “One of the main benefits is that we’re able to travel down and get to our locations a lot better.”
OZ Minerals now has around 200 tablets in vehicles underground – not just in trucks, loaders and face drill rigs, but also in light vehicles – and the feedback has been very positive. “When people can see more clearly where other people are, it helps them avoid unwanted interaction,” said Bruce.
OZ Minerals is a mining company based in Adelaide, South Australia. The company was formed by the merger of two Australian non-ferrous metals mining businesses – Oxiana and Zinifex. OZ Minerals operates three mines: Carrapateena (Australia), Prominent Hill (Australia), and Carajás East (Brazil).
Copper concentrate (containing gold and silver) mine, located 160 kilometers north of the regional center of Port Augusta, in South Australia. The Carrapateena exploration project was acquired by OZ Minerals in 2011. Construction was complete and the first saleable concentrate was produced in 2019. Carrapateena ranks as one of the biggest mining projects in South Australia in the last decade.
Mobilaris Onboard acts just like a car navigator but without any need for a dedicated tracking infrastructure. Welcome to the future of underground mining.
Real-time data and superior 3D visualization - transparency and awareness for everyone in the control room.
With Mobilaris PocketMine, everybody will be able to know what is going on in the mine.