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Kirkland Lake Gold - Going for gold within mining safety

November 16, 2020

The mining company Kirkland Lake Gold is a gold producer with operations in Canada and Australia. Their Fosterville Gold Mine located in the State of Victoria, Australia, is one of the highest-grade gold mines in the world.

Excellent safety performance is a top priority at Kirkland Lake Gold and the Fosterville Gold Mine. By pushing the boundaries on how safe a mine can be they hold a leading position within the area of mining safety. 

 

Kirkland Lake Gold has contracted Mobilaris Mining & Civil Engineering and Epiroc Australia as partners when digitalizing the mining operations of Fosterville Gold Mine in Australia. The goal has been to take safety to the next level, as well as increase efficiency. The products that have been implemented are: Mobilaris Situational Awareness, Mobilaris Emergency Support and Mobilaris Onboard.

Taking safety to the next level with new technology

New technology from Mobilaris Mining & Civil Engineering has been a key finding regarding safety improvements. With the help of new technology, people will become aware of what is around them, different hazards and exposures, and be able to react faster and make better decisions than in the past.

 

“The way we believe that new technology will make our mine safer is essentially through providing more information on the risks that people are exposed to. For example, is there a truck coming on the decline towards me? Is there another person on my level that there potentially can be interaction with?”, says Ben Edwards, Mine Business Improvement Engineer, Kirkland Lake Gold.

 

Also, by knowing the exact location of vehicles and equipment, people can go directly to the right location when starting their work, instead of driving around looking for things. This significantly reduces people’s traffic exposure and the risk of collisions.

Traffic awareness

To create traffic awareness and reduce traffic interactions between vehicles, tablet pc’s with Mobilaris Onboard have been mounted in all the vehicles in the mine. This gives drivers the ability to get a clear overview of the vehicles moving in the mine. By receiving a notification about meeting traffic well in advance, the drivers and operators can prepare for the traffic meeting before it turns into a problem.
“As we have equipped all our vehicles with Mobilaris Onboard we expect to make traffic interactions in the decline traffic a thing of the past thanks to the traffic awareness features. Mobilaris Onboard makes all our equipment and vehicles visible to everyone, it allows easy navigation to equipment or a certain location instead of having to search the floors which previously sometimes could take a long time” says Ben Edwards.

When an accident do happen

The reality for mining operations such as Fosterville is that accidents are going to happen. The key is what the operator does when it is time to act fast. With Mobilaris Emergency Support, the Fosterville Gold Mine now can take advantage of the power of innovation. Rescue leaders can use the application to direct the evacuation, communicate with workers and visualize who is safe and who is not.

At the Fosterville Gold Mine, the expectations are to at least halve the time of an evacuation with Mobilaris Emergency Support. Traditionally, there has been a manual process of counting tags and calling refuge chambers in the case of an emergency. By implementing digital emergency solutions, it is now easy to follow the progress of the emergency situation underground. Clearly visualized in real-time, rescue leaders will automatically see how the refuge chambers are filling up, and who is safe and who is not. 

 

By initiating smart alerts from the emergency system, miners will be instantly warned of potential danger and can take decisions to avoid incidents or find the closest refuge chamber. Personnel in the control room will know who has acknowledged the warning and who hasn’t. The result is a safer workplace.

"In the event of something going wrong we will be able to react a lot faster since we will know where our people are and who is most at risk, so we can help them first. The technology has brought us to this new level of safety."

Ben Edwards , Mine Business Improvements Engineer at Kirkland Lake Gold, Fosterville Mine
Since November 2021, Mobilaris Mining and Civil engineering (MCE) operates under the trademark Epiroc.

Australia 2020 Mining Safety Customer story