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Goldfields innovation protects underground mine access

World-leading autonomous solutions specialist RCT has fulfilled requests from mining clients and devised a unique warning system designed to prevent oversized equipment from getting stuck inside underground mining portals.

Staff from RCT’s branch in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia were separately approached by two major mining clients in the Goldfields and asked to devise a solution to prevent portal blockages which can severely disrupt regular mining operations.

Branch technicians subsequently produced the Over Height Portal Warning System which consists of a laser mounted at a particular height connected to a unit placed at the portal entrance.

The unit will produce an audible alarm and flash the word “STOP” to alert machine operators and nearby site personnel there is a potential over-height hazard.

Site personnel are able to determine the system’s field of view and isolate areas such as a corner or pole so that the system will only activate when it senses new objects.

RCT Kalgoorlie Branch Manager Rick Radcliffe said the local technicians were happy to rise to the challenge set by the company’s clients.

“The system was designed and built in our workshop here in Kalgoorlie and we supplied it to our clients who were quite happy with the result,” he said.

“Occasionally underground haul trucks try to re-enter the portal with their trays accidentally in a raised position and this causes the trucks to get wedged in the portal.”

“The time needed to dislodge the haul truck from the portal is very costly to the mining operation.”

“Therefore, the Over Height Portal Warning System is a cost effective and easy solution that will help keep mining operations running smoothly.”

Since its development the Over Height Portal Warning System has been sold to 10 mine sites throughout the Goldfields.

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