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Barminco claims world-first achievement with remote operation pilot

  • Posted on Monday 10th, February 2020.

Underground mining services provider, Barminco, has established an operations centre to remotely control underground equipment on a client's mine site anywhere around the world.

Barminco operated a machine, working underground, from its head office in Perth at a client mine site in the Goldfields last year, relying on an internet connection rather than a fibre-optic cable link.

“Barminco has cemented its place as one of the world’s leading underground mining service providers through the use of technology and automation,” said Barminco CEO, Paul Muller.

“A key strategic initiative under our parent company, Perenti’s, 2025 strategy is to deliver a ‘technology driven future’, and our ability to remotely operate underground machinery from our head office is a significant achievement in delivering on that strategy," he said.

The Barminco Remote Operating Centre (BROC) was successfully trialled in collaboration with Sandvik and Independence Group NL (IGO) in July 2019.

The new system was trialled in the early morning at Barminco’s Head Office in Hazlemere (Perth, Western Australia) for a machine located at IGO’s Nova Minesite, almost 1,000 kilometres away.

Barminco General Manager Technology and Innovation, Darren Kwok, said the trial was a great success.

“Whilst many mine sites have operators remotely operating equipment from the mine’s surface, we are one of the first, if not the first service provider, to operate underground equipment on a client’s site from a much greater distance," said Kwok. “BROC enables us to connect multiple sites and operators at the same time, meaning if there is an issue at any point, we have contingencies in place.”

In 2017, Peter Stokes formerly of Barminco, joined Toll as as President of Group Operational Services.

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