Anglo American has delivered significant safety benefits to the Dawson coal mine in Queensland, following completion of a drill hole using a remote-operated OD14 overburden semi-autonomous drill.
The setup is a first for the company’s metallurgical coal division. Controlled by an operator over four kilometres from the site, the drill allowed for safe and efficient completion of the hole with an overall reduction in shift times.
“We’re always looking for ways to be safer, more productive and more sustainable, and the opportunity at Dawson was attractive because of the ‘can do’ culture of the team,” said Dieter Haage, head of mine modernisation at Anglo American technical & sustainability team.
“Applying technology in this way is how we modernise our approach and the Dawson mine has taken an important first step on this journey.”
The Anglo met coal team received advice from counterparts from the company’s copper business in Chile and Kumba iron ore business in South Africa, which were already familiar with the technology.
The maintenance and engineering team from Dawson and electrical supplier Flanders also got involved in helping upgrade the drill’s onboard computer, sensors and safety technology.
Following successful application, the next step is to automate the drill rod changing process, after which Anglo will look into upgrading other drills in its met coal fleet.