Message Lun 23 Jan 2012 11:53

Mining specialist awarded supply and installation contract f

La mine va sérieusement se moderniser!

Minewide communications, auto- mation and safety solutions specialist Becker Mining Systems, part of the Becker group of companies, has been awarded a contract for the supply and installation of a high-speed data signalling, automation and communication system at the Konkola copper mine (KCM), in Chililabombwe, Zambia.

This project, which is owned by mining company Konkola Copper Mines, is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of this year.

“A highly sophisticated signalling, automation and communications system is being designed especially for the high-speed tramming system at the 875 m level at the Konkola copper mine,” says project manager Luther Grobler.

This project entails the installation of the first underground digital trunking network at KCM, including real-time tagging and tracking and Becker’s latest full tritechnology collision-avoidance system, the CAS430.

“These modular collision-avoidance systems, developed by Becker Electronics, prevent fatalities, injuries, damage and downtime caused by operating underground vehicles/locomotives in the proximity of personnel,” explains Becker Electronics MD Edwin Bauer.

There are two control rooms at the mine – one on the surface and the other underground – linked by a 24-core fibre-optic cable.

Each control room will have a server with software and hardware for monitoring and manipulating the pathways of locomotives that are moving between loading boxes and tip boxes.

These control rooms will also have video walls fitted to view operations.

The base stations installed will facilitate seamless communication between the surface and underground. The surface base station will be equipped with the newest digital network, set up in a trunking format along with hybrid multicouplers to facilitate surface communication coverage.

Clear and unrestricted voice communication will be achieved between locomotive operators, the control room operator and designated personnel on the 875 m level and the surface.

A telephone interface installed at each base station will enable communication from the base station to the private automatic branch exchange telephone lines. Provision has also been made for capturing data, such as tonnages tipped, reef or waste tipped, delays and any other telemetry the mine needs docu- mented by means of a supervisory control and data acquisition package.

“The system will be fully automated and interconnected by a fibre-optic backbone throughout the level. Ethernet point-of-presence panels will be placed at designated locations, from which rail switches, traffic lights and weighbridges will be operated,” says Bauer.

Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephones will be supplied by communications equipment provider Norphonic and will be installed along the rail for direct uninterrupted communication and safety over the Ethernet.

VoIP telephones use Internet protocol fibre networks to transmit voice communications. This system has additional software features, including self monitoring and fault check functions, as standard features. This facility will automatically alert central control room staff if the telephones stop working at any given time.

Becker Electronics has been instrumental in ensuring the success of the first fully automated underground traffic signalling and communication system for high-speed tramming in Africa.
Becker communications, tagging and tracking and collision-avoidance systems are designed and manufactured in South Africa.
Edited by: Tracy Hancock
Les LT vaincront !