Autonomous BELAZ trucks are tested in Khakassia mine.

August 16, 2019

SUEK-Khakassia is testing robotized coal haulage based on the BELAZ-7513R mine dump truck.

BELAZ dump trucks with a haulage capacity of 130 t are operating in the Chernogorsky pit (Abakanskoye open pit mine, Chernogorsk, Khakassia, Russia) in tandem with an EKG-8U excavator. The unmanned BELAZ trucks move along a designated 1.350 m section of the mine carrying overburden rock. They are currently being optimized for the specific geological conditions of the mine in order to maximize haulage cycle efficiency. In the future there are plans to operate the robots around the clock, and this cycle will be repeated without the need for direct human involvement in the process.

The simultaneous movement of several dump trucks within a single section is the most technologically complex part of the project. To enable two vehicles to pass each another, special algorithms have been developed allowing each truck to select the optimal sequence of movements. The section also contains an intersection with a general-access haul road, which the vehicles negotiate with the help of a specially designed algorithm for automated control of access barriers and traffic lights.

The technology is being deployed by VIST Group (part of Zyfra Group) – a leader in the digitalisation of mining and metals companies.

“Testing the driverless dump trucks in a real mining environment is an important step in implementing unmanned extraction and haulage technology. Wе’re working on this project together with our technology partners SUEK and BELAZ, and I’m confident that the success of the project will be important stage of development for all involved," commented Dmitry Vladimirov, CEO of VIST Group.

Robotised dump trucks are an integral part of the VIST Group Intelligent Mine project, which is developing technologies for fully automated control of extraction and haulage processes in mining enterprises.

Mining robotization is a promising direction which makes it possible to reduce harmful production impact of operators in mines and handle a problem of operating in remote and dangerous conditions, enhance the fleet efficiency to the max and solve the problem of qualified operator labor shortage. Russia, Chile, Peru and other countries have already shown interest in these autonomous dump trucks.

The main anticipated impacts of the use of robotized equipment are a reduction in repair costs and changes in mining parameters (width of loading zone and roads, changes in pit slope angles).

Robotization of BELAZ equipment is to enhance its productivity, safety and operational efficiency due to the automation of load-haul operations.

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