LEINSTER NICKEL OPERATIONS INSTALL TRACKER TAGGING FOR BLAST TIME MANAGEMENT
MINE: LEINSTER NICKEL OPERATIONS PERSEVERANCE MINE
OWNER: WMC RESOURCES
TYPE: UNDERGROUND NICKEL
LOCATION: LEINSTER, WA
Our largest TRACKER Tagging System to date is installed at LNO’s Perseverance Mine in Western Australia. The TRACKER System replaced an existing Minecom tagging system that had not met LNO’s requirements. Electronic tagging was required to streamline the clearance of personnel at blast time, hence the need for high reliability in the system. The system consists of a number of read Beacons (see picture left), mainly located between 4 and 10 Levels and at a shallow satellite ore body.
The basic components of the system consist of:
- 32 Read Beacons
- 520 Tags
- 30 Zone Display Units (10 large & 16 small)
- 35 Nodes (data medium change points).
The system was designed to interface to the existing data highway in use at the mine (optic fiber and copper data lines). We look forward to working with LNO over time to further develop the system as we receive their ideas for extending the functionality of the system inot other areas of management and control (e.g. interfacing to the BlastPED System they use for blasting to ensure the lock out of the BlastPED operating software if any person is logged into a Hot Zone near blast time, etc). The Beacons are set up to monitor people passing to and from Cold Zones (safe areas) and Hot Zones (blast areas). The actual system set up, particularly Beacon locations and software systems to monitor the Beacons’ tag reads, required considerable engineering design to ensure reliably and redundancy. Personnel carry a small, self contained Tag (see picture right) that is detected by the Beacons each time they are within range.
The main justification for the tagging system was to better manage the clearance of personnel at blast time at this large mine. However the ability of TRACKER to monitor the movement or personnel and vehicles around the mine also provides the basis for optimizing overall management of the underground operations. To this end MST will work with LNO personnel to enhance the functionality of the TRACKER Tagging System through software enhancements for such things as vehicle fleet management.