Newmont is constantly looking for advancements in science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM. Here, in our second STEM blog post, we look at technological innovations we have implemented in order to mine gold as safely and responsibly as possible.
New information and operational technologies help us streamline operations, maximize efficiencies and reduce harm for employees, community members and the environment. Tools recently put into place at Newmont Golden Ridge, in Akyem, Ghana, include Split-Online® technology, a system that helps determine the size of ore particles after blasting and crushing. When combined with a fleet-management technology known as Leica Jigsaw – which optimizes vehicle health and operation by providing real-time and historical data, GPS guidance and even autonomous vehicle controls – operators are able to track rock fragments from specific blast locations around the mine. Combining the data collected from the Split-Online system and coordinates from Jigsaw, operators can quantify the size of the materials that need to be processed and enhance control decisions for optimized drill and blast design as well as increased crusher and mill throughput. These technologies lend themselves to reduced energy costs and downtime, lower maintenance costs and increased productivity for operations.
Newmont believes that even the most basic technologies – like tires – can be improved through constant innovation. At Akyem, we use Total Tyre Control™ to reduce costs and downtime for heavy-duty trucks. Based on real-time performance data, the system calculates operating costs per kilometer and detects potential mechanical problems. In turn, this helps extend the life of expensive equipment and minimizes costly delays or failures.
When it comes to safety, we invest in industry leading systems to support a workplace free from injuries and illness. Akyem’s Strike Guard lightning system sends SMS alerts to employees in advance of storms, while sirens let miners and locals alike know about mine blasting and emergencies.
Akyem’s pursuit of new technologies has recently earned it the distinction of Best Performer in Innovation. Awarded by the Ghana Chamber of Mines, the main minerals industry association in Ghana, the recognition shows that productivity can rise with the help of innovative technologies – even for mines facing such challenges as declining oxide and declining grade. What’s more, Akyem has seen these increases while experiencing well over 365 days of zero harm.
Just like geologists, who today use computer software and 3D modeling to locate ore deposits, operators at Akyem and other Newmont sites have an increasing number of technological tools to improve mine safety, efficiency and profitability. Every day, we are working to better manage the health and movement of our vehicles; link our value chains, communications and decision making; implement automated systems; and empower employee safety through the use of integrated systems.
Stay tuned for our next STEM blog, where we will look at how engineering guides the design and structural integrity of our mines. For more information about Newmont, visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.