Rio Tinto confirms MMD Fully Mobile Surge Loader trial at Bingham Canyon
At the Macquarie Australia Conference that took place May 1/2 in Sydney, Australia, Stephen McIntosh, Group Executive –Growth & Innovation at Rio Tinto confirmed that the company is “trialling a revolutionary methodof truck-shovel mining” at Kennecott Utah Copper’s Bingham Canyon copper mine in the US, and went on to name the mobile surge loader from MMD, which MMD refers to as the Fully Mobile Surge Loader. MMD itself said today in its own release that the first unit was starting final assembly at an unnamed US mining operation.Rio describes the Surge Loader as an integrated, mobile hopper bin and loading chute that accepts ore/waste directly from the loading unit so the loading unit doesnt have to wait for the truck. It cites an expected increase in productivity of 50% of the digger as a result of cutting shovel hang time, removing spot and reverse at shovel, and increasing effective utilisation. Added to this a 98% accuracy in loading of trucks is expected; with an average of 75 seconds and trucks positioned within 1 cm.The miner said commissioning is expected in June 2019 with a 12 month pilot test starting in August 2019. The future decision on deployment will be based on these field results.