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Gold Fields is upping the safety stakes at its Tarkwa gold mine in Ghana, employing a collision avoidance system (CAS) that should reduce the number of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-personnel interactions at the open-pit operation.
Having installed a fatigue management system back in 2012-2013 – which saw equipment interactions and accidents decrease – the company has now purchased the HxGN MineProtect Collision Avoidance System Pro as part of a “discrete, dedicated project”, a company spokesperson confirmed to IM.
Hexagon says the CAS Pro system protects all mining vehicles, assets and vehicle operators within 500 m of the installed cab-based unit in open-pit mines.
The solution provides 360° awareness for surrounding vehicles and selected assets, as well as a collision avoidance function based on path prediction, the company explained.
Using GNSS and RF technologies, the solution enjoys high operator adoption because of minimal nuisance alarms and enhanced safety for all mine and vehicle types, according to Hexagon.
The Gold Fields spokesperson said CAS Pro was being used in line with Earth Moving Equipment Safety Roundtable (EMESRT) guidelines. The solution includes operator awareness and advisory controls, the spokesperson added.
As part of the project, Gold Fields has issued 150 personal tags to employees working near operating equipment, including spotters and samplers. The operating equipment to benefit from the new solution includes 84 dump trucks, 21 excavators, 65 pieces of ancillary fleet (including loaders, dozers and service trucks) and 100 light vehicles (50 with fixed CAS units and 50 with removable units).
While the CAS solution does not include anti-braking functionality, it does have a range of other intervention procedures, according to the spokesperson.
“Stopping a plus-200 t haul truck in milliseconds in an open-pit environment may create other hazards,” the spokesperson explained.