The Implementation of Machine Guidance Technology at Highland Valley Copper
Highland Valley Copper is a large open pit copper mine in the southern interior of British Columbia. Machine guidance technology using the Global Positioning System (GPS), was first implemented at the mine in late 1996 for blast hole drill navigation. The purchase of a third BE49R drill in 1998 completed the change to GPS navigation for all the mine’s drilling. The acceptance of this technology was almost immediate at both the operator and management levels. With the purchase of a new P&H 2800 shovel in 1997, the opportunity was taken to extend GPS navigation to a shovel. Due to communication restrictions, this was not as successful as envisaged.
In late 1999, following a cost benefit analysis, a three-shovel trial of Caterpillar’s Computer Aided Earthmoving System (CAES), was initiated. The trial was successfully concluded in June 2000 and a further two shovels were equipped. Acceptance of this system has been very good at all levels, which has undoubtedly contributed to its success. In September 2000, CAES was extended to the dozer fleet with the purchase of a new track dozer. The CAES equipped dozer is used for pit production and project work. It is planned to extend CAES to the rest of the shovel fleet in 2001, along with a production front-end loader and one or two more track dozers.
Guidance, GPS, Navigation, Aquila, Machine, Technology, CAES