AMT’s mining guidance technology was successfully deployed in the 1990s. Since that time our technology has undergone major upgrades and evolution; becoming an essential component to various underground mining operations across potash, coal and other environments.
The MGS provides a unique and highly reliable technology solution that doesn’t rely on pre-mapped roadways, beacons and other geo-locating features or survey infrastructure. Our navigation systems are well suited to agile and high productivity mining methods operating in dynamically changing environments.
The performance and reliability of our MGS was demonstrated under full mining production conditions during an independently-verified trial at a large underground mining operation in Europe.
Inertial navigation provides a reliable and self-contained solution for underground navigation in environments where GPS solutions are not applicable.
The challenge with any inertial navigation system, and particularly for use on very slowly moving machinery, is to optimise performance and minimise the inherent position drift. The AMT guidance system achieves both by using the highest-performance military grade inertial sensors, mining-optimised algorithms and by incorporating motion aiding techniques and sensing technologies.
Around 90% of all potash mined worldwide is used in fertiliser products. Potash mining occurs in deep underground mining operations typically using very large machinery, operating over extended distances and time. This is a high production mining process that benefits significantly from automation and tightly-integrated machine control.
The AMT guidance system has been further developed for this mining application and customised to meet site-specific requirements. As a result, our guidance technology has played a key role in achieving significant productivity improvement and automation advances, and continues to be increasingly adopted in large scale potash mining operations.
New underground coal mining methods such as the PBE mining process can offer smaller scale fully autonomous mining solution as alternatives to traditional large scale and capital intensive approaches.
The AMT guidance system is an integral component of the patented PBE mining system and provides key enabling technology to deliver a step-change innovation in underground coal mining.
Highwall mining is used in open-cut coal mining operations with a continuous mining machine and a modular conveyor train being remotely driven into the exposed coal seam at the base of an open-cut highwall.
The extraction process creates multiple tunnels that can extend over 500m, with supporting coal pillars left in between. Given the structural nature of these pillars, and the aim to maximise extraction, precise guidance is needed to ensure support integrity while achieving maximum resource recovery.
As conventional survey techniques are not possible in these tunnels, the AMT guidance system is mounted on the mining machine to provide accurate lateral and in-seam guidance, which is essential for safe and productive operations.
The AMT Mining Guidance System product is built on a common core firmware and hardware platform. Specific firmware has been developed for each of the major mining applications and further customisation has been undertaken to deliver customer-specific functionality.
Beyond the established coal and potash markets, the AMT guidance system can be successfully deployed in any underground application where there is a need to determine the 3D path of moving machinery in real-time and where traditional survey techniques and reactive navigation in a pre-mapped environment is not possible.