Komatsu and Vale plan hard rock breakthrough

Equipment maker Komatsu and miner Vale plan to partner on new underground hard rock excavation innovations.
Komatsu and Vale plan hard rock breakthrough Komatsu and Vale plan hard rock breakthrough Komatsu and Vale plan hard rock breakthrough Komatsu and Vale plan hard rock breakthrough Komatsu and Vale plan hard rock breakthrough

Komatsu's DynaCut mechanical cutting technology will feature on a MC51 machine being trialled at Vale's Garson underground nickel mine in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.

The companies said today that they plan to increase the pace at which the innovative technology will be available to the larger market.

Leveraging DynaCut technology and the MC51 enables customers to automate and control the hard rock breaking process remotely, through a fully electric system that outputs zero emissions, said Komatsu.

DynaCut uses an undercutting approach that exploiting tensile and shear failure mechanisms, in combination with a high-frequency dynamic motion, according to mining research organisation Mining3.

Mining3 developed the Oscillating Disc Cutter, which was licensed in 2006 by Joy Global (now Komatsu Mining Corp) and rebranded as DynaCut.

"We're excited to be trialing this new machine and technology because it offers the potential to really change the way our customers mine," said Rudie Boshoff, director of hard rock cutting systems at Komatsu. "Not only does the DynaCut technology provide a very controllable way of cutting rock - within 50 millimeters accuracy to plan - the machine itself, the MC51, is designed to advance more sustainable mining methods by reducing the amount of equipment required to get to the ore body."

Continuous hard rock cutting offers, in contrast to drill and blast, the potential for simplified scheduling, decreased stoppage times, safer and faster advance rates, and greater productivity, said Mining3.