Equipment maker Komatsu plans to acquire Australian operational optimisation developer Mine Site Technologies (MST Global), enabling it to leverage the latter's digital ecosystem platforms for underground mining.
Komatsu said it is planning to close the acquisition on July 1, 2022, but did not disclose further financial details. It plans to use the acquisition to boost its offering in automation and teleoperation of underground mining equipment.
Of particular interest to Komatsu is MST Global's integrations of communication devices and position tracking systems, its high-speed and low latency digital communication networks, and its position tracking and proximity detection solutions.
MST Global's products include digital ecosystem underground plaforms HELIX and AXON, which let miners use remote operations centres (ROC) and a real-time geospatial digital twin to advance their digital strategies for underground mining.
"As global demand for essential resources requires Komatsu's customers to go underground for mineral deposits, the company is rapidly developing new technologies, equipment and solutions to support the industry's future needs", wrote the Komatsu statement,
"Komatsu plans to work with MST Global to help customers build digital ecosystems with real-time insights and alerts, voice and communication technologies, software solutions, robust network infrastructure and wireless and geospatial technologies".
The companies plan to work together increase the availability of high-speed, low latency digital communication for mission-critical communications. Other projects will include the integration of Internet of Things sensors, and to increase the volume of information communicated and enable real-time tracking, monitoring and automation of mine operations.
"Both Komatsu and MST share a common vision that underground mining will continue to grow in importance and size. They also have an aligned strategy to rapidly develop new technologies, equipment and solutions to support the industry's future needs", wrote a statement on MST's website.