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Three mining tech companies collaborate for enhanced machine retrieval safety

Sudbury's HARD-LINE teams up with Murray Engineering and Beltor Engineering

Pinjarra, WESTERN AUSTRALIA — Jan. 16, 2023: HARD-LINE, Murray Engineering, and Beltor Engineering have combined their expertise for quicker, safer, and more productive solutions to recover buried vehicles in underground mines. Beltor provides the Mine Extraction Device (MED), that is remotely operated using HARD-LINE’s radio remote control (RRC), by the specially trained extraction team from Murray Engineering.

“The remote Beltor Machine Extraction Device is an easy-to-use unit which makes the retrieval process safer for operators, and much more streamlined and efficient,” says Beltor extraction specialist Ben Robinson. He adds, “Depending on conditions, it only takes two to five days to pull a machine safely from the rubble compared to outdated methods which can take weeks. The unique partnership of the three companies has resulted in a cutting-edge retrieval process which allows operators to stand away from the line of fire and complete the extraction from a safe distance.”

Some of the common extraction methods include using other mining equipment such as loaders and haul trucks to pull out the buried machines. These methods could present several problems such as vehicle and mine damage. They may also put operators and spotters in unsafe situations. “There has always been a need for stronger and safer extraction devices,” says Beltor Engineering managing director Mark Beletich. “With this economically viable method, ore production can get back on track with minimal delays.”

With the dangers that come with machine recoveries, this MED with RRC technology can be operated remotely from a safe distance of up to 100 metres away with critical data and live video. “RRC was built 25 years ago for all types of heavy machinery with the emphasis of putting safety first,” says HARD-LINE’s senior vice-president of technology, Ryan Siggelkow. He adds, “We are proud to add another machine type that our remotes have successfully operated, like the Beltor 210T.” As of 2022, HARD-LINE has fitted over 200 machines with their technology across the world.

Beltor MEDs have a pulling capacity of up to 360 tonnes, and the RetrieveME service is a financial win-win for miners as the extraction service is available at a fraction of the cost of replacing an entire machine and can be completed with minimal disruption to normal production activities.

This machine retrieval collaboration has been successfully employed at underground mines all over Australia since 2020. Please visit HARD-LINE's website to find out more benefits of this process in the recently released case study.