Open Cut

Real-Time Dragline Production Enhancement System

Open Cut » Overburden Removal

Published: February 06Project Number: C13042

Get ReportAuthor: Eleonora Widzyk-Capehart, Ross Hennessy, Andrew Maclean, Greg Sheppard, Allison McDonald, Paul Level | CRCMining

The enhanced sensing of machine and operator performance is crucial to the automation of dragline operations and for improving safety in the dragline working area. The determination of a reliable and accurate measure of the terrain surfaces in the region around the dragline, provides:

  • A comparison with mine plans.
  • Real time feedback on (where to dig and dump.
  • Analysis of volume of material moved.
  • Improved overall visibility in dusty, foggy conditions.
  • Improved safety .
  • Up-to-date dig surface and spoil pile information, necessary to efficiently expedite the automation of swing component of the dragline cycle (ACARP Project 5003).

This project was undertaken to:

  • Produce a prototype real-time terrain mapping system based on 3-dimensional mm wave radar technology; and
  • Integrate radar generated data with mine planning software for data visualisation and assessment.

To achieve the specified objectives, the prototype 3D mm wave radar developed by CRCMining, was tested on a production machine at BMA, Peak Downs Mine. The radar terrain mapping system was shown to have the ability to automatically generate digital terrain maps of the dragline environment during normal operation and to integrate radar generated surfaces with mine planning software.

The reliability and accuracy of volume estimation using radar generated surfaces needs to be improved due to the complexity of the process. The challenges faced during volume estimation were related to the following areas:

1. Smoothness of the generated surface.
Volume overestimation results when the generated surfaces are too rough. Surfaces which are too smooth do not provide accurate representation of the dig area. The compromise could be realised by conducting testing under controlled conditions.

2. Partial illumination of scanned surfaces.
If the subsequent radar scans covered mutually exclusive dig areas, it is difficult to compare one scan to the other. This issue can be resolved by linking the radar visualisation system with the dragline monitoring system, which would trigger the complete scanning of the area prior to dragline operation.

3. Comparison of two surfaces to estimate volume using 3d-Dig.
This process is very difficult and time consuming due to high resolution and the constant need to rebuild the surface within 3d-Dig software. There are also multiple lines from the wire frames, making it difficult to distinguish one surface from another.

4. Slope limitations in volume estimation using 3d-Dig.
The software would not allow volume estimation where the slope of the cut was greater than 70°. Whilst this is good practise for mine planning purposes, it is an unnecessary restriction for comparing surfaces for volume estimation.


Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.


Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research.

Recently Completed Projects

C19024Establishing Ecologically Sustainable Mine Water Release Criteria In Seasonally Flowing Streams

Extreme rainfall conditions in the Fitzroy Catchment over an approxi...

C25030Coal Mine Open Pit Final Void Closure And Relinquishment - Addressing Uncertainty In Coal Mine Environmental Planning

This report addresses uncertainties faced by coal mine operators whe...

C27046Estimation Of True Deformation Vector From Slope Radar Monitoring

Slope deformation radar monitors are now widely used in open cut coa...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C27004Improving Coal Flotation With Oscillatory Air Supply

This report provides detailed information on coal flotation with os...

C25018Improving Solids Recovery And Moisture Reduction In Ultrafine Coal Dewatering

This report provides detailed information on fine coal dewatering in...

C27028Lab Froth Flotation Testing Guide With Coal Quality

Correct outcomes from laboratory froth flotation testing in coal bor...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Recently Completed Projects

C26039Nanoporosity In Cokes: Their Origin, Control And Influence On CO2 Reactivity

This project using the outcomes of previous project C24060, examine...

C28063A Comprehensive Technical Review Of High-Efficiency Low-Emission (HELE) Pulverised Coal Combustion Technologies For Power Generation

Research and development has been undertaken worldwide to realise co...

C28064Carbon Structure Transformation During Coking Of Australian Coking Coals: Better Understanding The Coke Formation

Carbon structures of coke that are formed during the plastic layer a...

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C28076Selective Absorption Of Methane By Ionic Liquids (SAMIL) - Phase 2 Demonstration In A Packed Bed Reactor

An alternative approach to high temperature oxidation of ventilation...

C26004CFD Modelling Of Reverse Thermal Oxidisers For VAM Abatement - CFD Modelling Of Fixed-Bed RTO Devices

The project is part of a larger multi‐phase program of study a...

C27058Technological Assessment Of A Recycle Reactor For VAM Abatement

Underground coal mining emits high volumes of methane, diluted in ve...

Mine Site Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C17060BGasification Of Australian Coals

Four Australian coals were trialled in the Siemens 5 MWth pilot scale ga...

C17060AOxyfuel Technology For Carbon Capture And Storage Critical Clean Coal Technology - Interim Support

The status of oxy-fuel technology for first-generation plant is indicate...

C18007Review Of Underground Coal Gasification

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification,...

Low Emission Coal Use

Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

C16027Assessing Housing And Labour Market Impacts Of Mining Developments In Bowen Basin Communities

The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number...

C22029Understanding And Managing Cumulative Impacts Of Coal Mining And Other Land Uses In Regions With Diversified Economies

The coal industry operates in the context of competing land-uses that sh...

C23016Approval And Planning Assessment Of Black Coal Mines In NSW And Qld: A Review Of Economic Assessment Techniques

This reports on issues surrounding economic assessment and analysis ...

Mining And The Community


National Energy Research,Development & Demonstration Council (NERDDC) reports - pre 1992.

Recently Completed Projects

1609-C1609Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

1301-C1301Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development...

Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development and Extraction Operations

0033-C1356Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals...

Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals - An Industry Handbook