Open Cut                                          reports

Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research. We have supported work on an automated swing loading system for electric shovels, the science of rehabilitation and minimising mining impacts on neighbouring communities.

Overburden Removal (58 Reports)

3D Scan Matching And Registration For Improved Mine Survey

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Author: Nick Hillier, Frederick Pauling, Elliot Duff | LC Engineering, CSIRO

ACARP project C20028 entitled "3D scan matching and registration for improved mine survey" endeavoured to reduce survey costs and improve the timeliness of survey data via the introduction of CSIRO's 3D mapping technologies to the survey process. It was intended to demonstrate the ....  read more


3d-Dig 2000

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Author: Murray Phillips, Alex Kavetsky | Earth Technology

This project was conducted to enhance and further develop the 3d-Dig Version 1 Dragline Simulator. The Version 1 Simulator is a DOS-based system allowing dragline operations to be simulated and visualised. This system has proved to be a very effective tool for analysing and improving dragline ....  read more


Accurate Guidance and Measurement for Excavators using a Laser Scanner

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Author: Elliot Duff | CSIRO ICT Centre

This project has successfully developed and demonstrated a proof-of-concept system that is able to simultaneously
track the bucket of a mining excavator and map the terrain under the boom.

Over a 12 month period, a number of trials were conducted at Blair Athol Mine ....  read more


Advanced Dragline Performance Analysis

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Author: Peter Knights, Andrew Jessett, Xin (Frances) Liang | CRCMining, MineWare

The ability to automatically classify and report swing cycles according to their limiting motion (swing, hoist or drag) is an essential capability in order to flag potential dragline performance losses and drive continuous improvement efforts.  


This project uses data ....  read more


Advanced Duty Detection System

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Author: Charles McInnes, Paul Meehan, Allison McDonald | CRCMining

An advanced duty detection system has been developed and demonstrated that will continuously monitor dragline operation and identify and classify operating practices that cause excessive amounts of incremental damage or duty on the machine. The system will form part of and extend the ....  read more


Analysis of Data from Equipment Performance Monitors

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Author: Darren Thornton | JKMRC

This is a report of the outcomes of an ACARP sponsored research project that investigates data analysis techniques suitable for analysing the large volumes of data being generated by equipment performance monitors that have become widespread within the mining industry. The monitors are often ....  read more


Automated Bulk Dozer Push - Reducing the Cost of Overburden Removal

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Author: Ross McAree, Richard Hensel, Zane Smith | The University of Queensland

Caterpillar Command for Dozing is a Semi-Autonomous Tractor System for D11T dozers that can perform bulk dozing. The first deployment of this technology was at Black Thunder Coal Mine in Wyoming where it was demonstrated to be capable of executing push-to-an-edge bulk dozing as part of a ....  read more


Automated Design of Multi-Pass Dragline Strips Using 3d-Dig

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Author: Murray Phillips | Earth Technology

This project aimed  to research, develop and implement a design methodology to automate the design of a complete, multi-pass dragline strip. The design methodology was implemented by extending the capabilities of the 3d-Dig dragline simulation system.

The 3d-Dig system has been ....  read more


Automated Digital Terrain Mapping for Draglines

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Author: Jonathan Roberts | CSIRO Manufacturing Science and Technology

Draglines are the most important means of coal uncovery in open cut mines. The key problem is that we do not know what a dragline is doing. 3D plans can be developed, but we can not tell how good the plan was, or how well it was followed. A dragline monitor can measure how the dragline has ....  read more


Development of Slope Stability Radar

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Author: David Noon, Bryan Reeves, Glen Sticley, Michael Holmstrom, Guy Smith, Dennis Longstaff | CSSIP, University of Qld

This report describes the recent developments of the Slope Stability Radar (SSR). It covers the engineering development and testing of the early production standard, or beta prototype, as required by this project. This work followed the successful proof of-concept model ....  read more


Development of Tools and Methods for Rigging Data Specification for use in Dragline Bucket Simulation

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Author: Jamil Srour, VKL Mai | BHP Coal

BHP Research and Technology Development has developed a rigging simulation model (PcDrag) and its associated tools for the assessment and design of bucket riggings. This software provides solutions of a set of non-linear equations for the static equilibrium of a dragline bucket and its ....  read more


Dragline Automation

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Author: David W Hainsworth | CSIRO Exploration & Mining

The objectives of the project were to:

  • Demonstrate the feasibility of automatic sensing of bucket position.
  • Characterise the electro-dynamic dragline system.
  • Demonstrate closed-loop operation of the ADPC tenth scale dragline
 ....  read more


Dragline Automation Implementation

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Author: Graeme Winstanley, Peter Corke, Jonathan Roberts | CSIRO Manufacturing Science and Technology

Reduction in the cost of overburden removal from open cut coal mines has been identified as the most important means of improving the economic performance of Australian open cut coal mines. The  ....  read more


Dragline Automation System: Optimal Excavation Sequencing

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Author: Kevin Austin, Matthew Green, Ross McAree | The University of Queensland

Dragline excavation sequencing describes the complex problem of determining the sequence of tub positions and the associated material movement task for each tub position for dragline strip mining. This project has examined computational methods for computing excavation sequences. It is thought ....  read more


Dragline Automation through Automatic Control of Bucket Carry Angle

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Author: Peter Ridley | QUT

The aims of dragline automation are to:

  • increase average bucket content by maximising fill and reducing spillage,
  • decrease average cycle time, by improving repeatability,
  • reduce maintenance down-time by reduction of dynamic overloads.
 ....  read more


Dragline Bucket Filling Investigation

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Author: Terry O'Beirne, Jeff Rowlands, Murray Phillips | ACIRL

The aim of this project was to develop a method for obtaining quantitative data to characterise dragline bucket filling behaviour. This has been achieved and data has been collected for four bucket filling scenarios:

1. Conventional BE bucket (Howick mine)
2. Esco Mark IV (Newlands ....  read more


Dragline Excavation Sequencing

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Author: Kevin Austin, Matthew Green, Krystian Choros, Ross McAree | MineWare, The University of Queensland

It has long been recognised that optimising the positioning and material movement tasks of dragline operation has the potential to reduce excavation times and improve spoil management. The challenges to building a system capable of realising these benefits are many and varied, and include the ....  read more


Dragline Excavation Sequencing

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Author: Kevin Austin, Krystian Choros, Matthew Green, Gerard Rallos, and Ross McAree | University of Queensland

This project achieved an important step toward realizing 'live' excavation sequencing as a tool for real-time management of dragline excavation. The sequencing system guided excavation for a blocks pass operation, planning the operation sequence and having operators follow the guidance ....  read more


Dragline Link Chain Field Trial

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Author: Graham Lumley | Ground Breaking Innovations

This project was for the trial of the link chain concept at Mount Thorley Operations. At the conclusion of the initial engineering difficulties were encountered with the MTO dragline in establishing the trial in an acceptable timeframe. An approach was made to ACARP to reduce the scope and ....  read more


Dragline Monitoring Using Acoustic Emission, Vibration, Strain and Operation Load

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Author: Brian Wood, Robert Harris | Metacoustics, Howick Coal

If a material or a structure is placed under stress, either mechanical, chemical or thermal, and if that stress is sufficient to alter the material's microstructure, a stress wave  ....  read more


Dragline Operational Enhancements through the use of Digital Terrain Maps

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Author: Jonathan Roberts | CSIRO ICT

Digital Terrain Maps (DTMs) offer the next logical step in monitoring the performance of a dragline and the overburden removal excavation process. Online knowledge of the local terrain and how it changes with time would allow measurement of the real productivity (coal ....  read more


Dragline Research Review

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Author: Jim Humphrey | ARCO Coal

The existing ACARP program is a vast improvement over its predecessors. There is virtually no comparison in the quality of work, the expeditious performance of researchers, the applicability of the results and the technology transfer mechanisms. This is not to ....  read more


Dragline Rigging and Control System for Universal Dig & Dump

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Author: Jeff Rowlands | CMTE

This report presents the results from the fast track version of the original ACARP project submission "Dragline Rigging and Control System for Universal Dig and Dump". The project was designed to investigate and quantify productivity data and machine loads, to assist in the assessment and ....  read more


Dragline Swing Assist

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Author: Graeme Winstanley | CSIRO Manufacturing & Infrastructure Technology

This report describes the CSIRO Dragline Swing Assist (DSA) technology and the performance of the proof-of-concept system installed on the BE1350 dragline at Boundary Hill. DSA is a radical new technology for dragline operation and can be seen as an addition to any other dragline technology ....  read more


Dragline Training Simulator

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Author: Peter Corke | CSIRO Manufacturing Technology, CMTE

The Issues

Productivity of operators

Operators are the key to dragline productivity. Performance of existing operators varies somewhere in the range 10-35%, so approaches to raising skills to uniform levels should be investigated.

Productivity loss in ....  read more


Dynacut Fundamental Development and Scalability Testing

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Author: Isaac Dzakpata, Dihon Tadic, Joji Quidim, Amin Mousavi, Kristyn Zoschke and Kasun Kalhara | Mining3

The previous project outcomes (C25041) supported the potential for DynaCut technology to be effective and economically competitive at a large scale for surface coal mining. This phase aimed to progress the de-risking process through additional cutting trials with a modified cutting ....  read more


Enhanced Reporting of Advanced Dragline Analytics

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Author: Peter Knights, Andrew Jessett, Xin (Frances) Liang | CRCMining, MineWare

Dragline repositioning is a major source for the loss of productive dig hours. A trade off exists in any decision to remain digging at a particular location or to reposition the dragline in order to obtain more favourable dig conditions, spoil room or swing angles.


This ....  read more


Evaluation of GPS Technologies in the Open Cut Mining Industry

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Author: Robert Barnes | Tritronics Australia

The global positioning system (GPS) is a satellite based system which can be used for positioning and/or surveying to 2cm accuracy horizontally and 3cm vertically anywhere on the earth's surface. There are 21 satellites currently in orbit with three ....  read more


Hoist Control Project: Project Summary Economic Benefits of Hoist Control to Dragline Operation

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Author: John Vazey | WBM

Field tests on the hoist drive of draglines have shown "overshoot" and oscillations of the drive gearbox torque during the lifting stage of the cycle. These dynamics, ....  read more


Identifying the Determinants of Reduced Dragline Operator Performance Over Time

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Author: John Whiteoak, Andrew Hede, Graham Lumley | University of the Sunshine Coast, GBI Consulting

The purpose of this report is to investigate factors that may impact the productivity and performance of dragline operators in the Australian Coal Industry. Central to the effective operation of the coal mine is the dragline and it is argued that as little as a 1% increase in dragline ....  read more


Improved Dragline Productivity Through Rigging Design

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Author: Terry O'Beirne, Graham Lumley | ACIRL

ACIRL Ltd was commissioned by ACARP to investigate and research aspects of dragline bucket rigging, (Project C4003). This project commenced in May 1995 and was completed in October 1996. The total project value was $195,000 of which ACARP provided funding for ....  read more


Improved Dragline Spoiling Through 3D Simulation

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Author: Murray Phillips | ACIRL

The objectives of this project were:

  • To conduct a field study at Peak Downs Mine to acquire the following data on the excavation of a typical block:
  • Calibrated stereo pair photographs to produce digital terrain models (DTM's) of key
 ....  read more


Improved Lubrication of Dragline Components

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Author: Keith Sherwood, Will Scott | Queensland University of Technology

 When a dragline operator purchases a new machine, the specifications relating to lubrication tend to be general rather than definitive. Current practice, therefore, in the lubrication of dragline components requires the operator to select lubricants ....  read more


Improved Monitoring of Dragline Operation

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Author: Graham Lumley, David Haneman | ACIRL

ACIRL's Australian Dragline Performance Centre (ADPC) was contracted to undertake a comparison of different dragline process variables as project C3001 under the Australian Coal Association Research Program.


The specific objectives of the project ....  read more


Improved Understanding of Shovel Dippers & Processes

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Author: Graham Lumley | Ground Breaking Innovations

p>After draglines, rope shovels are the most important part of coal uncovery and yet up until now, the process of excavating with a shovel has been largely based on experience and intuition. The work done during this project has advanced understanding of dippers and processes greatly. This ....  read more


Improving Machine/Operator Interface for Draglines

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Author: Anthony Kinnane, Jeff Rowlands | Runge Mining Australia, Dragline Technologies

The aim of this project was to develop modifications that can be installed in a dragline cabin to assist the operator in achieving maximum productivity and safety.


The most important developments were concerned with providing the ....  read more


Improving Operator Support and Selection Processes

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Author: Graham Lumley, Andrew Hede | Ground Breaking Innovations, University of Sunshine Coast

Variations in dragline operator performance have major maintenance and productivity implications for mines.  The value of replacing operators who achieve below average performance, with operators who achieve higher productivity and lower damage costs through better selection and  ....  read more


Increasing Dragline Prime Output

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Author: Graham Lumley | Ground Breaking Innovations Pty Ltd

This project was about the effective use of the dragline productive capacity. The dragline has a certain productive capacity which is made up of prime and rehandle. It is the prime, not the total, which dictates how much coal is uncovered.


While many millions of dollars ....  read more


Load, Haul, Dump (LHD) Analyser and Landform Management System

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Author: Murray Phillips | Earth Technology

This project has developed a computer-based system for the study, design and optimisation of truck-and-shovel overburden removal. It includes functionality to allow the quick and approximate modelling of long term dragline spoil and incorporation of truck and shovel pre strip.


 ....  read more


Modeling Dragline Bucket Dynamics and Digging (including Bucket Filling Animations CD)

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Author: Alex Kavetsky | Earth Technology

The need to maintain and increase dragline productivity is widely recognised as a major priority by Australian dragline operators. Bucket performance is critical to dragline  ....  read more


Modelling and Optimisation of Bulldozing

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Author: Murray Phillips | EarthTechnology

This project had the following aims:

  • Monitoring of bulldozer operations and development of bulldozer productivity algorithms.
  • Development of computer modelling software to allow the design, optimisation and graphical depiction of bulldozer operations. This software will use
 ....  read more


Open Cut Automation Scoping Study

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Author: Paul Lever, Ross McAree | CMTE

The objective of this project was to develop a roadmap that identifies how ACARP expenditure on automation based research for surface coal mining should be invested to achieve maximum benefit for the Australian Coal Industry over the next 3 to 10 years.

The roadmap developed is equipment ....  read more


Optimisation of Design Load Levels for Dragline Buckets

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Author: Peter Townson, Pra Murthy, Zhiqiang Guan, Hal Gurgenci | CMTE, University of Queensland

In this project CMTE developed a rigorous procedure to assist the dragline owner to identify the optimum operating point for a given dragline in terms of its bucket size. This optimum point is based upon the trade-off between two opposing factors: the increased instantaneous productivity that ....  read more


Optimisation of Dragline Excavation

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Author: Darren Thornton, Bill Whiten | JKMRC, University of Queensland

The objective of this project was to develop prototype software that would allow a mine to determine the optimum dragline excavation sequence, ie. where the dragline stands, where it digs from and dumps to, and when and where it moves. Currently, many of these decisions are made by the ....  read more


Optimised Bucket for Parallel/Universal Rig

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Author: Tom Meyers, Bruce Leslie | Central Qld Mining Supplies, Leslie Consulting

The goal of this project was to investigate the way the bucket connection points could be varied to reduce the rope load variations, increase the dumpability of the bucket, and identify an approach for retrofitting an existing bucket and/or developing a new bucket ....  read more


Quantifying Development Risks for a High Capacity Surface Mining Continuous Cutting System in Waste

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Author: Paul Lever, Steve Powell, Dihon Tadic | CRCMining

This project enabled investigation of potential cutting technologies for use in a High Capacity Surface Continuous Cutting (HCSCC) system for coal mine overburden, identifying technology gaps and risk mitigation strategies for commercial implementation.


Key ....  read more


Real Time Continuous Measurement of Blasted Dragline Overburden Bulk Density

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Author: Alex Bewley, Rajiv Shekhar, Ben Upcroft & Paul Lever | CRC Mining

This report presents a method for measuring the in-bucket material volume on a dragline for the purpose of estimating the material's bulk density in real-time. Knowledge of the blasted overburden bulk density can provide instant feedback to mine planning and scheduling, enabling better ....  read more


Real Time Continuous Measurement of In-Place Blasted Dragline Overburden Bulk Density

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Author: Alex Bewley, Benjamin Dart, David Cusack, Garima Samvedi, Italo Onederra, Kieran Wynn, Paul Lever | CRCMining

This report presents a method for measuring the in‐place bulk density through comparisons of digital terrain models and machine monitor data. For the context of this report in-place refers to the original place of blasted material after the blast and before being handled by the dragline. ....  read more


Real Time Shovel Operator Feedback System

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Author: Greg Sheppard, Andrew jessett, Eleonora Widzyk-Capehart, Allison McDonald | CMTE

This project endeavoured to determine whether real-time knowledge-of-performance information would favourably influence the behaviour of a rope shovel operator. Previous work done by CMTE had established that overall machine performance was profoundly dependent on individual ....  read more


Real-Time Dragline Production Enhancement System

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Author: 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, ....  read more


Refinement of Automated Dragline Swing Control Algorithms

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Author: Matthew Dunbabin, Graeme Winstanley, Peter Corke | CSIRO ICT Centre

The control of the swing cycle of a dragline a key component of the dragline automation roadmap presented in the ACARP Open Cut Automation Scoping Study (C11054). The CSIRO team in partnership with ACARP and mining companies have been progressively developing a Dragline Swing Assist (DSA) ....  read more


Rope Shovel Automation

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Author: Peter Corke, Matthew Dunbabin | CSIRO ICT Centre

This project has demonstrated a number of technologies that are critical to automating rope shovel operation. They are:

  • Computer control of all three drives of a model rope shovel (crowd, hoist and swing).
  • Reliably detecting the onset of stall and two
 ....  read more


Rope Shovel Operator Information System

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Author: Eleonora Widzyk-Capehart, Paul Lever, Greg Sheppard, Andrew Jessett, Allison McDonald, Graham Brooker, Rebecca Hill | CRCMining

This project endeavoured to expand the capabilities of the existing data acquisition, processing and feedback system developed under ACARP project C11047 to include GPS machine position, dig face profile, shovel distance to the face and tactile feedback.

Previous work done by ....  read more


SATS Automated Mission Planning

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Author: Ross McAree, Timothy D’Adamo, Declan Kavanagh and Zane Smith, Adam Jacobson | The University of Queensland, Caterpillar

The Caterpillar Semi-Autonomous Tractor System (SATS) enables autonomous bulk push mining operations for overburden removal. It can execute various bulk-movement methods including Push-To-Edge, Tip-Head, and Pivot-Push.  The SATS system in its current commercial form autonomously and ....  read more


Shovel Automation - Phase 2: Autonomous Excavation and Truck Loading for Mining Shovels

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Author: Matthew Dunbabin, Kane Usher | CSIRO ICT Centre

In this project, we have progressed the results from ACARP project C12030 through addressing the second phase of the mining rope-shovel automation roadmap by successfully demonstrating complete automatic cycles on a 1/7 scale-model rope shovel. The primary achievements include the ....  read more


Swing Loader Traffic Control

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Author: Elliot Duff, Kane Usher, Peter Ridley | CSIRO ICT Centre, QUT

This project has successfully demonstrated (on a 1/7th scale model swing loader and haul truck) the technology to direct drivers to a recommended loading position. It does this in two phases. In the first phase, a scanning range laser on the swing loader is used to generate a digital ....  read more


Technical Diffusion of JKMRC Project Outcomes

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Author: Alan Cocker | JKMRC, University of Queensland

The purpose of this project was to investigate the dissemination of outcomes from recent JKMRC ACARP projects, namely C5005 "Controlling Coal Damage due to Cast Blasting" and C5008 "Optimisation of Dozer Operations in Open Cut Mines"

Both these projects were released with computer ....  read more


Theory of Constraints in Strip Mining

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Author: Greg Campbell | LC Engineering

This research project was commissioned to investigate the feasibility of using Theory of Constraints to assist in planning the stripping process of a coal mine. The explicit aims were:

· Investigate how Theory of Constraints might be used in the stripping process;

· Model ....  read more



Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

Recently Completed Projects

C34019Longwall Bretby Cable Handling Monitoring With Fibre Optics

This project examined the potential of using fibre optic sensing tec...

C28028The Inclusion Of High Interest Native Plants In Mine Site Restoration Programs: Propagation, Translocation And Field Re-Introduction

This report synthesises over 10 years of ex situ and in si...

C27049Mine Machine Radar Sensor Integration

The aim of this project was to develop an integrated radar sensor an...


Open Cut

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

Recently Completed Projects

C34029Validation Of Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) As A Rapidly Deployable Field Technology To Estimate Coal Quality

Rapid evaluation of a coal resource by in-situ characterisation dow...

C34028Guidelines For Assessment Of Geotechnically Safe And Stable Post-Mining Landforms

The purpose of this project was to develop a guidelines document as ...

C34016Elements In Coal – A Start-To-End Analysis

This project explores the fate and concentration potential of critical e...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C26016Determining The Benefits Of Online Thickener Underflow Rheology Measurements

The aim of this project is to determine how useful the rheology meas...

C33056Modelling And Control Of Classifying Cyclones

Hydrocyclones are one of the key technologies for the classification...

C28056Surface Alloying Of Centrifuge Baskets And Sieve Bends Screen Surfaces To Increase The Service Lifetime

The main objective of this project was to improve the wear resistanc...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Recently Completed Projects

C33066Washability And Distribution Of Sulfur And Trace Elements For Different Size And Density Fractions Of Raw Coals

Based on the hypothesis that the levels of sulfur and other toxic tr...

C34060In-Situ Investigation Of Coke Structure Formation Under Stamp Charged Coking Conditions

Stamp charged cokemaking has emerged as an effective technique to im...

C34062Improving The Classification Of Microstructure Distribution In Coke CT Images Using Deep Learning And Lineal Path Calculations

This project builds on a number of earlier projects that have helped...

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)

This third and final stage of this project was the culmination of a ...

C29069Low-Cost Catalyst Materials For Effective VAM Catalytic Oxidation

Application of ventilation air methane (VAM) thermal oxidiser requir...

C23052Novel Stone Dust Looping Process For Ventilation Air Methane Abatement

This multi‐phase project is concerned with the mitigation of m...

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