Doral Mineral Sands operate an open cut mineral sands mine near Dardanup in the South West of Western Australia. Ore is progressively mined via a series of open-cut pits using dry mining techniques. The mining utilises a conventional machinery fleet which includes bull dozers, excavators, dump trucks and scrapers.
The ore is processed at Dorals nearby Picton Dry Separation Plant to produce a Heavy Mineral Concentrate of ilmenite, leucoxene and zircon. The product is then exported via the Bunbury and Fremantle ports for manufacture into premium paint pigment, high quality welding electrodes and high end zircon tiles.
Once all the ore has been extracted from the mine pit, the pits are backfilled with the overburden, sand and clay tails from the preceding section. Following backfill, the areas are rehabilitated to a landform and land use similar to the surroundings. It is in this process where the Trimble GCS900 system is utilised on the fleet of dozers to profile the overburden before placement of the subsoil layer and final topsoil layer to a critical 50mm thickness.
All the earthworks on site are conducted by contractor, Mine Site Construction Services. And this is where the Trimble GCS900 system comes into its own. Doral own 3 Install Kits consisting of the harnessing, masts and cables that are fixed to the machines. Doral also own 2 Cab Kits consisting of the CB460 Control Box, MS992 GPS Receiver and SNR Radio.
Dorals 2 Cab Kits can be rotated between the 3 dozers as required, with a third Cab Kit being hired in from SITECH WA during the peak summer rehabilitation period.
The reliability and durability of the system is evident with Dorals first Trimble GCS900 system purchased over 7 years ago still in operation today. Doral have found benefits with improved accuracy and productivity, having the design available on the machine means the site can operate peg free with less reliance on surveyors for guidance information. The guidance on the dozers is also used to provide levels for other machinery that may be operating in the pit
Doral Mineral Sands Mine Surveyor, Ben Anderson said: ‘The Trimble system can handle anything the operators throw at them. With the way the Trimble GCS900 system operates allows us to swap the GPS components between the 3 machines that we have setup, due to service downtime or the section that the machine is working on. And we can hire in a cab kit as we need it for the third dozer during peak rehabilitation times.
‘The data flow is a simple process where the pit model is initially designed in our Surpac mining software, a design model is imported into Trimble’s Business Centre HCE and then we create the machine files’.