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Weir Motion Metrics – Ecosystem Press Release | 30.06.2022

Weir Motion Metrics is a Canadian mining technology company that installs rugged smart cameras at open-pit mines around the world, then uses artificial intelligence to turn that video data into actionable insights that improve mine safety, energy efficiency, and productivity. Our advanced solutions have been installed at more than 70 mines worldwide and are trusted by the largest mining companies – including Antofagasta, Anglo American, and Codelco. Our Santiago, Chile, office is home to one of Weir Motion Metrics’ largest regional teams.

Proven Mine-to-Mill Ecosystem Technology One of the main challenges that Weir Motion Metrics helps mines solve is mine-to-mill optimization. Although the mining industry has been talking about mine-to-mill optimization for the past three decades, execution has lagged. Comminution consumes more than 50% of power at the average mine site and four percent of global electrical energy – and in this era of escalating climate concerns and increased pressure on natural resources, technologies that reduce energy consumption throughout the size reduction process are a high priority for forward-thinking mines.

The Motion Metrics mine-to-mill ecosystem provides particle size analysis at various stages of the size reduction process. Using rugged stereo cameras and computer vision algorithms trained on our robust global dataset, Motion Metrics provides accurate and non-interruptive fragmentation analysis for shovels and excavators, haul trucks, conveyor belts, and in a portable format. By using our proven technologies to optimize particle size at each stage of the size reduction process, mines can dramatically reduce energy consumption while boosting throughput by up to 30%.

Blast optimization is the low-hanging fruit of the mine-to-mill optimization process – milling is about ten times more expensive than blasting. Mines will not get anywhere by blindly increasing blast intensity but by monitoring particle size to tailor blast parameters that can dramatically improve performance. As part of the Motion Metrics mine-to-mill ecosystem, we offer three ways to analyze your blast – one is an in-shovel particle size analysis, another system is mounted above the haul road to analyze material transported by haul trucks, and the third is a handheld, point-and-shoot device.

All three solutions use deep learning algorithms to provide fast and accurate particle size distributions without the need for scaling objects. An in-shovel or haul road-based solution offers additional boulder detection capabilities and provides a higher sample rate for regular coverage, whereas our handheld solution performs only fragmentation analysis but has greater flexibility. For example, a mine will need a handheld solution to evaluate the particle size distribution of a salvage pile, or a stockpile being loaded by small excavators when an in-shovel system has not been installed. Smaller mines that blast less frequently may not need both solutions, but large operations often benefit from comprehensive coverage. For these cases, we recommend supplementing an in-shovel solution with a portable analysis tool.

TruckMetrics is the newest addition to the Motion Metrics mine-to-mill ecosystem. The system uses a 3D camera mounted on a gantry above the mine road and computer vision algorithms to provide fragmentation analysis, boulder detection, volume monitoring, and load profiling.

Optimizing and Measuring Impact:

Further down the comminution chain, we offer a particle size analysis solution for conveyor belts that provides 24/7 monitoring – no belt cuts, calibration, or scaling objects required. With volume monitoring capabilities powered by 3D data, mines can use the system to optimize production. This technology also provides load profiling to prevent uneven belt wear and conveyor damage, and empty belt detection to alert mine personnel to blocked screens or chutes. Pairing conveyor belt analysis with in-shovel and portable solutions provides in-depth insight into blasting, crushing, and grinding which mines need to continually optimize. Collected data could even be used to automate workflows – for example, adjusting the crusher gap automatically.

Even used in isolation, these technologies can provide an impressive return on investment. For example, a Teck coal mine installed our shovel-based particle size analysis solution to study the relationship between powder factor and excavation efficiency over a two-year period. The mine, which blasts 80 to 100 million cubic metres of waste rock each year, iteratively reduced their powder factor while measuring the impact on particle size distribution and shovel loading times. To measure the impact on particle size distribution, the mine sieved the blasted material and determined the screen size through which 80% of the particles would pass (P-80). By the end of the study period, the mine had reduced their powder factor by 15% and increased P-80 by more than 20% without impacting the efficiency of excavation. By continually analyzing particle size, the mine optimized their blast performance to save 8.6 million kilograms of explosives.

Mines worldwide can easily implement and reduce costs with the Motion Metrics mine-to-mill ecosystem. Please contact info@motionmetrics.com or visit MotionMetrics.com to learn how our proven technology will help your operation.