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Mining Technologies International leverages new technology to improve equipment efficiency, reduce emissions, and provide a healthier environment for mining employees Businessexcellence May 07 74 Canada’s natural resources make the country one of the busiest mining centers in the world, with rich deposits of nickel, copper, gold, diamonds and uranium, among others. It’s no surprise, then, that Canada also has manufacturers dedicated to the supply of essential tools and equipment to the mining industry. One such is Sudbury, Ontario-based Mining Technologies International Inc. (MTI), which operates four manufacturing facilities on three continents. MTI is the result of the merger of several companies now operating as divisions, with names familiar to the mining industry: Drillex International of Canada, Continuous Mining Systems, LHD Equipment, John Clark Inc., Drillex US Inc., CMS Pacific, and Drilco Australia PTY. This consolidation means that the MTI brand is now established as a producer of just about everything a mining operation could need, from LHD (load haul dump) loaders to in-the-hole (ITH) drilling rigs, to rail haulage systems, underground utility vehicles, crushing plant and custom designed equipment for specific underground requirements, plus a range of drilling tools and other consumables. MTI’s vision is to achieve the right solution, on-time, every time, and that’s no small task given the variety of mining operations it serves and the number of products it manufactures. The permutations of individual products are impressive on their own. The four-wheeldrive end dump truck, for instance, has six variations. MTI’s Drift Runner development drilling rigs come in single-boom or two-boom configurations, each designed for drilling vertical, horizontal, and angled holes in underground production headings. The Vein Runner Series has a single-boom version and the Vein Runner LONGHOLE, a hydraulic center-articulated four-wheel drive unit for long-hole drilling in underground mines. MTI also manufactures a full complement of high quality drill string components for drilling large diameter raises, blast holes, exploration holes, and ITH applications. As its name suggests, technology plays a leading role in the development of new MTI products. An announcement in September last year revealed MTI is pioneering two new technologies to power trucks, load-haul-dump (LHD) vehicles and other mine vehicles. One is a hydrogen injection system that improves diesel engine combustion, the other a hybridpowered LHD in partnership with CANMET, the federal government’s mining research unit. Both technologies promise to dramatically reduce diesel emissions. The hydrogen injection technology, developed by Hy-Drive Technologies Ltd. of Mississauga, Ontario, works by injecting small amounts of hydrogen gas into a diesel engine’s combustion chamber, resulting in a cleaner, faster burn, improved fuel efficiency and more engine torque. It’s a simple retrofit package which reduces emissions as part of the natural combustion process instead of just filtering the exhaust. The technology has been used successfully for several years in the trucking industry, but MTI is ruggedizing it to take account of the harsh operating conditions in the mining industry and has a memorandum of understanding with Hy-Drive for exclusive marketing rights in the mining industry. “We found tremendous improvements in emissions,” said MTI president Bob Lipic, Mine of opportunity

May 07 Businessexcellence 75 “and specifi cally, particulate matter. When we measured it and compared it to the original tests, it was almost eliminated down to 0.02 percent, and the NOx and CO gases were reduced substantially. We believe this technology will substantially change the way we think about the air quality and the conditions of the air and health and safety for people underground as well as on the surface.” The mining industry is facing signifi cant pressure from regulators and employees to reduce harmful emissions, Lipic explained. With mines in danger of being shut down because of emission concerns, initiatives that can help improve the quality of air for miners working below the surface are in high demand. Hy-Drive will provide MTI with core component parts of the HGS technology and MTI will then manufacture a fi nished commercial product to specifi cally suit the vast array of sizes and number of fuel burning equipment and vehicles that operate throughout the mining industry. Ongoing research and value added enhancement work will also take place at MTI’s Sudbury facility. The hybrid-powered LHD being developed in conjunction with CANMET consists of a small diesel engine and a battery pack. “The problem with electric powered vehicles in the past was that they had this umbilical cord that limited movement,” said Lipic. “This unit will be much more productive.” The hybrid engine will further reduce diesel emissions, but provide more power at the same time. The battery pack will provide power for six hours, but will be recharged as the vehicle travels on straightaways. That’s another string of MTI’s mission statement achieved; to “lead innovation in emerging technologies.” Mining Technologies International