Employees of Anglo American’s Mogalakwena platinum mine in Limpopo Province, as well as the surrounding community, are reaping the benefits of the mine’s high-fidelity, simulator-training programme.
The mine has recently purchased another CYBERMINE Full Mission Simulator (FMS) from Durban-based ThoroughTec Simulation, this time for the training of Caterpillar D10T dozer operators. This simulator complements the mine’s existing system for the training of Taiyuan Heavy Industries WK55 rope shovel operators, which was the first of its kind in the world.
CYBERMINE 4 SurfaceBase Unit.
“The CYBERMINE simulators provide us with an environment which is as close to the real thing as possible. It allows for a lot of practice, and mistakes to be made in a safe environment at zero risk,” says Richard White, HRD Coordinator QA & Learning Delivery at Mogalakwena.
The mining of platinum is heavily mechanised and the costly equipment used can be dangerous. By the time the learner operators graduate from the simulator, they are already comfortable with the equipment’s controls and what they can expect in the mining area.
“After evaluating the dozer simulator for a period of time and having proven its utility and benefit to training, the mine decided to purchase it outright,” says Adam Smallman, Regional Vice President for EMEA at ThoroughTec.
The simulator is not just providing safety benefits; “There are also productivity upsides,” says White. “We’ve found that now, after simulator training, a lot more ripping gets done by the dozer operators.” The simulator’s 360-degree field of view and ripping capabilities provide a life-like situation for operators to practise not only dozing, but ripping as well.
This particular simulator is also being used in a community development project known as Dozing to Success. “The dozer is our entry level equipment for up and coming operators; therefore the D10T sim will be our primary tool in teaching community members who have no mining experience whatsoever, about the mining environment in a safe, realistic manner,” says Stephan Voges, HRD Trainer. “It’s broadening the skills base in the area.”