Caterpillar and Champion Iron have signed a letter of intent to develop advanced drilling technologies based on artificial intelligence.
Over time the two companies intend to develop a remote-controlled and fully autonomous Cat electric drilling fleet to create a “drill-to-mill” system that will automate the entire process from drilling to loading to hauling to the mill. Once implemented, the process will increase efficiency and lower costs at the drilling and blasting site, the loading and haul segments and downstream processing.
Champion is a Canadian mining company and through its subsidiary Quebec Iron Ore, owns and operates the Bloom Lake Mining Complex, an iron ore mine located near Fermont, Québec. Caterpillar’s independent dealer, Toromont Cat, will provide aftermarket support for the collaboration.
Caterpillar’s integrated technology will use real-time data, artificial intelligence and analytics, to assess the status of machines, technologies, and material to enable more timely and accurate operational decisions and consistent execution across Champion’s mining value chain. The goal is to deliver a fully integrated technology solution powered by data connectivity and advanced analytics. This will improve workflow between the mine and plant and provide a more efficient end-to-end process that delivers more consistent raw material.