Success for Canadian simulator supplier

14th June 2013 By: Gia Costella

Surface and underground equipment simulator supplier to the global mining industry Immersive Technologies reports that it has had success this year with the sales of its equipment, in Canada.

In March, the Gibraltar mine, owned by Canadian mining company Taseko, which is focused on the operation and development of mines in British Columbia, Canada, bought Immersive Technologies equipment to improve its operator training.

The mine is Canada’s second-largest openpit copper mine and the largest employer in the Cariboo region, with a processing capacity of 85 000 t/d and yearly copper production averaging 165-million pounds over its 25-year mine life.

The equipment includes a transportable PRO3-b simulator and conversion kits. The conversion kits are interchangeable modules that fit onto the simulator, allowing it to provide training for various machines using original-equipment manufacturer controls and instrumentation.

Gibraltar mine operations VP David Rouleau says the mine expects to see increased site safety and productivity as well as reduced unscheduled equipment maintenance.

“Our efforts to train staff using simulators are key to our strategic workforce development. This investment will allow for measurable returns and play a role in protecting our most valuable asset – our people,” says Rouleau.

Immersive Technologies says the simulator is operational at the mine, working with the company’s training systems integration (TSI).

“TSI is a best practice implementation program that delivers training materials and institute processes to coordinate and enable training functions,” says Immersive Technologies promotions department manager Ashley Mullaney.

Further, the Harper government of Canada funded more than $1.7-million in March to allow the College of the Rockies, in British Columbia, to acquire haul-truck simulators to train entry-level workers in the mining sector.

Five Immersive Technologies simulators were bought and are being used for training at several of the college’s campuses in the country.

Compared with training on an actual machine, simulation-based training enables students to engage in manoeuvres or operational situations that may be dangerous to perform in real life.

“Our government’s top priority is creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. This investment will help increase the number of skilled Canadian workers available to western Canada’s booming mining sector,” Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification Lynne Yelich announced in March.

Kootenay Member of Parliament in Columbia David Wilks, who joined Yelich for the announcement, noted that the mining industry played an integral role in British Columbia’s economy.

“Our government’s support for the College of the Rockies will help our region take advantage of the opportunities and jobs in the mining sector, which means that our region can thrive,” he said.

College of the Rockies president and CEO Dr Nick Rubidge says the investment by government will go a long way in enabling the college to play a role in preparing skilled workers to support the region and the country’s economy and communities.