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A Giant zinc-copper mine adopts new training approach

11 October, 2005 - Perth Australia

ADVANCED simulator training technology is now being employed at one of the world’s biggest zinc and copper mines to improve the safety and productivity of mining equipment operators.

Peru’s Compania Minera Antamina SA (CMAS), operator of the Antamina mine, 270km north-east of Lima in the Andes mountains, selected Immersive Technologies to supply a Semi-transportable AE (Advanced Equipment) Simulator and Caterpillar 785C, 789C, 793C, 797 Haul Truck Conversion Kit® after evaluating available training simulator options. CMAS has also engaged Immersive Technologies under a five-year service agreement to support the AE Simulator and ensure maximum availability of the unit.

Jointly owned by BHP Billiton (33.75%), Falconbridge (33.75%), Teck Cominco (22.5%) and Mitsubishi Corp (10%), the Antamina openpit mine and 70,000 tonnes-per-day mill commenced operation in October 2001 after a $US2.2 billion construction phase.

The mine, which employs more than 1400 people, has a projected life of more than 20 years. In its first 10 years of operation, it is expected to produce about 675 million pounds of copper and 625 million pounds of zinc annually. Mining is by conventional truck-and-shovel open-pit methods.

The concentrator features the world’s largest single-circuit SAG milling operation.

Immersive Technologies recently extended its South American sales and service presence in response to rising demand for its AE Simulator solutions from mine operators in the region. Antamina’s AE Simulator is expected to help CMAS address local industry skills shortages, which is also among the key challenges for mining companies in Latin America.

Mine operations manager at Antamina, Daniel Gurtler said he expected the site to use its AE Simulator extensively to achieve uniform high-level results from training of new operators, and to improve the skills of existing operators.

“We are looking forward to incorporating the Immersive Technologies simulator into our training program at Antamina,” he said.

“We expect the simulator to deliver us more consistent training results, especially with regard to improving our operators’ abilities to deal with unusual situations. These unusual situations don’t occur often in the mine, but can be simulated to ensure that the operators will be able to respond correctly.

“Our current plans are to keep the simulator in use 24/7.”

Immersive Technologies Latin America sales executive Alfonso Castaneda said major mine operators such as BHP Billiton – which is ramping up its use of Immersive AE simulator technology globally – were increasingly investing to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operator training.

“The placement of a simulator in Antamina shows that mines in Latin America are very serious about safety, reducing costs and optimising production and that Immersive Technologies products and support are at the forefront of mine simulation,” he said.

“The Americas office is dedicated to supporting the spread of this vital technology in Latin America.”

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About Immersive Technologies

Immersive Technologies is the world's largest, proven and tested supplier of surface and underground Advanced Equipment Simulators to the global mining industry. The company has achieved this unique position by focusing on its mission to make every mining and earthmoving equipment operator in the world safer and their employer more profitable through its simulation technologies. Immersive Technologies' Advanced Equipment Simulators are helping hundreds of mining companies around the world to increase their equipment operators' safety and site profitability through effective simulation training.

Immersive Technologies provides its customers with the most effective Advanced Equipment Simulators available. This is made possible through the formal exclusive licensing and technical information alliances Immersive has established with the leading Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), including: Caterpillar, Hitachi, Komatsu and Liebherr. These unique alliances provide Immersive Technologies with exclusive access to the OEM's proprietary and confidential machine technical information that is required to correctly simulate the OEM's machines and is not available through other public or dealer channels.

With advanced simulator modules deployed in 39 countries, Immersive Technologies is dedicated to provide outstanding service. To deliver on this commitment the company has customer sales and support offices located close to its customers in Perth and Brisbane Australia, Salt Lake City USA, Calgary, Ottawa & Vancouver Canada, Monterrey Mexico, Lima Peru, Santiago Chile, Bochum Germany, Johannesburg South Africa, Jakarta Indonesia, Kolkata India and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Immersive has the global mining experience, innovative technology, product range, OEM relationships, proven support commitment and industry vision to partner with you to ensure your simulator training solution delivers the significant results you expect.