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Gold giant embraces simulator training

28 March, 2006 - Perth Australia

Tanzania’s largest openpit gold mine expects a six-month payback of its investment in advanced simulator training technology from Immersive Technologies.

The AngloGold Ashanti-owned Geita mine in the country’s north-west, which last year produced its three millionth ounce of gold in only its fifth year of operation, has continued to expand its mining equipment fleet and workforce in the wake of a recent switch from contractor to owner mining.

Chris Britz, Geita Gold Mining (GGM) training and development manager, said ongoing efforts to reduce operating costs and improve safety at the mine would receive a significant boost from the use of Advanced Equipment (AE) Simulator training.

He said GGM expected to substantially cut back its training hours through faster and more effective skills transfer, and increased retention of knowledge and skills. Training could occur without pulling vital production machinery out of service, and best-practice operating techniques and habits could be taught and re-emphasised in a more regimented manner.

The mine currently has a total workforce of about 2700 people, including contractors.

“We’re expecting to see a range of benefits from using the simulator,” Britz said.

“Apart from skilling up more than 230 operators of our new equipment and running refresher programs for over 300 existing operators, we want to initiate and maintain improvements in operating practices and reduce the incidence of premature brake, drive and other equipment component failures.

“I believe it will take no more than six months to get a full return of our investment in the simulator.”

Moving more than 80 million tonnes per annum of material to produce over 6Mtpa of mill feed and 572,000oz of gold, the Geita mine complex is comprised of five openpits sitting on about 63Mt of openpit reserves with an average grade of 4.23gpt.

Its mining fleet of some 50 100t-payload dump trucks, 12 200t-class excavators, 16 production drills and ancillary equipment, was recently expanded with the arrival of the first units in a fleet of bigger Terex and Haulmax mine trucks, and a 552t Terex RH340 hydraulic face shovel.

GGM is expected to commission its Immersive Technologies Semi-Transportable AE Simulator in April 2006. It has also purchased two truck Conversion Kits® and Immersive Technologies’ Customer Support Package.

“The product (AE Simulator) is the best I’ve seen so far,” said Britz.

“I think the Immersive simulator comes with a lot of credibility in the market, and an excellent support base.”

Immersive Technologies regional manager, Africa and South-East Asia, Paul Davis, said the Geita Gold and recent Equinox Copper Ventures (Lumwana copper project) and Assmang simulator sales confirmed the company’s standing as market leader in Africa.

“It has quickly become a very significant market for us at a time when investment in the African mining industry is at high levels. I think the sales vindicate Immersive Technologies’ unique approach of working very closely with mining customers to determine their needs, providing the best technology and tailoring product support packages to suit customer needs.”

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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.

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