Innovation and Technology

​​GCM is at the forefront of surface mining in Australia and continues to be one of the most innovative contributors to the development of surface mining operations globally.

GCM have introduced the surface miner to many new applications in civil construction, continuously developing technology to enable our machines to work nearby existing infrastructure, roads and rail, minimising disruptions, vibration, dust exposure and reducing GHG emissions.

Dust Suppression System

Dust generation can be a significant issue in both civil and mining applications; to nearby infrastructure, environmentally sensitive areas and personnel working in or around the area.

Following a number of years of early development trials, successive iteration and significant investment, GCM have developed and produced a completely in-house, tailored, machine-mounted dust collection system that virtually eliminates all dust produced during operation. The compact system is fitted within the machine’s existing footprint, and runs from onboard power, collecting and filtering dust directly at the cutting head.

Paired with the inherently low-impact nature of Surface Mining, GCM’s Surface Miners that are fitted with this system can operate without impact near existing infrastructure and residential areas, in space-restricted and weather-constrained situations, and near sensitive areas without risk of disturbance.

No water, no extra machines, no dust.

GPS Integration

To ensure absolute precision, GCM utilise Topcon and Trimble GPS units on its surface mining machinery, for highly accurate milling at variable depth and slope. It is a cutting-edge earthmoving grade-control system that puts design surfaces, grades and alignments inside the cab.

In collaboration with the OEM, GCM have certified the Topcon control systems for automatic levelling control integration. For suitable projects this allows automatic control corrections to ensure absolute precision in excavation without operator intervention.

The system uses GPS and a radio correction signal to accurately position the milling drum in real time, significantly reducing material overages and dramatically improving productivity and profitability. Variations of the system allow for use of Laser or Total Station technology, to allow use in tunnels or other, restricted situations where GPS is unavailable or undesirable.

Cutting Tools

With operations in Iron Ore, Limestone, Coal, Bauxite, Granite and even Uranium Carnotite, GCM have invested significant time and resources over the past decades to develop and trial GET tailored to our machines and applications.

In partnership with tool manufacturers worldwide, we continually iterate and validate new designs, pushing the limits of GET life and productivity – ensuring we always have the most effective, and cost efficient, tool for the job.

Adaptable configurations

Depending on the demands of the project, GCM’s surface miners are able to be configured in a way that tailors the machine specific to the project and equipment requirements:

  • Windrow. In this configuration, the primary conveyor and slew assembly are removed from the machine and a weighted tank and windrow guide are installed. The machine mills and crushes the material directly to the ground, leaving it in windrows ready for product-grading, load-out, in-situ mixing, or even re-placement or further stabilisation.
    This configuration allows equipment to work in very close proximity to existing infrastructure or sensitive areas, and small space-restricted areas without disturbing surroundings and minimising equipment in the area
  • Conveyor. Installation of a conveying system to the machine enables direct load-out into trucks, or creation of large stockpiles for later reclamation. Conveying the material directly into a haul fleet removes a number of additional load-out equipment typically required, and leaves a clean, level floor.
  • Dust Collection. For very sensitive areas, or locations where dust generation and dispersion must be minimised; GCM’s custom-built dust suppression system can be fitted to machines in Windrow configuration. With the Dust Suppression system installed, the Surface Miner can operate in a virtually dust-free manner without requiring additional towed equipment or a fixed plant that limits flexibility and increases costs.
  • Long Duration. A final option is the installation of large, weighted, 5000lt long-duration fuel tanks in windrow-configured machines. For extremely remote works, or difficult-to-access locations this capacity significantly increases the run-time of the machines between refuel requirements. Depending on site demands, machines can run up to a week between refuels – this can have a big impact on fuelling and transportation costs to site, reducing costs and duration onsite.