VAMOS on trial
VAMOS, the viable alternative mine operating system, has reached an advanced stage of project development. All the equipment has been assembled and is currently undergoing trial at an abandoned mining location in the British Isles.
The VAMOS team have identified a number of sites that show suitability for testing the equipment. The first test site is a flooded kaolin mine at Whitehall Yeo pit, Lee Moor, Devon. The site has kindly been offered for use by Imerys. The kaolin, used in many industrial applications, is a decomposed form of granite. The presence of granite at the site posed cutting challenges, but these proved to be no problem for the slurry system Damen had provided, in terms of both production and wear resistance.
The project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, has brought together a consortium of 17 partners from across Europe to design and build a robotic, underwater mining prototype with associated launch and recovery equipment. The equipment will be used to explore and rehabilitate abandoned an underexploited mineral deposits throughout Europe.
Damen’s role in the project is the supply of slurry circuitry components and the launch and recovery system. The launch and recovery system is based on Damen’s modular pontoons – selected for the project for their sturdy, standardised design and ease of transportation and assembly.
The next tests will take place in Bosnia-Herzogovina next year.