After 18 months, the ¡VAMOS! Consortium has reached the ‘design freeze’ stage of the prototypes to be built.
¡VAMOS!, the Viable Alternative Mining Operating System, is a 42-month research and development project launched to enable the opening and rehabilitation of underexploited European mineral deposits, using a safe, clean and low visibility method.
The project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.
Over the past months the System Architecture of the equipment for ¡VAMOS! was further developed into designs for the equipment prototypes. The designs, including the working method of the system, were evaluated by external experts who sit on the project Advisory Board.
“We’ve had only minor changes in our designs thus far, and to ensure proper interfacing later we’re using an Integration Register during further design,” said the project’s Technical Manager, Stef Kapusniak, from Soil Machine Dynamics.
The technical partners of the consortium will now be starting procurement and construction. The build phase should be completed by the end of this year, after which, each component will undergo functional testing before being assembled. Due to lead times of certain parts, some components are being built already.
The cutter boom and chassis of the mining vehicle is being constructed at Sandvik, Austria. The high-pressure slurry pump is ready for performance testing at Damen Dredging Equipment, Nijkerk, the Netherlands.
Damen Dredging Equipment, the dredging tools specialist within the Damen Shipyards Group, as one of the 17 ¡VAMOS! partners, has the responsibility of developing and supplying the slurry circuitry components and the launch and recovery system for the mining vehicle.
For the Launch and Recovery Vessel Damen’s standard modular pontoons were chosen because of their ease of road transportation to remote areas and their sturdy, standardized design.
The 11 pontoons will be delivered from stock, some of which will be adapted to the special requirements of the ¡VAMOS! project.