Champion Iron chooses Cat for AI drill technology at Bloom Lake

The Bloom Lake iron mine is expanding with the help of Cat’s AI technology and drill-to-mill solution. Credit: Champion Iron.

Champion Iron (TSX: CIA; ASX: CIA; OTC: CIAFF) has signed a letter of intent with Caterpillar to implement artificial intelligence (AI) based advanced drilling technologies on Cat equipment at its Bloom Lake mine 400 km north of Sept- Îles, Que.

The project will progressively implement a remote controlled, semi-autonomous and fully autonomous Cat electric drilling fleet, using technologies engineered, designed, and/or integrated by Caterpillar.

With Champion contributing its experienced workforce, and Caterpillar’s independent dealer, Toromont Cat, its aftermarket support, the collaboration will aim to optimize Bloom Lake’s operational productivity and reduce energy consumption, while demonstrating the capabilities of Caterpillar’s advanced drilling technologies.

The collaborative effort will aim to deliver a fully integrated drill-to-mill (D2M) technology solution powered by data connectivity and advanced analytics to improve workflow between the mine and plant. D2M is focused on delivering improved milling performance by supplying optimized mill feed, while contending with dynamic operational conditions.

The D2M strategy is expected to be deployed based on a series of tightly integrated systems, driven by Cat MineStar solutions, designed to optimize the drilling, loading and hauling processes.

Using real-time data, AI and analytics, Caterpillar’s integrated technology will support Champion’s ability to assess the status of machines, technologies, and material to enable more timely and accurate operational decisions and consistent execution across Champion’s entire mining value chain.

Bloom Lake is an open-pit truck and shovel operation with a concentrator, produces 7.4 million tonnes of 66.2% iron concentrate yearly. An expansion is underway that will bring nameplate capacity up to 15 million t/y.

Learn more about Caterpillar’s advanced technologies at

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