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Global Mining Review Spotlight with Tesmec

Published by , Deputy Editor
Global Mining Review,

Global Mining Review Editor, Laura Dean was recently joined by Simone Fiorini, Ennio Alessio, Cristian Mantoan, and Alessandro Castelli from Tesmec to discuss the company’s latest innovations and projects around the world.



This Spotlight follows a recent article that Tesmec prepared for the July/August issue of Global Mining Review magazine, entitled ‘Coating To Gradation Control.’

In this article, Tesmec lays out a system for size gradation control being used at a mine site in the Ivory Coast.

To read the article in full, head over to:

Please see the video transcript below

Laura: Hello and welcome to this Global Mining Review Spotlight. My name is Laura Dean and I am the Editor of Global Mining Review. Today, I am joined by Simone Fiorini, Ennio Alessio, Cristian Mantoan, and Alessandro Castelli from Tesmec. Simone has 12 years’ experience at Tesmec as a rental fleet manager for Tesmec South Africa. Ennio is a Senior Application Engineer and the Sub-Saharan Africa projects supervisor. Cristian is an Electrical Engineer Coordinator in charge for Tesmec machines electrical and digital developments. And Alessandro is the Australia – New Zealand – South East Asia Sales Area Manager, and has spent 7 years with Tesmec. Tesmec Group designs, produces and supplies high-powered tracked trenchers for linear excavation and surface miners for bulk excavation, which can excavate both in very hard rock and in soil, in permafrost and desert areas. In this session, we will be discussing some of the projects Tesmec is currently involved in all over the world. First up, Simone, thank you for joining us today – it’s great to have you here. In this section of the spotlight we are going to explore Tesmec machines operating in Africa, and the main jobsite experiences of these projects.

Simone: Hello Laura, I really appreciate this opportunity to showcase Tesmec products and capabilities and I hope we can give some good insights to our business and the company.

Laura: Let’s begin with a broad view of the company: How is Tesmec organised worldwide?

Simone: Tesmec is a group of companies specialized in manufacturing equipment and solutions for Energy and Data transport with 4 main focused production divisions:

  • Overhead power lines construction & maintenance
  • Advanced methodologies for powerlines improvement
  • Zero emissions underground cable laying
Trenchers and Surface Miners
  • Telecom networks, FTTH & long distance, power cable installation
  • Oil & Gas, Water pipelines
  • Bulk excavation, Quarries & Surfaces mining
Energy Automation
  • Telecommunications solutions for HV Grids
  • Grid Management: protection and metering solutions
  • Advanced sensors for fault passage indication, protection and monitoring
  • Catenary lines construction & maintenance
  • Diagnostics systems
  • Big Data integrated solutions for safe infrastructure

Our Headquarters are located in Grassobbio, close to Milan.

We define our growth strategy as "Glocal": we have a global presence as manufacturers and Leaders of our market segments, but at the same time we have a local presence in the most strategic areas of the world to meet and exceed Markets needs and customers after sales expectations. We have 8 production plants: 6 in Italy, 1 in USA, 1 in France. More than 65 years of experience, company founded in 1951. More than 850 employees worldwide, covering 135 countries and our revenues are made by 75% of export market.

Laura: What is the latest mining solution that has been developed by Tesmec?

Simone: Our latest mining Solution is our latest evolution of Surface Miner, Tesmec Rock Hawg.

With a history going back to 2003, with our first TRS 1150 and 1475 Rock Hawg produced, we are now at our latest iteration and evolution of this product.

As specialized mining people might know, Surface Miners have been recently started to be accepted as the main method of excavation and crushing in certain open cast mining applications due to mainly:

  • Elimination of reduction of drill and blast operations
  • More efficiency in crushing the material, with in many occasion elimination of a primary crusher
  • Selective and more efficient mining
  • Higher quality of the excavated mineral and lower costs of separation and gradation of it
  • Lower safety and environmental impact

As mentioned we have a choice of 2 models for mining applications:

  • 1150 rock hawg, a 55 tons/440HP machine
  • 1475 Rock Hawg, a 100tons/630HP machine

Depending on the application, being our 1475 more suited for mines with request of higher productivity per shift and in turn lower cost per cubic meter of excavated material, whether our 1150 Rock Hawg is more suited for smaller mining applications.

Laura: Could you explain some of the most common experiences of the mining industry in Africa?

Simone: Mining with automated methods in Africa has started only to take place in the past decade. The focus of mining in Africa has become more and more on the automated methods of extraction.

From the conventional methods of drill/blast and shovel excavations plus crushing, many companies are considering the surface miner as a technology to reduce costing and increase efficiency.

The biggest obstacles for this technology in Africa are logistics and capital investments, which sometimes requires our commitment in finding alternative solutions for our customers to optimize their CAPEX and make their projects a success.

Laura: Next up we are joined by Ennio who will be answering some questions on Tesmec’s consultancies and jobsite organisation.

Thanks for joining us today Ennio.

Our first question is: In cases of new projects, how does Tesmec typically operate and what kind of assistance is usually provided?

Ennio: Tesmec with its technicians (application engineer, geologists, sale manager) on request from the customer, provide a preliminary survey on site in order to get information to support the choice of the correct trencher size (small or big) also depending on other factors as productivity/h. and material to be excavated.

Once the customer got the trencher, Tesmec in addition to regular start-up phase, it’s able to supply long-term service contract on site about ordinary and extraordinary maintenance and provides operators training. One of the main challenges in managing mines and open quarries, is generally the logistic and the difficulty to reach the yard. Giving assistance and service at right moment is critical to maintain a high productivity level.

The TESMEC Mobile Workshop and Mobile Warehouse represent the proposal for a proper organization in a worksite in remote locations in order to overcome logistical difficulties.

Laura: Can you explain how the Tesmec Rock Hawg can guarantee the correct ore size and what are the related advantages?

Ennio: Drum picks geometry impacts on the grain size of the excavated material, according to the rock characteristic and to the project peculiarity. Teeth pattern can be modified depending on customer needs giving flexibility to modify the configuration as desired. As example in the bauxite normally the customers ask the size 1-120 mm.

The specially designed picks lacing of Tesmec Rock Hawg allows to swap among five different configurations in term of number of picks and spacing between the picks.

This operation can be done by the customer very quickly in the pit by replacing picks with blanks in specific positions with no need for any cutting, welding or permanent modification to the machine, quickly adapting the machine to the specificity of each application concerning productivity and excavated material size.

Thanks to the consistent size of excavated material, the customer is immediately able to carry the ore from the job site to the port without any need for further crushing, with a significant saving in terms of time and cost. Last, the small and uniform size of the excavated material makes loading and hauling phases easier, also allowing the use of standard trucks for its transportation, instead of special mining dumpers.

Laura: Now moving onto a very hot topic at the moment and we are joined by Cristian to explore questions on how digital solutions are being applied to mining activities and fleet remote control.

Hi Cristian, thanks for being here today. With Ennio we have just been discussing the Tesmec Rock Hawg and continuing on with this topic…

…The Tesmec Rock Hawg is equipped with several digital tools, could you explain us?

Cristian: In the last 10 years, Tesmec has invested heavily in the digitization of its products and this has led to intelligent machines, which can be easily integrated with the most modern construction technologies, exploiting their potential to the maximum.

The technology that has mostly changed the way machines operate is satellite guidance with centimetric accuracy.

All Tesmec machines can be equipped with the GNSS plug & play solution developed in collaboration with Topcon, one of the world's leading providers of this technology.

Using this solution, our machines have reached the level of semi-autonomous equipment; this because once the operator places the machine in “auto,” the system autonomously controls the propulsion, the steering and the position of the excavation tool.

Talking about mining, these features are very helpful in selective excavation and pass optimization.

Another digital tool I would like to talk about is Telematics.

All Tesmec machines are equipped with a telematics system that provides real time operating, maintenance and diagnostic information to help fleet managers and site managers in daily routine.

Fleet managers can gather information such as equipment location and status, for example knowing in real-time if a specific machine is idling or working; they can also use pre-designed scheduled reports to monitor the fleet utilization and the site efficiency.

Another interesting feature for the fleet managers, are the customizable warnings based on machine operating parameters, for example an automatic notification can be pushed to the refuelling team if a machine is running out of fuel, or the service team can be informed if a fault arise on a certain machine.

Site managers instead can gather performance parameters such as dug distance and volume.

Last but not least, using the remote connectivity feature, site managers and designers can remotely transfer 3D maps to the machines, as well as assign new tasks to the operators for upcoming jobs.

Laura: What future digital developments are Tesmec designing for the mining business?

Cristian: We strongly believe in continuous development and we like to aim high, which is why our main objective in the medium term is to offer a completely autonomous surface miner.

We know very well that there are several obstacles to overcome for all operations to be carried out in complete safety, but we’re sure new technologies will help us in this.

Since we believe it will play a key role in Tesmec’s pathway to autonomous mining, we are currently working on a tele-control solution: a non-line-of-sight control station that faithfully replicates the commands currently available in the cab. Combining the tele-remote control with the semi-autonomous equipment capability, one operator will be soon able to supervise multiple machines at the time.

Laura: Finally, we are joined by Alessandro, who will be answering some questions on the Tesmec experiences around the world.

Hi Alessandro, firstly: Could you give us an overview of other successful Tesmec mining projects worldwide?

Alessandro: About 3 years ago Tesmec Australia has been approached by a top-class mining company that identified our 1475 EVO Rock Hawg as a viable alternative for the overburden removal and the levelling of the drilling pits.

Due to the steeply dipping coal seams at its coal mine, drill preparation used to involve creating level benches by backfilling with overburden from another mining areas. This was a time-consuming task that resulted in low quality drilling.

Tesmec 1475 XL EVO surface miner was able to create flat areas that allowed better, safer and quicker drilling and blasting operations. The machine was guided by the 3D GPS system but still with the presence on board of the operator for safety reasons.

Our surface miner achieved the estimated average productivity of 200 bcm/hr in mudstone and sandstone and being a low speed chain drive machine, only 50 digging teeth were replaced over 160 digging hours trial.

The customer requested us to design and manufacture an upper-class surface miner to reduce as much as possible the cost per cubic meter for the overburden removal and site preparation, we’ve accepted the challenge because we strongly believe that working constantly side by side to our customers we always find innovative solutions to fulfill their needs.

Laura: And finally, what are the future developments expected for Rock Hawg machines?

Alessandro: The new Tesmec beast will have a bigger engine size, with heavy design changes to reduce the maintenance costs, a better dust suppression system and in the stage 2 will become a fully autonomous plant to be Industry 4.0 compliant. This is a big step forward for the company and I think we will be able to get more opportunities in the mining business.

Laura: Okay, thank you. Unfortunately, I think that’s about all we have time for today.

So, special thanks to Simone, Ennio, Cristian, and Alessandro for joining us and exploring some current and upcoming work that Tesmec is involved in.

Before we draw this to a close, I’d just like to remind everyone that Global Mining Review’s next issue will be available online and in print at the start of December, so to ensure you are signed up to receive the issue and all the technical innovations it encompasses, please visit to register for free today.

Read the article online at:

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