Operating Strategies - November 2017

Vale Predicts $70M in Savings From New IT System Initiative

In a bold initiative that reflects the modern mine-as-a-factory concept, Brazil-based Vale is in the latter stages of deploying a new Manufacturing Execution System (MES) for its Brazilian iron and manganese ore units, replacing 17 legacy systems previously in use. Overall, 38 mines, plants and warehouses will be included in the new system, called Vale Production Management-Mining (GPV-M). The implementation has been completed at 20 units in Minas Gerais, Maranhão and Pará, with final installations scheduled for completion by the end of 2017. According to Vale, the initiative will save the company roughly $70 million in the next few years.

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Operating Strategies - October 2017

Calculating Mine-site Volumes From Space

Satellite imaging provides a safe, fast and cost-effective alternative to ground-based open-pit mining surveys

In today’s competitive commodities environment, mining companies need to accurately know the extent of their remaining resources, how much is being produced in a defined period, and how much is stockpiled and available for sale.
Traditionally, mine-site information is gathered using ground-based survey techniques. While highly accurate, the process has several drawbacks: it often requires trained staff to be on-site in remote locations; coverage of large mining areas is tedious and time consuming; and the high cost of a ground-based survey limits the refresh cycle.

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Operating Strategies - September 2017

Blasters Realizing Value of Longer Delays Allowed by Electronics

Explosives supplier BME recently called attention to an ongoing mining-industry transition from non-electric to electronic delay detonators (EDDs), a trend that the company said has brought many benefits to mining productivity. However, according to BME, there are still plenty of advantages to be gained by blasters who are prepared to think “outside the box.”

That was the message from BME’s technical director, Tony Rorke, who addressed the focus in recent years on the flexibility in blast timing that EDDs allow — and more specifically on the value of longer timing delays.

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Follow These Tips For Lasting OTR Sidewall Repairs

Monaflex, which specializes in developing systems for the repair and vulcanization of tire damage, emphasizes to its customers that correct sidewall maintenance and repair is a crucial part of maximizing the lifespan of OTR tires and minimizing time lost due to unforeseen issues and failures.

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Taming the Maintenance Budget Beast

Managing a maintenance budget can be a time-consuming task. For a manager in a new role or a site with low maturity in this area, it can be a case of “cross the fingers and hope” the monthly expenditure was in line with the budget. If budgets are developed using a zero-based methodology, said Gerard Wood, managing director of Bluefield, a Brisbane, Australia-based asset management consultancy, then it should be manageable and excursions understood. However, it requires involvement from the entire team — not just a few.

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Weigh the Benefits of Mine-duty Scale Types

Exact measurement of vehicle weight can be a helpful, and sometimes crucial, tool in evaluating certain aspects of mine loading and haulage operations. In order to be useful, any weighing devices used for mine-duty tasks need to be built to withstand the harsh conditions commonly encountered at mine sites.

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Operating Strategies - August 2017

Railway Tunnel Design at Potash Mine Saves Time and Money

Canada’s new Bethune mine — formerly known as the Legacy Project — is the first greenfield potash mine built in Saskatchewan in nearly 40 years, and its owner K+S Potash boasts that it’s the world’s most modern potash operation of its type. Opened in May after a five-year construction phase, the mine shipped its first product in June and K+S intends to produce 600,000 metric tons (mt) to 700,000 mt of potash there this year. Annual production capacity of 2 million mt is expected to be reached soon thereafter. This will be followed by the gradual expansion of production capacity to 2.86 million mt per year (mt/y) in 2023. In a third expansion phase, the mine could reach a maximum output of 4 million mt/y of potassium chloride in about 10 years.

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Software Speeds Technical Documentation Management

Ontario, Canada-based MacLean Engineering has been developing innovative underground mining equipment solutions for more than 40 years, expanding its products and support services into 23 countries on six continents.

MacLean’s product line ranges from ground support with their 900 Series platform and utility bolters, to ore flow with secondary reduction drills, mobile rock breakers, and water cannons, to explosives handing vehicles, shotcrete sprayers, and MineMate support vehicles and attachments.

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