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Mine Haulage System Productivity Optimisation for Arctic Remote Mine-site

The Problem:

Operating a mine site is arduous and challenging at the best of times. When factoring in the remoteness and extreme arctic conditions like those experienced by one of our clients in the far north of Canada, “challenging” takes on a whole new meaning.

To further compound these operating challenges the initial feasibility studies were unable to take into account the realities of working in such arduous conditions, which affected the data and it’s subsequent impact on expectations around productivity improvements.

The Solution:

Upon completing a comprehensive audit and review of the productivity of road-trains operating at a remote Baffinland arctic mine site in Canada, Smith Global was engaged to assess the transport systems and maintenance, as well as identify the cause of any problems and opportunities for productivity improvements.

This project resulted in improvements in a range of areas;

  • Vehicle suitability issues including design and improvement recommendations for operation in harsh sub-zero environment.
  • Identified problems inhibiting adequate preventative maintenance including parts availability, parts ordering systems, insufficient workshop infrastructure, skilled labour shortages, inadequate scheduled preventative maintenance.
  • Transitioning operational culture from reactive breakdown repair to proactive preventative maintenance.
  • Vehicle cycle times and recommendations for opportunities to improve productivity.
  • Efficiency improvements to environment and infrastructure.
  • Development of alternative systems and strategies to improve cycle times and improve equipment availability.

The net result of this suite of changes brought about significant improvements in productivity. Haulage cycles were increased from 0.9 to 1.6 actual cycles per day on a consistent and sustainable basis. Furthermore, the client enjoyed reduced maintenance and vehicle whole-of-life costs and overall efficiency improvements.

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