Unearthed Adelaide 201510 Oct - 12 Oct
Driving Startup Style Innovation in the Resource Sector
This competition has finished.
Increasing the Rate of ‘Direct Tipping’
Moving ore from the source directly to the primary crushing facility as safely and cost effectively as possible is a key objective of most mining operations. At Prominent Hill, ore is mined in the open pit using excavators in a conventional manner paired with a fleet of 793 Caterpillar haul trucks. However because of ore body complexity (poly metallic, multiple copper mineral species, variable grades etc.) not all ore mined is required for immediate crushing. When the hauled ore does not meet the feed specifications at that moment, it is stockpiled on the run-of-mine (ROM) pad and subsequently fed using an alternate smaller dedicated mining fleet (Re-handle Fleet). The process of initiating ‘direct tip’ is currently not systemised and relies on human intervention. The default position is for ore to be stockpiled in the first instance, unless otherwise directed. The challenge is to utilise the current data and systems available to maximise ‘direct tip’ opportunities through automation whilst maintaining blend requirements.
Members of the Fleet Management Centre or a Re-handle Fleet operator are tasked with the responsibility of directing ex-pit fleet trucks to ‘direct tip’ to supplement re-handle feed during normal operations. There currently exists a site target of 15% ‘direct tip’ as a proportion of total ore feed and this is consistently reached (~20%).
Potential Questions to answer
Can ‘direct tip’ be maximised and the blend objectives still be met be through a set of dynamic automated rules that can be replicated within the Fleet Management System to enable ex-pit trucks to ‘direct tip’ preferentially, thereby increasing ‘direct tip’ as a proportion of ore feed? This in turn will reduce Re-handle Fleet requirements and thus reduce costs.