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As a system integrator, our mission is to deliver solutions that will achieve three things:

  1. Increase productivity
  2. Improve health and safety
  3. Promote sustainability

One of the biggest challenges we see in sustainability practices is marrying your production plan with sustainability best practices. It’s tricky to get your production plan and sustainability strategy in balance, but not impossible. We’ve constructed a specialized process that will balance sustainability with production, when you leverage data for a proper payload management system, including optimization and compliance to plan, powered by real-time technologies.

What is sustainable production in mining?

Sustainable production in mining refers to the responsible extraction of minerals and resources while minimizing the environmental impact and ensuring the long-term viability of mining operations. A good sustainability strategy encompasses a range of practices and principles aimed at reducing adverse environmental effects and aligning with the principles of ESG.

How does a mine actually achieve this? To mine sustainably, you need real-time tools that are integrated with other technologies on-site and available to both operators and management.

The main goal of a production plan that feeds into your sustainability strategy is:

The right ore is extracted with minimal waste removal, resulting in less wastage of mining resources, lowering the cost per ton and reducing the environmental impact.

In order to achieve this, every payload extracted needs to be optimal and comply with the production plan. We recommend the following steps be taken to align your production plan with your sustainability strategy:

  1. Gather good data
  2. Identify actionable information
  3. Create prioritized decisions
  4. Implement the sustainable decision into your operational plan

Payload Management

One of the key elements to sustainability is optimizing payload. If your team can get your load/haul to operate in a consistent fashion, you’re headed in the right direction. Here are a few components of a good payload management protocol:

  • Consistency – ensuring that every shift operates the same way
  • Practice – pilot any changes first before making them operation-wide
  • Monitor, then manage, then optimize – find out what’s going on, manage the results, then streamline. Repeat.

One of the biggest flaws of a payload management system is aiming for maximum payload per asset. Instead, we recommend striving to achieve the optimal payload ‘sweet spot’:

Terrain + Conditions + Mine Plan = “The sweet spot”

Here are some of the questions that need to be considered in determining the optimal payload management process:

  • Is your haul road suitable to handle the target payload?
  • Can your fully burdened truck handle the ramp gradients?
  • Have you considered high-traffic areas and the impact of fuel burn?
  • What is the optimal (not maximum) payload given your particular circumstances?

Gaining Optimal Payload

Balancing Sustainability with Production

Gaining optimal payload results in operator improvement with insight into loading/unloading practices, as well improved efficiency, enhanced safety, and accurate reporting.

Compliance to Plan

Balancing Sustainability with Production

Dig-to-plan solutions ensure mine compliance, reduce over- and under-digging and provide insights into material management and digability.

What is needed to be successful?

In conclusion, here are four strategies for finding success with your production goals while maintaining sustainability best practices:

  1. Utilize Integrated Data Analytics. Use data to extract actionable insights that reveal inefficiencies in your mining process. Provide insights to your team on how to optimize operations.
  2. Improve Equipment Optimisation. Realize that it isn’t just about equipment utilization. It’s critical to optimize the asset type with environmental conditions, jobs required to get the task done, and the skill levels of your operators
  3. Optimize Energy Consumption. Energy costs are a significant expense in mining, and the right technology can help you monitor your assets to identify areas for improvement.
  4. Don’t do it all at once. A good technology integration company can help you identify and prioritize the ‘biggest problems’ first. With the fundamental issues out of the way, you can begin digging into the smaller inefficiencies that add up quickly.

A trusted advisor can help you tap into the best strategy that will help your team balance productivity with the ever-growing need for sustainability and adherence to environmental regulations. If we remain committed to our own sustainability practices of mining clean, and mining smart, it will be a win-win for keeping the world supplied with resources, while remaining true to our collective goals.