The Asia Miner

SEP-OCT 2014

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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September/October 2014 | ASIA Miner | 49 Company Profle It is possible to reduce feet expenses be- cause with greater effciency. Fewer trucks are needed to get the same production. Having a smaller feet reduces manpower, fuel and maintenance costs because trucks are not spending as much time waiting in loader queues burning up fuel." When asked what the challenges of im- plementing a feet management system are, Ken Grant says, "The frst thing is to real- ize that a feet management system is not a miracle fx-it-all. It is necessary to implement all of the best practices we know about – good road and front conditions, good shovel operators that are fast and don't under or overload, good matching and team work be- tween the shovel and dozer operators, good benches and setups, fast but safe truck drivers, no unnecessary stoppages or de- lays, etc. A good feet management system can help a mine achieve and maintain these best practices. But it cannot automatically make a poorly run mine a star performer." When asked how their system helps ad- dress these problems, he replies, "MineLink delivers comprehensive customizable re- al-time management information that can be monitored in the units, on a supervisor's rugged tablet, in the dispatch centre, at a distant offce, or even on your smart phone. With this information you can start at a high level KPI dashboard and drill down to great- er and greater detail to fnd out where the problems are. For example, working around breakdowns and rebalancing your feet be- comes much easier and faster. "At one site the reports showed an inor- dinate amount of post-rain recovery time – sometimes it took more than two hours for production to reach the pre-rain levels. Since torrential rains are a constant headache in this particular region, a few rainy spells can mean a whole day of downtime. Drilling down through the data showed where in the mine the problem was worst and they were then able to trace the problem back to im- proper road material and drainage. "At another mine where the operators de- termined when to refuel, it was discovered that an excessive amount of delay time was being spent queued up at the fuel depots. This problem was solved when they let the automatic dispatching system so its job and send the trucks to fueling only when they needed it and only when queues were short. "MineLink FMS has state of the art auto- matic dispatching algorithms which can run all of the time and will defnitely drive ben- efts to your bottom line. The advantages of automatic dispatching increase with the size of the feet. The bigger the feet is the more opportunities exist for optimizing the dispatching. But this is not to say that even a small mine cannot beneft from automatic dispatching. There is no way that a human can outperform a computer in this regard. MineLink FMS has the best automatic dis- patching on the market. It will consistently give you the highest effciency." Regarding the future of technology in mining, Ken Grant says, "What is evolv- ing in mining as elsewhere in the world, is that everything is more automated and online. You and I are inexorably tied to our smartphones. Likewise we are seeing all of the equipment in a fleet networked to- gether. Not only does this mean real-time monitoring but it also means you have units networking and talking to each oth- er. Examples are some anti-collision sys- tems and truck-loader coordination appli- cations. More and more in the future we will see applications taking advantage of this networking and of increased on-board computer power. These applications will be consolidated on a single on-board pro- cessor and wireless network. Further, ad- vanced predictive analysis will be applied to the data to anticipate future outcomes and adjust operations accordingly. It is an exciting future for mining and long gone are the 'run it by the seat of your pants' days. Automated decision making is here to stay and will become an even bigger part of a successful mine's operations." SatNetCom was founded in 2004 and has installed more feet management systems in Indonesia than any other company. The company specializes in IT solutions for mines and its products include mine feet management systems, tracking systems, safety systems, and satellite and microwave communications. The company is based in Balikpapan, with offces in Jakarta, and an R&D offce in Bandung.

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