Minestar as a productivity tool at Boliden¡¦s Aitik mine
At Boliden¡¦s open pit Aitik a Minestar system comprising Minestar for trucks, CAES on shovels and Aquila on drills was installed beginning early 2002. This paper will focus on the use of information from Minestar combined with planning and mill process data to improve real time production management, blasting practises, productivity and ore flow. It will also present already achieved improvements in ore control, drill navigation and production studies.
First to be used in operations was CAES on shovels. Our mine planning routines could readily provide maps for CAES, so we were up running within a few weeks. Today we are not only able to locate ore zones during all weather conditions but are also using CAES for mine planning directives such as safety zones and loading sequence directives.
Aquila drill management was installed on two drill rigs during the summer and a third in December. Since we operate north of the Arctic Circle GPS availability was a major concern. Statistics so far indicates that we are able to position a hole within a 20 cm, roughly 80 % of the time.
We have restarted a project to use MWD data for rock recognition which aims toward improved blasting practises and mill throughput.
In July the fleet control system was installed on 17 trucks, followed by another 8 trucks in December. The system has been used since August but still there is a lot more to learn before we are satisfied. However data from Minestar has turned out to be an excellent source for evaluations of productivity, equipment utilisation and digabilty.
Today our focus is to combine different data sources such as Minestar, CAES, Aquila, mine planning, and mill into information for production management. To summarize we would like to have a process control for all pit operations changing production management from reaction to pre-action.
We expect that during Feb-May 2003 we will be able to
„h follow production graphically on screens with the hourly/daily ore production target automatically adjusted for the throughput in the ore plant,
„h follow truck and shovel utilisation as well as other parameters on process screens in real-time,
„h follow key parameters such as productivity, fragmentation, drill precision, bench levels etc.,
„h trace truckloads with material properties from the blast to the crusher. Later this year it will be combined with fragmentation analysis at the crusher and inside the plant, thus making it possible for us to evaluate the influence of blasting and rock parameters on the ore process.