Overburden Mining Improvements at Suncor Energy’s Millennium Mine

CIM Montreal 2011
Douglas Lacey, Tim Dreger,
Abstract In the spring of 2009, Suncor technical personnel saw an opportunity to improve the way we plan and mine our overburden material in order to address aggressive construction goals and increased mining complexity. By tying together geological model information, material observation in the field, and current and historical equipment performance, we were able to develop new operating elevations for the shovels. At the same time, we changed the methodology of recording and reporting overburden movement through our Modular Dispatch system. The result of this first stage was an increase for construction-grade material available at the face.

The personnel involved realized that other opportunities were available to build on the initial successes and establish processes that would stand up to attrition and experience levels. We assembled a cross-functional technical team to identify ways of further improving workflows around overburden mining. Some of the opportunities realized include greater alignment between planning, reporting and operations and development of reporting tools that helps steward operations to the plan, all of which have resulted in Suncor meeting or beating its forecast overburden targets.

The team continues to seek out new and better ways of doing business so Suncor can continue to deliver on its commitment of outstanding performance and results
Keywords: Improvements, Mining
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