Mining and information: Defining the need

While the mine developer looks for bigger and better orebodies in countries offering lower risks to development capital, the operator of existing mines is looking for bigger and better ways to use his existing resources. Mining operations today utilize a variety of stand-alone systems for planning and managing their operations. In both small and large mines, payroll, accounting, inventory, planning, and engineering requirements are met using a combination of manual and computerbased systems.
Technical advances and new enabling technologies are changing how mines are doing business. PC-based systems are allowing small operations to join the larger mines in using advanced computer-based systems. Advanced monitors are being used in maintenance to track, predict and correct the health of production equipment. Production monitoring systems are used to measure the performance of operating equipment and personnel in real time. This detailed information on how
much, where, when, and by whom is being used for proactive management and planning. Ultimately, this information can be used to optimize and control the machines’ activities, eventually leading to robotic and autonomous operation of mining equipment.
As the use of technology increases in mining, specific information objectives are being met but other problems are being created. The life cycle of technology is small, and as current systems are replaced by newer ones, integration problems and additional end-user training are created. In addition, onboard monitoring systems can create large volumes of data, data which are frequently archived without being analyzed. Mine operators are also duplicating efforts applying new technologies in an effort to be more competitive, but in doing so are creating interfaces which are only compatible with their own facilities. As system development moved from the centralized mainframe computer to the PC environment, the fragmentation of these systems became more pronounced. To efficiently continue in adapting and utilizing advancing technology, the mining
industry needs to develop a system architecture that readily integrates as many sub-systems as possible. This will provide a framework for existing system integration and design guidelines for future development. The Total Mining System (TMS) concept will allow a network of stand-alone functional modules to be readily integrated with minimal effort. This paper will discuss some of the current technologies currently in use in some surface mine operations. In addition, a description of the information system and communications requirements that will be needed to integrate these components in the future, will be discussed.
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Summary: Fording Greenhills first acquired GPS (Global Positioning System) technology with the commissioning
of a GPS-based dispatch system in December 1994. The second exposure to satellite technology came with the conversion of the conventional optical survey system to a high-resolution GPS system in June 1995. In September 1995, a GPS-based grade control system was tested on the largest shovel (Marion 301 — 58 cubic yard). In January 1996, the system was added to all of the cable shovels (2 P&H...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): Robin Sheremeta
Issue: 1002
Volume: 89
Year: 1996
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Summary: Computer modeling of smelting processes requires internally consistent equations for calculating the compositions of mattes and slags. That is, the sum of the calculated assays must total 100%. One set of equations that satisfies this requirement for copper produced under oxidizing conditions (pSO2 > one atmosphere pressure) is given by the following: %[Fe] = 62.0 – 0.775%[Cu] %[S] = 28.0 0.00125%[Cu] 2 %[O] = 10.0 – 0.225%[Cu] + 0.00125 %[Cu] 2 Mattes containing nickel in appreciable...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): J. W. Matousek
Issue: 1002
Volume: 89
Year: 1996
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Summary: The Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) has been in operation for over 30 years. Today, and in the future, technology and its application will play an ever more critical role in the company’s business success. The Carol Mining and Concentrating (CMC) division of IOC is energetically applying technology today to enhance performance and results, and is aggressively exploring opportunities to apply technology to support improved business results in the future. A critical area of focus is the...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): Grant J. Goddard
Issue: 1002
Volume: 89
Year: 1996
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Summary: Over the past year or so, a number of mining companies have been meeting to examine the role of research in surface mining and, in particular, how to establish a collaborative research effort for the surface mining industry. A review has been completed which has identified the topics that are of interest to the surface mining companies for undertaking collaborative research. This has identified key subject areas such as Operations & Equipment; Maintenance; Environment & Reclamation; and...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): Ian R. Muirhead
Issue: 1002
Volume: 89
Year: 1996
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Summary: Syncrude Canada Ltd. is developing new concepts in lease-closure landscape design for its Oil Sands Leases 17 and 22 in northeastern Alberta. Closure planning is becoming an integral part of the planning cycles and of the lease operation. By incorporating closure planning into the day-to-day operation, the company will achieve acceptable lease closure in an economical manner. Ultimately, Syncrude will achieve lower operating costs through innovation in mine planning and a reduction in...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): Gordon T. McKenna
Issue: 1002
Volume: 89
Year: 1996
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Summary: It has been estimated conservatively that the costs of wear damage and friction in the Canadian mining and mineral processing industry amount to over one billion dollars per year. These are mainly incurred through the repair or replacement of worn parts and production losses from related equipment downtime. The selection and application of the most appropriate wear protection components and systems, can thus have a very significant influence on productivity, profitability and global competiti...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): Rees Llewellyn
Issue: 1002
Volume: 89
Year: 1996
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Summary: Equipment which may be remotely operated, has some degree of on-board intelligence, and which for periods of time may operate autonomously, is referred to as telerobotic. Recent advances in electronics, computers and hydraulic equipment have dramatically reduced the cost and simplified the process of converting standard industrial equipment to telerobotic control. The benefits of telerobotic equipment include improved safety by removing the operator from dangerous situations, reduced...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): Derrick Hunter, David Wells, Keith Chrystall, Pat Feighan
Issue: 1002
Volume: 89
Year: 1996
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