Mining Production Optimization System

Basil Read Mining is a contract miner for a number of Southern African mining companies, mainly open-pit diamond operations.

They are a low-cost operator that allows their clients to keep production costs to a minimum. Basil Read has made a large investment in heavy earth-moving equipment. Their business faces two key challenges:

  • Optimizing utilization of this high-value plant

  • Tracking production against contract obligations

They had a manual field recording process for their operation which fed spreadsheets for reporting purposes. This was error-prone, slow, and provided ineffective reporting. Plant operating hours and down-time reasons were difficult to track, tonnages were inconsistent and diesel usage was largely unknown until year-end recons, and unpredictable as a result.

In a rapidly-growing business this was unacceptable, and the decision was made to deploy a system to capture production statistics on-site and to provide production reports both on-site and to head office. Youngblood Consultants were engaged, and they proposed  their customisable solution based on Sharepoint, Excel Services and Infopath.

The system enables field capture of engine hours, downtime with reasons, fuel uptake and production statistics. Production can be defined as any unit of measure – Basil Read use “tonnes”  for load and haul, and “metres” for blasting. Conversion factors can be applied.

Full dashboarded reporting is provided, that enables downtime analysis, plotting of production actuals against contracts, maintenance triggers for plant and diesel consumption trends. An order tracking facility is available for spares ordered for plant that is unserviceable as a result of breakage.

Basil Read have been able to maximise their plant uptime (identifying operator absenteeism as a major cause of downtime) and to reduce their planned capex for new plant significantly. Planned maintenance based on actual plant hours has resulted in less downtime as well. Their quoting for new projects has achieved new levels of accuracy based on information recorded through the system, and their competitiveness in winning new business significantly enhanced as a result.

The Mining Production Optimization System is offered as a cloud-based solution with a browser-based user interface. It provides a simple, flexible and low-cost solution to production field reporting challenges, combined with excellent customizable visuals and reports for management purposes.