August 2016
VIEW

August 2016
Can the theory of constraints guide the next wave of mining productivity improvement?
A strategy of continuous improvement that maximises productivity without large capital investments 'Productivity’ and ‘continuous improvement’ have had a raised profile in mining recently. It seems as if all the major players are either chasing it or talking about it. It sounds simple, but finding a sustainable and systematic way of achieving and driving continuous improvement has proven difficult to achieve in practice. Could a methodology that has been very successful in other Read More
August 2016
Using mine fire simulation software to enhance mine safety
Computer programs can have significant benefits in training mine workers and rescue teams through dynamic and detailed scenarios Mine health and safety is a critical component of the mining process, and a comprehensive and varied training program is integral to safe operations. Training programs can be as simple as periodic evacuation drills through to comprehensive, industry-wide disaster simulations such as the Queensland Level 1 exercises. While the topics in these training courses are Read More
August 2016
Geotechnical data collection and presentation – it starts and ends with a vision
The quality of geotechnical data collection is the first step towards minimising uncertainty In the words of Stephen Few, a world leader in the field of data visualisation, business intelligence and decision support who focuses on the effective analysis and presentation of quantitative business information, ‘Numbers have an important story to tell. They rely on you to give them a voice’ (Few, 2009). The foundation of a successful cave mining operation is the collection of detailed Read More
August 2016
Ensuring health and safety through the entire mining cycle
Improvements in technology and reductions in fatality rates demonstrate great progress in the minerals sector, but a continued focus on health and safety will help prevent complacency As the 21st century progresses, serious questions have been asked of the capacity of the minerals industry to maintain or improve its occupational health and safety (OHS) performance. The pressures on mining and mineral processing will come from many directions. Cost pressures are only going to increase, Read More
August 2016
The importance of recognising warning signals in averting death and disaster
How ignoring or missing warning signals can have catastrophic consequences In my book Ten Pathways to Death and Disaster: Learning from Fatal Incidents in Mines and Other High Hazard Workplaces (Quinlan, 2014a), I examined single and multiple fatalities in mines in five countries (USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) over a 20-year period, identifying a series of pattern failures or flaws. The ten pattern causes identified were those that were repeatedly found by investigators to Read More
August 2016
Energy as a controllable cost
Projects to cut energy costs make good business sense. So why aren't miners pursuing them? As global commodity prices remain low and are showing little sign of recovery, companies need to remove more costs from their operations. Energy usually accounts for between ten and 20 per cent of operating costs, depending on factors such as location and mine type. Typically, savings in the order of five per cent of total energy draw are readily and cost-effectively achievable. Yet projects that Read More