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wheel dozer

Wheel dozers help mines increase efficiency of production fleet

Mining support machines like track dozers, motor graders and wheel dozers help mines improve productivity as they make it possible for the loading and hauling equipment to do their jobs more efficiently. These support machines do similar jobs, and it’s important to understand their differences to ensure they are being used in the right application to deliver their full value.

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rotary drill

Drills delivering impressive results in Australia’s mining regions

Relatively new to the Australian mining market are rotary blasthole drills built by Caterpillar. In the last several years, these drills have begun to make a significant impact in some of the country’s most prominent mining regions, delivering record-breaking results in availability.

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high-hour milestones

Process excellence leads to high-hour machine milestones

By combining sound maintenance practices with good operating techniques, mines are having success in extending the lives of their machines and reaching high-hour milestones. A number of Cat® 24H Motor Graders in multiple locations around the world have recently reached 100,000 hours.

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9 steps to better haul roads

9 ways to ensure haul roads are an asset — not a liability

Well-designed and maintained haul roads a have a significant impact on productivity and costs. When haul roads are kept in top condition, trucks run faster and more safely, cycle times improve and more ore is produced. Good road conditions also reduce truck maintenance, lower fuel costs and reduce tire damage. There are several key activities that will ensure haul roads are kept in top condition.

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Cat MineStar Productivity Webinar

Caterpillar Global Mining subject matter expert Randy Schoepke explores tips and best practices for increasing productivity in mining operations. Topics include: increasing ROI, improving utilization and honing operator skills.

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Top 10 contamination control activities

Keeping things clean: 10 things you can do to reap the benefits of contamination control

The steps mines can take to control contamination range from the straightforward — such as good housekeeping — to the less common, such as particle counting. The basic procedures focus on clean facilities, clean components, clean processes and clean fluids.

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7 areas to evaluate for underground efficiency

Improving efficiency underground: Seven top areas to evaluate

Underground hard rock mines present some of the most challenging conditions for mining operations. Despite these challenges, underground miners are always on the lookout for ways to improve loading and haulage performance to lower cost per ton.

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M&R processes

ISSUE 11: Cat® dealer implements defined maintenance and repair processes: Customers will realize the benefits

In 2014, Cat dealer PT Trakindo Utama became the first in the world to implement all 10 of Caterpillar’s recommended maintenance and repair processes — resulting in better service, higher production and lower costs for customers.

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Advancing a maintenance organization

ISSUE 11: Advancing a maintenance organization

Success at Batu Hijau serves as a target for PT Trakindo Utama in all of the dealer’s maintenance operations.

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ISSUE 11: Freeport-McMoRan: Managing fatigue for decades — and continuing to improve

When it comes to mine site safety, international mining company Freeport-McMoRan has been an industry leader for decades. One focus of the company’s safety efforts has been the management of operator fatigue and distraction, helping employees manage the difficult lifestyle of shift work and leveraging technologies and processes to monitor and reduce the risk.

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The basics of contamination control

ISSUE 11: The basics of contamination control

Simon Bishop, contamination control market professional at Caterpillar, shares best practices for sites to begin reaping the benefits of this important activity.

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Addressing the Risks of Fatigue

In this webinar, Caterpillar Global Mining subject matter expert Craig Watkins explores the risks associated with operator fatigue and distraction, and shares some tips and tools — including the latest technologies — for addressing this important topic.

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A decade of contamination control, a decade of savings

ISSUE 11: Minera Alumbrera: A decade of contamination control, a decade of savings

The first Caterpillar customer mine to achieve a Five-Star Contamination Control designation recently celebrated 10 consecutive years of maintaining that designation.

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Taking control underground

ISSUE 11: Taking control underground: Glencore mine takes maintenance to a new level

Glencore’s Nickel Rim South mine is the first underground mine ever to achieve a Caterpillar Certified Five-Star Contamination Control designation.

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Top 8 reasons to conduct a scale study

Scale studies:
8 ways a scale study can improve your bottom line

A scale study can help a mine operate more productively, efficiently and cost-effectively.

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Controlling dust and improving performance

Controlling dust and improving performance with new water delivery system

In a dry, arid climate like the one at Kinross Gold’s Paracatu mine in Brazil, constant mining activity means constant production of dust. Controlling this dust is essential for the health and safety of personnel on-site, but to protect the residents of the surrounding community. The site recently purchased a Cat 777G Off-Highway Truck Bare Chassis with the integrated Cat Water Delivery System (WDS) to help in this effort.

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ISSUE 10: Scale studies help mining companies maximize payload, increase production

As mines around the world look for ways to lower their operating costs, a number of them are beginning to recognize a tool that can make a significant contribution in this effort: Scales. Whether they are permanent fixtures or temporary installations for a one-time study, scales make it possible for mines to lower costs by helping them maximize payload, increase production, increase efficiencies, reduce fuel usage and more.

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ISSUE 9: Production and maintenance. One team and one goal: Productivity.

Mine sites measure productivity by the volume of material they move — and the greater that number, the greater their profitability. All facets of mining operations have an effect on this important number, from the costs of the equipment, to the efficiency of production, to the frequency of maintenance. It’s important to realize the interdependence of these areas — in particular production and maintenance. When these entities work together, they can deliver the lowest cost per unit of material moved, and ultimately the greatest profitability possible.

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ISSUE 8: Rebuilding machines deep underground: Cat dealer delivers a maintenance solution for Cargill’s Cayuga salt mine

Cargill Deicing Technology’s Cayuga mine is located 701 meters (2,300 feet) under a lake in New York, USA. Getting parts and machines into the mine can be a challenging endeavor. As the mine sought to improve the performance of its fleet of load-haul-dump loaders, the solution was to perform a Cat Certified Rebuild — without ever removing the machines from their underground home.

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ISSUE 8: Boliden Aitik mine benefits from focus on contamination control

Contamination control is an important part of any mining operation, which is why Caterpillar and Cat dealers routinely offer training on the subject to help customers reduce waste and increase component life. When the Boliden Aitik mine in Sweden expanded operations, Cat dealer Pon Power and Caterpillar Global Mining provided on-site training to help Boliden employees manage their consumables and fluids more safely and efficiently to reduce both costs and environmental impact. » Read more

ISSUE 7: Improving efficiency underground: A challenge worth tackling

Underground mining is a complicated process, and even the smallest improvements in efficiency can result in a major increase in cost per ton. Whether it’s a faster cycle time or a decrease in fuel usage, everything can have a big impact on the bottom line. Caterpillar underground efficiency expert Larry Widdifield talks about some of the simplest things any underground mine can do to help make operations more efficient than ever.

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ISSUE 7: Belle Ayr trucks top 8,000 hours: A 93% utilization rate

A mine can only be as productive as its truck fleet; every hour of downtime is production lost. At the Belle Ayr coal mine in Wyoming, Alpha Coal has turned this fact into a way of life by achieving more than 8,000 operating hours per year on their Cat® 797B trucks — a utilization rate of nearly 93 percent.

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ISSUE 6: The dangers of contamination: Modern systems demand clean fuel

It takes millions of liters of fuel every year to keep a mine site operational, and equipment manufacturers are constantly making more precise, efficient fuel delivery systems. That’s why contamination control is critical to a mine’s success. Even minor increases in the quality of fuel entering machines can improve efficiency, reduce waste and increase component life.

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ISSUE 6: Field follow program tests new trucks in real applications

Caterpillar’s development process and proving ground give them industry-leading ability to test their new products, but there comes a time when the only way to learn is to see a machine in the real world. That’s where the company’s field follow program comes in — partnering with real operations to get on-site information about the machine’s performance. For instance, Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company in Colorado, USA helped test the 793F.

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ISSUE 5: Cat dealer Matco builds unique technician training program

When Cat dealer Matco got its first full Maintenance and Repair Contract for a fleet of mining machines, one of the first things the dealership learned was that it would take a workforce of newly trained technicians to do the job. Working with a local university, Matco created a unique training program that makes heavy use of simulators and time on-site to ensure new technicians are well-versed in the skills needed to maintain these machines.

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ISSUE 4: Mining fleet achieves 100,000 hours and beyond: People and processes are key

When the first Cat® 793A started operating at Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold’s Sierrita open-pit mine in 1991, nobody on site expected they’d be seeing that same truck hard at work more than 15 years later. But that truck is just one of five 793s at Sierrita with more than 100,000 hours of service time. According to Sierrita’s staff, the key is a proactive maintenance process and careful selection of operators.

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ISSUE 4: Addressing unique challenges with drive train options for mining trucks

Every mining application has its own unique conditions, and equipment manufacturers are constantly working on new ways to better meet those challenges. For instance, when Caterpillar was developing new mining truck models to debut at MINExpo 2008, they chose to focus on an electric drive option that would allow the machines to work in applications where a mechanical drive was impractical.

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ISSUE 3: Influencing equipment performance through maintenance metrics: Successful sites use key measurements to improve availability

Availability is the key to a mine’s production, which also makes it the primary deliverable for any mine maintenance organization. In an effort to help customers increase their machine availability, Caterpillar created a guide outlining the key metrics and practices that allow maintenance teams to be proactive and keep machines up and running as much as possible.

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ISSUE 3: Power — a driving force at Drummond’s Mina Pribbenow

The bigger the mine, the harder it is to supply enough power to operate — especially in remote regions. Just ask Drummond Ltd. The company’s Mina Pribbenow open-pit coal operation in Colombia’s Cesar Coal basin has no access to commercial electric power. So they turned to Caterpillar, and together the two companies devised a 21-generator solution that helped power Mina Pribbenow’s increasingly productive operation.

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ISSUE 2: Component Rebuild Centers: The flexibility of a service shop with the process consistency of a manufacturer

One of the best ways to increase the life of a machine is to rebuild components when they begin to wear. At Caterpillar’s Component Rebuild Centers, Cat dealers use a rigorous set of standards and processes to rebuild and test high-quality components that can significantly increase a customer’s machine life.

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ISSUE 2: Asphalt reclamation paves way for efficient underground haulage

A well-maintained network of haul roads can be an important factor in determining a mine’s productivity. Potholes, dust and debris slow down trucks and can present safety hazards if left unchecked. By using cold mix asphalt paving more commonly used in surface highways, CVRD Inco was able to create a smooth and durable roadway for one of its underground truck fleets to increase safety and efficiency.

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ISSUE 1: The last mile from every tire: How haul road maintenance can extend tire life

Tires were once simply considered part of the cost of business; but as the mining industry continues to face a tire shortage, they have become as important as any other wear component. One of the biggest ways a mine can increase tire life is by maintaining good haul roads. While it can be a significant effort, keeping haul roads smooth, appropriately graded and clear of debris can drastically improve tire life and reduce operating costs.

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ISSUE 1: Contamination control paying off for Xstrata’s Alumbrera mine

While they may seem small, microscopic particles of dust, dirt and grit in oils and fuel can have a huge impact on a mine. When Xstrata’s Alumbrera mine instituted a rigorous new contamination control process, it resulted in extended major component life, increased availability, lengthened maintenance intervals and ultimately saved the company millions of dollars.

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