The Mining industry is under constant pressure to improve on productivity, while producing efficiently and safely, especially during times when the metal or mineral prices are high and attractive, which calls for more production so as to align production with global demand. Any additional production will contribute to the generation of more revenue. This scenario does not leave out Chibuluma Mines Plc, a copper producing mine. Chibuluma Mines Plc has been mining copper ore by means of a decline from 71 meter level to the main level of 457 meter level. Mining operations initially started with an open pit, which went down to 35ml. It was at this level where the decline was initiated. Due to costs of sinking a shaft, mine management decided to construct a decline to access the orebody lying underneath. The mine employs cut and fill mining method with a variation of longhole drilling with backfill, and post pillar cut-and-fill, both methods are a drill and blast operation. Both production and development drilling is carried out by means of long-hole drill rigs and development drill rigs (jumbos), respectively. Loading of ore and waste is achieved by means of diesel Loaders (LHD’s) and hauling of ore from underground to surface, by means of dump trucks. The dump trucks haul the ore from loading points to surface using the main decline or ramp. During the production process, there are a lot of constraints which impacts negatively on the maximisation of production as a result. There is a strong possibility that once these areas are looked into and improvements made, a noticeable increase in production and a reduction in costs is feasible. Some of the constraints which are attributable to this are: •Loaders side loading of ore into dump trucks. •Use of one-way ramp to and from underground by LHD’s, dump trucks, Rigs, and Utility vehicles. •Traffic and breakdowns along the main decline. •Operation cycles of mainly hauling dump trucks. •Use of 10 ton loaders as opposed to the use of 14 ton loaders. •Use of 30 ton trucks as opposed to the use of 40 ton trucks. •Use of development waste and mill tailings for backfilling as opposed to use of cemented backfilling. •Cut and fill mining method, with a variation of PPCF and Longhole drilling mining methods, effects on ore recovery. Above named areas impacts differently on production and affects the bottom line, resulting r lost production and noticeable increase in costs. In order to maximise mining efficiencies and achieving an increase in production, the constraints noted above have been looked into in detail and improvements suggested where possible, with a view of looking at the production ramping up processes and minimizing production and operational costs. In this paper, therefore, the main focus was to provide practical insights into the current production activities and to review all available opportunities related to improved mining efficiency, with a view to ramping up the current production of between 45,000 tons and 50,000 tons of ore per month to the proposed 60,000 tons of ore per month, and of course, reducing on the costs.
|Translated title of the contribution
|Materials handling in surface mine heap leach application
|21 Oct 2010
|Published - 2010