This thesis was compiled to investigate the impacts of installing equipment monitoring systems, and therefore mine monitoring systems on productivity issues at mining operations. Three major mine monitoring systems were investigated –MineStar, DISPATCH, Wenco Mine Management Systems – to assess the productivity benefits, or losses, achievable by these systems.
The investigation revealed that mine monitoring systems are becoming essential in reaching the full productivity potential of mining operations, with productivity gains of up to 32% recorded through their implementation. The overall control that monitoring systems offer over a mining fleet cannot be matched manually, and the vast amounts of data collected by monitoring systems cannot be collected using human resources, in a feasible time period. However, it was also revealed that mine monitoring systems are not a standalone solution to productivity optimisation; rather, they are an information tool which must be integrated into an effective performance management strategy, to achieve the productivity gains possible.
As part of the risk management process, a risk analysis was conducted on the implementation and operation phases of mine monitoring systems at mining operations, using the Failure Mode, Effects & Criticality Analysis method. The major hazards identified included:
Incompatibilities between system and operation
Incompetent mine personnel
Negative mine personnel attitudes
Incorrect data input
Once the risks posed by these hazards were assessed, the necessary control methods were devised to achieve acceptable levels of risk. A brief documentation process of the risk management plan was also outlined, with regular review of the risks associated with mine monitoring systems.
Through the integration of an effective performance management strategy, the mine productivity benefits achievable by mining operations using monitoring systems are significant; thus, the installation of mine monitoring systems in mining operations can be fully justified.