Currently, there is a global trend in the mining industry in regards to the level of research and development that is being undertaken in order to improve mining productivity. In particular, there is a considerable focus on improving dragline productivity in order to maximize the use of these large capital investments.
The overall aim of this thesis is to analyse three new technologies that promise to increase dragline productivity. This analysis will concentrate on the perceived benefits that will be received from such technologies, along with the relative costs of their implementation.
The technologies that are at the focal point of this thesis are the Universal Dig and Dump from the CMTE, the Scoop bucket from Ground Breaking Innovations, and the Swing Automation from the CSIRO. From an analysis of the productivity improvements that each technology offers, a combined productivity improvement value can be calculated. The productivity improvement value will then be applied to the current dragline schedule at German Creek coal mine. From this, an economic analysis will compare the current and modified schedules in order to discover which option will give the lowest net present cost value. The option that gives the lowest net present cost will be the preferred option for German Creek.
A risk assessment will be performed on the new technologies with regards to their reliability on improving the dragline productivity rate. This will illustrate the relative possibility and consequence of the new technologies not performing to their perceived capacity. Finally, the thesis will conclude with a discussion on the required supporting activities that are vital in ensuring that the new technologies are given the best possible chance to improve the dragline productivity at the German Creek operations.