Cobriza, Dolores and Gounkoto see Immersive benefits

Immersive Technologies’ annual award for miners using simulation for equipment operator optimisation and business improvement went a step further this year, recognising global winners for surface and underground mining environments.

The award, based on improvements made in 2017, acknowledges the achievements of mine sites focused on improving operational safety, efficiency and productivity through “strategic and focused simulator-based training initiatives globally”, Immersive said.

NEMISA, the largest underground miner in Mexico, was awarded the Global Underground Business Improvement Award for the results achieved during 2017 at its two mines, Cobriza and Dolores.

The sites set goals to reduce maintenance costs and increase productivity. After the training was delivered in the IM360 simulators, trainers spent time in the field to confirm and reinforce best practices learned on the simulator, according to Immersive.

“Before, during and at the end of the three-month period, in-pit data was analysed against the simulator results to evaluate real improvements,” the simulator provider said.

For both mines combined, the training initiative decreased the site’s cost per tonne by 7.5%.

The improvements at the Cobriza mine included:

  • 4% tyre cost improvement
  • 26.5% mechanical and spare parts reduction
  • 60.2% engine repair cost reduction.

And, at the Dolores mine:

  • 29.4% tyre cost improvement
  • 10.4% fuel cost reduction
  • 38.7% transmission abuse cost reduction.

José Luis Contreras, Maintenance Manager for NEMISA, said: “We are very satisfied with the results delivered by Immersive Technologies’ simulators and professional services provided. These simulators have been the missing piece in our operator training programme and will be an important solution for our future efforts.”

In the surface category, DTP Mining, in partnership with Randgold Resources, undertook an initiative to invest in the operator workforce development at the Gounkoto mine in Mali by deploying a training simulator from Immersive.

A six-month proof of concept was undertaken, using the IM360 classroom simulator, with a conversion kit for the Caterpillar 777F haul truck, followed by a customised training curriculum to train operators.

Collaboration between Immersive’s staff, site trainers, local business intelligence department members and mine site management ensured a stringent training schedule could be adhered to, according to the company.

“Regular reporting of results maintained project momentum, while planned in-field observations reinforced the training received and improvements made during simulator training sessions,” Immersive said.

During 2017, the site recorded a 9% fuel consumption improvement, saving 1.2 million litres annually and an estimated $725,000.

NEMISA and DTP Mining were chosen from more than 300 global mining operations in 44 countries and join the ranks of past winners including Rio Tinto, Vale, Kiewit Mining Group, PT Pamapersada Nusantara, Cipta Kridatama, Cliffs Natural Resources, Syncrude, Kinross Gold and Peabody Energy.