MEC Mining’s 2019 in review.

Where has 2019 gone?! What a great year it has been! Here are five of our favourite articles for you to look back on.

  • Networking – Are you running with the right herd?

Building networks is an important part of both your professional and personal life. It’s now commonly quoted that “you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”.  Read more

  • The 6 Best Things About Being A Mining Consultant

Thinking of pursuing a career as a mining consultant? Here are six of the things mining consultants love most about their work. Read more

  • Mining mentoring program set to nurture MEC talent

MEC Mining employees will soon benefit from mentorships with some of the top minds in the business. Find out who here

  • The Importance of Effective Communication Skills in Your Business

It takes communication to work in a team, and even people working alone have to report to their bosses. If you run a business, you have to tell employees what’s expected of them. Read more

  • Contract Mining: What’s your Style?

There are many scenarios that might result in a mine owner looking for assistance from a contract miner.  Choosing the right contracting strategy can be something of a mine-field (see what I did there?), depending not only upon the project objectives the mine owner is trying to achieve. Read more here

We look forward to sharing more industry news and topical articles with you in 2020!

Post Doze Licence – Expression of Interest

Post Doze is a method of improving the economics of waste material movement by extending the use of dozers. The Post Doze method was developed jointly by 3D Data Guidance and MEC Mining and is protected by an PCT Patent Application number: PCT/AU2017/050915. The Post Doze method is applicable to strip mines and bulk earthmoving applications where waste is moved less than 200m horizontally. In Post Doze, a 100 -200 tonne excavator is used to elevate and translate waste towards the low wall, which is then pushed to spoil by dozers. A significant volume of work has been undertaken on the method to validate the value and create operational sequencing and training material.

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NPV trap

Net present value (NPV) is the universally accepted tool for measuring the value of a mining venture. We spend a lot of effort maximizing the NPV by changing all sorts of parameters. Essentially, NPV just converts future cash flows back into today’s dollars by compounding the discount rate ( think interest rate ) into the future. NPV discounts early cash flow less and later cash flow more. Usually, any cash flows that are more than 15 years away are attributed negligible value in today’s dollars.

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Cobalt crunch

There is a crunch coming in Cobalt supply as electric cars become more common. There is 25kg of cobalt in the lithium ion battery pack of a Chevy Bolt. Looking down the track 5 years, let’s say that 10% of 78 million cars sold world wide are electric. This will require 195,000 tonnes of additional Cobalt supply each year. Currently the total world production is only 123,000 tonnes, all of which is already needed to make items such as aircraft parts.

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Maximizing machine production hours may destroy value

Most mine sites measure performance in terms of ore mined, waste moved or product produced. Production KPIs tend to manifest as a drive to maximize the working hours of equipment. The drive to achieve production (rather than value) KPIs often has some negative side effects that destroy the value that they seek to create. Maximizing equipment hours tends to reward the building of inventories, as to achieve high hours, machines need to work even when they are not required.

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3 ways to get 25% more production out of your dozers

  1. Use a production blade. Spade blade and Komatsu IMac blades increase production by up to 20% compared to standard U blades.
  2. Optimise your design for push productivity in 3D. This often improves productivity by 25% in rehab and by up to 15% in production dozing. 3D Data Guidance make software that does this.
  3. Use GPS the guidance system to display push direction vectors to the operator. This cuts unplanned rehandle by up to 20% and shortens the learning curve for new operators.

Time Heals

Time tends to claw back the pursuits of people, eventually weathering and ageing our infrastructure. Time is however our friend when it comes to mine rehabilitation. Fresh mine voids and spoil dumps are ugly, however, it would be a mistake to assume that what you see today is what it will look like in 100 years. The forces of nature are powerful when it comes to reclaiming a mine site back to nature. I tour a lot of mine sites and much of the time I can’t tell which areas of scrub are rehabilitated spoil and which areas have not been mined.

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