What’s the best way for mines to increase haulage capacity?

When mines look to increase haulage capacity, they typically consider adding more trucks to their fleet. But that may not necessarily be the most cost-effective solution.

Newcastle based Loadscan, the leader in load volume scanning, has experienced numerous situations where mines have initially planned to buy extra haulage capacity in the form of new trucks. Additional trucks certainly add capacity, but not only are trucks expensive and consume a huge amount of valuable capital, but running them requires additional driver resources as well as consumables such as diesel and tyres. In addition, every truck requires ongoing maintenance and servicing. This can add substantially to extraction and haulage costs.

The other issue is that an additional truck may actually provide more capacity than the mill can process, ending up being underutilised. In this situation the full capex cost has to be amortised against the apportioned usage and not against the truck’s full production capability, negatively impacting on the mine’s return on assets.

There is a way to substantially increase capacity without the need to acquire additional trucks and their associated costs. Based on experience, Loadscan has seen underloading of trucks in the mining industry ranging from 7.5 per cent up to a whopping 25 per cent! Underloading requires additional truck movements to shift the same amount of material, increasing the cost per ton hauled and reducing overall profitability.

Automated Load Volume Scanning helps mines to optimise capacity by maximising every load, thereby increasing trucking factors and improving profits. The Loadscan load volume scanner (LVS) accurately measures all loads and generates 3D scan images that clearly indicate underloading, enabling corrective action (including operator training and coaching to be taken.

Aeris Resources’ Tritton copper mine in Nyngan, NSW was the first underground mining company in Australia to install a LVS from Loadscan. The major benefit they have gained from installing the LVS system has been the immediate and accurate load volume reporting that provides real-time feedback to their underground loader operators. This helps them to quickly recognise underloaded trucks and to take corrective action.

The introduction of Loadscan LVS technology at the Tritton mine has resulted in their trucks now being loaded to capacity. This has increased trucking factors by 9.7 per cent, ultimately resulting in a lower cost per ton hauled. Overall the return on investment has been rapid, with the LVS paying for itself within the first full production month after commissioning.

Loadscan has worked with numerous mines across the globe to cost-effectively increase haulage capacity. Typical increases achieved have been anywhere from 7.5% up to 25%, adding millions of dollars to their bottom lines!

Click here to find out more about how you can cost-effectively increase your haulage capacity.

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