The Mt Whaleback Mine, operated by BHP Billiton Iron Ore, has been nominated as a finalist in the 4th Annual Australian Mining Prospect Awards Metalliferous Mine of the Year category.
Mt Whaleback is the biggest single-pit, open-cut ore mine in the world and has been nominated for making blast hole drilling a more efficient and less costly task.
The success of the Six Sigma business excellence team in implementing drilling solutions at the Mt Whaleback site increased monthly drilling metres by up to 18%, with a cost saving of $1.3 million.
The Whaleback team discovered that the drill metres per operating hour were measured at 70% of metres per effective hour, which meant there was significant time during shifts that the drill was operational but not drilling.
The mine has also achieved best practice in occupational health and safety and training through the STAR behavioural based OH&S initiative and successful Mt Whaleback cadetship program.