PRESS RELEASE: On Tuesday, May 8, at the CIM Convention 2018 in Vancouver, Canada, Wenco representative Carr Stepperud will discuss the results of a study undertaken in conjunction with the Sierra Gorda copper mine in Chile and detailed in the paper ‘Increasing Productivity and Conserving Person-Hours Through Automated Fuel Dispatching at Sierra Gorda'.
This study demonstrates that use of Wenco's fuel dispatching system contributed to additional operating hours at the mine, a 10% reduction in fuelling wait times, and redeployment of a full-time fuelling dispatcher.
The Wenco fuel dispatching system serves to streamline the haul truck fuelling process at mines, extracting previously unrealised value in the process. Using mine operational data, the system determines equipment's need for fuel and then assigns units to the available fuel location that will return it to production with greatest efficiency. Effective use of this system has proven to extend time between fuelling over 30%, returning hundreds of additional operating hours each year.
The Sierra Gorda copper mine began using Wenco Fuel Dispatch in December 2015. By automating its fuelling, the mine increased its average fill volumes from 3,400 litres to 3,900 litres per fuel session, allowing each truck to stay in production an average of 1.92 hours longer before needing to refuel. By automatically dispatching units to available fuel locations, fuelling queue times at Sierra Gorda also reduced by 10%. Furthermore, the system's ease of use allowed Sierra Gorda to shift its full-time fuelling dispatcher to other duties, conserving approximately 2,000 person-hours in its first year. Ultimately, this study indicates that use of the Wenco automated fuel dispatching system has the potential to extract significant value from the standard haul truck fuelling process.
Miguel Caceres, senior dispatch engineer at the Sierra Gorda copper mine, commented: "Undoubtedly, fuel management is very important in any large-scale mining operation. Here at [Sierra Gorda], we are talking about daily movements above 530,000t… Whatever is done in terms of time savings and/or optimisation of them, it is worth [it] and still more without needing to invest large sums of money in sensors, attached systems, etc."