China: at full throttle towards mining productivity
With 4 million tons of explosives and 1.2 billion of detonators consumption per year -and growing-, China has become the largest civil explosive markets in the world.
Driven by strong business investment -and a sound governmental guidance to increase technology adoption-, the mining and infrastructure sectors have experienced notable modernization over the last years.
However, the Chinese industry still poses significant safety and environmental challenges. Also, the next frontier, once these basics are covered, will be increasing efficiency and productivity, as a key to achieve sustained growth.
This was not an easy process, since our fleet operating with Teck differs considerably between the sites in the type, size and design. Also, time was a major concern. Today, the conversion process lasts between two to three weeks, which has an impact on the operation’s productivity.
In addition to reducing leaching, this solution also brought additional benefits such as avoiding contamination at the bottom of the blasthole since the liner protects also the booster. .On the other hand, it allows a better use of our explosives. The liner protects it from water and avoids filtration through cracks.
Of course, like all changes, there were many questions from blasters at the beginning, especially regarding safety. Once it was explained, addressed and we prove in the field that the process functioned as expected, they were quite impressed. The modifications are positive as it allows both operators and blasters to know where the hose is and have a better control of the hose reel.
In my belief, the more people that actually start to try and do this could get a much better system. We all have an environmental concern and it is a potential solution. We have gone from experimenting in a bathtub to receiving the contribution of many people to make this happen. To me, the benefit is not only the process but all those people actually working together. JEFF HAWLEY. TECK SENIOR ENGINEER SUPERVISOR, BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT
Today’s mining operations present many challenges in terms of productivity, efficiency, and sustainability and our experience has shown that the best answer to these challenges is co-creation, developing tailor-made solutions to specific problems.
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