Mining products account for over 20 percent of Canada’s total exports. It’s no wonder, then, that Canada has become one of the largest mining nations in the world, producing over 60 minerals and metals with an estimated annual value of US$ 42 billion. These figures reflect not just the healthy mining market but also the abundance of ores underneath Canadian soil.
Thanks to continuous exploration, new mine sites are being established and more minerals and metals are being mined. Current exploration results however, present a formidable two-fold challenge for mining companies: location and accessibility. According to the National Research Council Canada, easy-to-access mining locations are slowly disappearing, leaving remote sites the only option for mining firms looking to establish or expand their operations.
Factoring distance and accessibility into cost measurements, mining operations in remote areas can be very expensive. Adding to the predicament is that the materials found in those areas can be low-grade. This is where high-efficiency mining comes in. Greater efficiency can be achieved by using the lowest amount of input (long-term expenses in personnel and equipment) to produce the greatest amount of output (metals and minerals).
How can a mining company improve its efficiency in such conditions? Using top-quality equipment and facilities is one of the most viable ways. While some might see this as an added cost, others would see it as an enormous benefit simply because of less downtime for repairs and maintenance. Using high-quality mine skips, for example, helps to prevent interruptions in operations as they can perform more efficiently and effectively for longer periods of time before maintenance is required.
In purchasing and installing mine haulage systems and other equipment, one must consider the capacity of both the manufacturer and the supplier. It’s critical to know the types of equipment that a prospect manufacturer produces, and compare these with projected demands. A highly versatile manufacturer like Wabi Iron & Steel Corp. can be a mining firm’s best partner in setting up a safe, resilient, and high-output haulage system.
Besides equipment quality, efficiency can be guaranteed if the operation follows a well-defined process that stems from comprehensive risk management and business continuity planning. A streamlined operation is necessary in an industry where even the slightest mistakes could mean costly outages. Coupled with top-of-the-line equipment, expenditures can remain reasonable even when a facility’s production increases.
(Source: High Efficiency Mining, NRC-CNRC.GC.ca)