Immersive Technologies recognises Peabody, Codelco for business improvement

Codelco's Chuquicamata copper-gold mine. Image: Codelco

Codelco and Peabody’s use of simulation to improve operational safety and efficiency in their mine sites has crowned them the winners of Immersive Technologies’ Global Business Improvement Award 2018.

Peabody targeted multiple objectives related to safety, haul truck spot times and equipment abuse events that led to unscheduled maintenance.

The company partnered with mining simulation major Immersive Technologies to embed a training specialist and analytics support within the mine’s continuous improvement team. The initiative has improved spot time by 11 per cent and reduced operator-induced machine abuse events by 36 per cent, leading to cost avoidance savings.

“Improving safety and managing costs are important components of the Peabody business model, and the continuous improvement process is core to our success,” Peabody vice president operations – North Antelope Rochelle mine Scott Durgin said.

The United States coal mine was recognised as a global award winner in the surface mining category. Meanwhile, Codelco brought home the title of global award winner in the underground mining category.

Codelco used simulation to conduct a baseline training needs assessment of its underground loader and longhole production drill rig operator workforce at its Chilean copper mine, Chuquicamata.

The insights from the initial operator assessments facilitated the deployment of a strategic training program, targeting specific operator behaviours.

Results include a 49 per cent improvement in LHD and 56 per cent improvement in longhole production drill rig operator behaviours related to safety, production and unscheduled maintenance costs.

Peabody and Codelco were chosen from over 310 mining operations in 44 countries, joining the ranks of past winners including Rio Tinto and Kiewit Mining Group.

Rio Tinto was selected as a finalist this year. Its Australian iron ore operations adopted autonomous haulage systems that redefined the skills required to be an effective dig unit operator.