Mark Burleigh, Northside Industries ; Rob Estok, Northside Industries
There is a direct correlation between operational costs, safety, environmental protection and the fueling of mobile mining equipment. As mine operators scrutinize and fine tune processes and adapt technology in efforts towards maximizing operational efficiency, Northside Industries has studied the relevance of a key operational element; haul truck fueling. Working directly with mining companies, the implementation of ‘safe point fast fill system’ is the solution with demonstrated real-world operational efficiency improvements by increasing haul truck utilization. While each mine site has its own unique operational processes, the use of haulage trucks to move payload from deposit/pit to processing is common throughout. Haul truck utilization is directly influenced by the time to refuel. Adopting technology that decreases the time to refuel; allows valuable equipment and its payload to increase revenue. With a typical fuel tank size of 4500l and maximum tank fill of 75% and average fuel consumption rate of 166l/hr, the run time to refill/empty under such case is 20.3hrs resulting in 1.18 times per day/430.9 times per year of refueling. Increasing from a common fill rate of 240l/min, which consumes 16.6min/day/truck to 1500l/min, which requires only 2.7min/day/truck, results in utilization gains per truck of 13.9 min/day/truck or 84.6hr/yr./truck. How much increased annual revenue would such an increase in truck utilization provide your mine based upon your payload? This very question was answered by one mine in British Columbia utilizing the safe point fast fill fuel system on their haul truck fleet. Annualized savings of $1.2M and a return on investment of 4 months were provided by the safe point fast fill system. Additionally, fuel cleanliness, operator safety (non-pressurized system hence), equipment maintenance (no tank fatigue/rupture) and environmental issues are greatly enhanced.