Applying an Asset Management Approach to Mining Projects using Reliability Decision Making Tools to Sustain Operational Success


Mr Nestor Deza, Mr Mehtab Gill, Mr Adi Dhora

Asset Management refers to the systematic process of designing, operating, maintaining, upgrading, and disposing of assets cost-effectively. The success of any project lies in implementing this lifecycle mindset into the early stages of design. The design of a typical project is dependant on two key stakeholders: the ‘Project’ responsible for optimizing the Capital Expenditure and the ‘Owner’ responsible for ensuring a safely operable and maintainable plant. Maintaining a balance between the objectives of these stakeholders is critical in achieiving the committed NPV (Net Present Value). This paper discusses the implementation of an integrated framework to bridge the gap between the objectives during the design of the project and the operation of the plant. The framework brings forth tactical safety, operational and maintenance requirements of the assets at site into the early stages of the design via the use of Asset Criticality Assessments, FMECAs (Failure Mode, Effects and Criticality Analysis) and the development of Asset Management Strategies and Plans. These tools, when used effectively, help identify the needs of the asset once it becomes operational and ensures that they are built into its design. These tools are supplemented by effective reliability modelling (RAM Modelling) of the project which allows for identification of key reliability and availability opportunities. A successful RAM model is an invaluable tool to make design decisions as it allows for the quanitification of value opportunities in terms of project NPV rather than poor indicators of overall value such as CapEx or other qualititative measures. These tools, when used in an integrated fashion, ensure a more efficient and flexible design as well as congruence between various project deliverables such as the Process Flow Diagrams, design criteria, vendor procurement packages and the 3D layout and have enabled value of more than $200M in NPV over the lifecycle of the project.