Research and maintenance engineering support to the Syncrude mining operation

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 83, No. 942, 1990

D. Kershaw, Manager, Mining, Syncrude Canada Ltd., Fort McMurray, Alberta

A world-scale surface mining operation is associated with the Syncrude Oilsands Plant. Each day over 300 000 tonnes of oilsand are mined and transported to the process plant to produce 129 000 barrels of synthetic crude oil. Examples of research and maintenance engineering programs which have resulted in substantial gains in dragline and bucketwheel conveyor system productivities are discussed. Two central themes within these programs, which go beyond the usual technical support associated with a large surface mining operation, are pursued:1. the approach taken to determine the causes of component failures and provide Syncrude performance specifications to allow manufacturing industry to respond with more appropriate products; and 2. systems and equipment studies which have led to higher productivity in the major mining equipment and the development of an auxiliary feed system.
Mots Clés: Maintenance engineering, Equipment, Research and development, Oilsands, Conveyor belts, Syncrude.