Rollout Of Stope Drilling Systems In S.A. Mines - A Review Of Successes And Failures, And The Way Forward

Wills, J.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2002
The use of drilling rigs to increasingly mechanize stope drilling has been acknowledged as important for the S.A. mining industry in it ís efforts to tackle the challenges of low productivity, AIDS and an ageing driller workforce. The spin-offs of increased safety, cost-effectiveness and better mining performance provide advantages to all?from the driller to the shareholder. However, implementation or product rollout has varied from outright success to dismal failure. A study of various cases by Novatek and Anglogold TDS showed clear reasons for these differences. Whereas the successes were characterized by clear objectives, accountability, user buy-in, a commitment to make the technology work and no-nonsense reporting, these were typically absent in failed implementations. The attitude at unsuccessful mines was to ?trial? the equipment?even subconsciously, a ?trial? is a test where failure becomes an acceptable outcome. During the study it became clear that mining management are not adequately trained to manage the often-tricky rollout process. They are often also not empowered or clearly mandated to deal with the organizational, human and technical issues that must dovetail to create a success. The output of the study was to develop a basic rollout process that could be used to formally manage the implementation of new drilling technology. Creating an alignment between the mine, workforce and supplier promotes a win-win situation that will not otherwise spontaneously arise.
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