This final report researches and discusses the importance of managing and alleviating constraints placed upon underground mine conveyor haulage systems. As conveyor systems are paramount in the haulage of coal from underground operations to various designated areas within a mine, it is of utmost importance that these system are fully functional with minimal failure. It assumes a constraints analysis technique, in an effort to expose bottleneck areas and suggest best practice methods of managing these constraints to improve on production figures and by extension, profit margins.
This study is completed under the mentorship of Mr Stephen Gerard Ross, Asset Optimisation Officer of the Anglo American Inyosi Coal Group. This paper is specifically referenced to one of the group‟s underground operations, Zibulo Colliery. It not only seeks to research different tools, techniques and methods developed for constraints management, but it also employs a trade-off study to select the best method or tool to duplicate the existing mine process and make further recommendations with the aid of a proposed solution model.
It incorporates buffer technology, optimal location strategies and cost-volume relationship studies on buffering for protection of production and to meet operational and strategic objectives in the long run.
This paper points out that although simulation modelling doesn‟t generate optimal solutions, it remains to be the best approach for modelling storage capacity, as empirical and analytical approaches oversimplify haulage system networks and are derived from unrealistic assumptions. The accuracy of results in simulation modelling is entirely dependent on the data file constructed by the user and the level of detail that the model considers.
Furthermore, this paper highlights the importance of continued process improvement in the mining industry, irrespective of its traditional structures with a specific focus on conveyor systems reliability improvement, taking into account those constraints which remain unchanged.
Dissertation (B.Eng (Industrial and Systems Engineering))--University of Pretoria, 2014.