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Mining Throughput



Mining Throughput


Underground mining operation was experiencing significant variation in daily tons produced and lacked the tools and processes needed to identify issues and manage production.


  • Implement a System For Managing to reduce variability and improve operating discipline.


  • Increased average daily tons mined by 20%.
  • Reduced variability from the mean by 33%.

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Case Study

Increase Throughput & Reduce Variability


A diamond mining operation was looking for a consistent and sustainable process to manage all aspects of its business, including weekly and daily planning, scheduling and execution of plans, shift daily/weekly reporting and evaluating weekly and monthly performance. Furthermore, at the underground Kimberlite ore mining operation, the initial area of focus, there was significant variability in tons mined on a day-to-day basis.

Highland Approach

A detailed analysis determined that there was an opportunity to reduce variability, decrease size and conveyor downtime, and improve the utilization of mobile mining equipment by managing the tons mined each shift. Achievement of this goal would require Underground Mine Operations to plan the number of buckets to muck per scoop per draw point versus “muck as much as you can” and manage the execution of the plan. This process would allow for a daily buffer early in the week and provide extra time for preventive maintenance activities between shifts later in the week.  The Highland Group partnered with the client team to design and implement a System For Managing and to coach the supervisors on how to utilize the process.

 Actions Taken

  • Developed a core set of operating principles.
  • Determined the number of tons to mine to build an appropriate buffer.
  • Implemented short interval management and tracking to manage the buckets mucked.
  • Implemented daily performance reviews focused on identifying variances and mitigating future variances to achieve the target.

Increased Thoughput


and reduced variability by 33%

We always knew we had issues that impacted our operation, now we know what they are, what the impact is, and have developed action plans to address the issues.

Underground Mining Superintendent

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