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Phillis R.C.D.,Ukhozi Project Management | Gumede H.,Ukhozi Project Management
Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy | Year: 2011

Conventional stoping in hard rock mining is largely considered an operational environment. This paper suggests that stoping falls within the realm of a project management environment typified by uncertainty, variation, and large numbers of interdependencies. Stoping was then equated to a micro-project with many simultaneous activities that had to be executed accurately using finite resources within limited shift durations in order to reach specific goals. Critical chain project management (CCPM) principles were applied to the stoping activities, and the results showed that the number of blasts per panel can be significantly increased by successfully moving the distribution of work as close as possible to the start of shift. Critical chain principles also assisted in facilitating re-focusing and teamwork among stoping crews as well as between day- and night-shift crews. The main recorded success was in managing inherent protective capacities/local contingencies/fat/buffers that are found in all projects. The impact on mine health and safety (MHS) was significant as individual operators and crews became convinced that they could perform all stoping tasks (activities) without compromising accuracy or speed. © The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2011. Source


Phillis R.C.D.,Ukhozi Project Management | Gumede H.,Ukhozi Project Management
Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy | Year: 2011

The annual mine planning process is one of the most important tactical/operational steps towards achieving strategic goals. These tactical plans are part of a very comprehensive Mineral Resource Management process, with the natural sequel to planning being execution. The execution of an underground hard rock mine plan is a multi-project environment that comprises many developmentconstruction- equipping-stoping single project paths, which are referred to as 'stoping paths'. The uncertainty that typifies execution of projects comes in the form of untimely disruptions to constituent tasks and/or project paths. Annual mining plans also include quantified objectives for occupational health and safety, production, quality, cost, employee morale, environment, and corporate social investment. Such objectives make for a highly complex environment that management must contend with- complex in the sense that all the paths and objectives have interdependent constraints. Furthermore, at the time of this paper, Sections 54* and 55** of the MHSA*** put the onus on management to ensure legislative adherence. It stands to reason that planning estimates allow excess capacity-buffers-that cushions the impact of untimely disruptions. This paper concerns the fact that despite all the buffers allowed for, time, scope, and budget creeps impact on mine planning and threaten its successful execution. As a consequence, the paper deals with buffer management, the essence of Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM). Effective buffer management provided strategic (executive level) updates without losing the tactical/operational detail necessary for job card creation, especially where professional skills and experience are in short supply. Indicative bottom-line results showed CCPM to be highly effective. © The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2011. Source


Phillis R.C.D.,Ukhozi Project Management | Gumede H.,Ukhozi Project Management
Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy | Year: 2011

The management of critical resource inventories is an important productivity lever and a significant risk factor-risk in the sense that poor resource availability lends itself to disempowerment of workers, unsafe work practices, wasted spending (high unit costs), and poor quality of work (including mining waste/rework). Most underground platinum mines experience lost blasts that directly lead to reduced productivity. In most surveyed shafts, 30% of lost blasts can be attributed to shortages of critical material and/or equipment. The problem is prevalent despite the existence of conventional transitory surface and underground stores. This paper discusses the introduction of buffer stores as a complementary materials storage system in order to improve health and safety in mines as well as reduce lost blasts. Both quantitative and qualitative results have shown that buffer stores result in dramatic improvements in productivity and are readily acceptable by stakeholders. © The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2010. Source

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