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Optimization of Waste Transportation Analysis at Highland Valley Copper

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Author: Dixon, Paul
Mining operations, both in Canada and worldwide, face increasing pressures that affect mine profitability. Declining head grades, increasing strip ratios, deeper excavations and other obstacles intensify mining challenges. In addition, there are societal pressures to increase the sustainability of operations. Teck Resource Limited’s Highland Valley Copper (HVC) mine is not exempt from these challenges and pressures. One challenge of increasing importance at HVC is waste transportation. Exploring opportunities to optimize the transportation of waste at HVC has the potential to bring significant economic and sustainability benefits. Using a hypothetical mine plan, this paper analyzes three options: purchasing more haul trucks, switching to larger, ultra-class haul trucks or installing an In-Pit Crushing and Conveying (IPCC) system. Teck’s Sustainability Focus Areas and economic criteria are used to analyse the options. The analysis concludes that the IPCC system presents many advantages if specific criteria are met to ensure HVC maximizes its investment return.
EMBA Project - Simon Fraser University
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