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Paradigm shift in mining

In 2015 PPC in Slurry, South Africa, decided to replace its fleet of rigid dump trucks with four Scania mining tipper trucks, to transport run-of-mine (crude, ungraded) material to the processing plants. Two years on, the decision is paying substantial dividends, by offering several cost advantages.

“To change to Scania, after running rigid dump trucks for over a century, took a complete change of mind-set for us as management, as well as our people,” says Andre Niemand, Technical Advisor at PPC Slurry.

PPC’s change of vehicle came as part of a huge upgrade of its production facilities. The company invested more than 100 million euro on the improvements. The brownfield project, which began in 2015, will increase cement production at Slurry from 1.2 million to 1.9 million tonnes a year.

To finance such a capital-intensive project, a number of cost-cutting initiatives were identified. Transport – which accounts for a third or more of any mine’s operational costs – is often the biggest variable cost in mining operations. The company started to investigate a possible cost-effective hauling solution. “We needed to look at something else. We decided on a construction-type of a vehicle, but one that would be able to carry larger payloads that we wanted to,” says Niemand.

After consultations with the Scania team, PPC Slurry eventually invested in four Scania G 410 mining tippers. Two years on, the range has ticked all the right boxes, from productivity and versatility through to lower fuel consumption and lower service and maintenance costs. “The Scania mining tippers are giving us 28–32 tonnes of payload, depending on how we load,” says Niemand.

Massive fuel savings

The truck’s lighter body translates into increased payload and lower fuel consumption. Massive fuel savings, as high as 50% compared with the previous range of conventional yellow metal haulers, are being realised at Slurry.

The current utilisation of the vehicles is about 83%, which is way more than the 72% global benchmark for the mining industry. Another major advantage is that Scania’s mining tippers offer lower operating and capital costs. Service and wear parts are far cheaper than yellow metal haulers. “We are saving 20% on maintenance costs compared with the conventional range of haulers we used to run,” explains Niemand.

 

The current utilisation of the Scania mining tippers at PPC Slurry is about 83%, way above the 72% global benchmark for the mining industry.

 

From a capital expenditure point of view, gains are also massive. “When we calculated what it would cost us to buy a new conventional tipper and do three rebuilds over its 18-year lifetime, versus buying a Scania tipper and replacing it every three years over the same 18-year period, the figures showed that we would be able to save about 400,000 euro,” says Niemand.

“We ap­pre­ci­ate the service and support Scania gives us”

He is also very happy with the support offered by Scania. “We appreciate the service and support Scania gives us. They attend to any issues that we may have in a timely fashion and they go the extra mile to make things work for us.”

The relationship is blossoming: PPC Slurry has since placed an order of three more Scania G410 mining tippers, and is prepared to invest in even more units. “We are definitely going to buy more Scania trucks once the new XT range becomes available,” says Niemand, who is looking at increasing the fleet size to ten units that will be able to put through a total of 1 100 tonnes an hour through the crushers.

Reprinted and abridged by kind permission of Capital Equipment News.

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