Maximising ROI in mining (2018)

How technology can help locate inefficiencies and identify opportunities for improvement on your site.

stay ahead of your competitors

Over the last five years at WesTrac we’ve seen an increase in customers doing everything they can to increase productivity, lower costs and improve operator performance. While there’s more than one way to skin a cat, it’s no secret that the most cost-effective way to achieve all-of-the-above is to implement and use technology.

To stay ahead of your competitors and increase profit it’s just a matter of choosing the right technology solution for your business – which is a lot easier said than done given how complex some of the solutions are and the variety available. That’s where our Technology Team comes in. Our experts have put this article together to help you make the right decision when it comes to choosing a technology that will locate inefficiencies in your operation and identify opportunities for improvement.


If there’s one guarantee in the mining industry it’s that cyclical doesn’t necessarily equal predictable. To keep an even keel, our mining customers have learned to operate leaner and get more from the same resources. In boom times it was possible to throw money at an inefficient process in the hope that productivity would increase – but this only reaped short-term gain while raising long-term costs. Smart operators now spend way less cash and make their assets work smarter and faster.

Randy Schoepke, a consultant in Caterpillar’s Mining Technology Enabled Solutions organisation says that large mining companies are shifting their focus to using every asset to its full potential, strategically allocating their capital reserves to maintain investor confidence. “There has been significant turnover in the top management of many major mining companies as they restructure to better suit this new approach,” he adds.

The results speak for themselves: “We collaborated with one mining company to reduce the cost of drilling operations. Working with both the customer and the local Cat® dealer, we helped the site with a trial run of Cat MineStar™ Terrain for drilling, demonstrating the value of the technology and its impact on productivity,” he says.


In a two-month trial the customer saw a stunning 30 percent increase in machine utilisation. “Thanks to Terrain we could operate the drills at night and this opened up a totally new shift,” Schoepke adds. “Guidance replaced the need to survey before laying out the drill pattern, which was previously impossible due to survey restrictions on the night shift.”

The benefits didn’t stop there. Thanks to the accuracy afforded by this new technology the depth accuracy improved which resulted in a five percent reduction in cost-per-hole when coupled with the elimination of survey supplies. Thanks to these initial cost savings the customer not only implemented this technology on full-time basis, they used it to offset the cost of another drill that would pay for itself in only 18 months.

Caterpillar technology helps you do more with your equipment. Contact our team today to find out more.


We can:

  • Recommend technologies to help increase productivity, lower costs, improve operator performance and help you run a safe operation
  • Implement those technologies into your business (including training)
  • Turn your data into meaningful information and insights
  • Provide advice to help you make decisions when required
Topics: Technology

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