Judge rejects $558 million case against Cemex
According to Main, key contributing factors include enforcement of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 and continued implementation of the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response (MINER) Act enacted by Congress in 2006. In 2009, MSHA assessed 173,000 civil penalties for violations of mine safety and health legal requirements, totaling $140.7 million.
Highlights of the 2009 Quarry Academy
The 2009 Quarry Academy — hosted by Sandvik and Dyno Nobel — put special emphasis on balancing unit operations with total process outcomes while maintaining standards of safety and best practices. The curriculum addressed critical processes within the quarry operation, as well as the relationship between each process, how these processes interact with one another, and how they can be linked to improve overall operational improvement.
“We know for certain that the old approach of ‘silo’ costing isn’t effective — that is, thinking of drilling, blasting, crushing, sizing, loading, and hauling as separate activities,” said John Watson, general manager/marketing, Dyno Nobel, at the opening session. “Instead, each is part of a total value chain and the key is to attain the optimal cost zone.”
“It’s not about lowest cost at every step, but the overall profitability,” added Aaron Berg, director of consulting, River Logic Inc. “There is an optimal intersection of a quarry’s capabilities and what the market demands. The key is setting up the ‘stone production value chain’ to make less waste product and more value added materials.”
Instructors pointed out that one of the largest areas of cost reduction for quarry operations is understanding the key controls and levers of crushing equipment to reduce waste, lower energy consumption, and optimize productivity of crushers. A real-world case study demonstrated how drilling and blasting can be used to accomplish chemical crushing to yield significant gains in productivity and process economy. Various tools were highlighted that electronically collect, store, and manage drilling and blasting data.
Volvo Construction Equipment personnel pointed out the effect that roadway conditions, grades, haul-road turn-radius geometry, and other factors had on productivity and cost of operation. They discussed loading, contrasting the principal alternatives of rubber-tired loaders, back-hoe excavators, and hydraulic front shovels. GPS terrain logging technology was used on a software simulation program to demonstrate production dynamics and economics based on one particular quarry’s haul road distance and grades.
The academy offered interactive classes, workshops, and field trips, as well as hands-on training on a drill training simulator. Vulcan Materials hosted the on-site visit that included four different workshops and demonstrations, including signature waveform data collection, drill deviation control and measurement review, crushing, and electronic detonator technology.
More than 250 students in North America have graduated from Quarry Academy since it began. To learn more about the 2010 Quarry Academy, go to www.quarryacademy.com