CODELCO improves efficiency and increases production using the SONDA Business Intelligence solution

Client: CODELCO Industry: Mining Solution: Integrated Business Management System

Summary

An IBMS (Integrated Business Management System) is an integrated IT system that uses a business intelligence platform to efficiently visualize and manage various critical aspects of industrial processes, both at the mine and the ore processing plant, to streamline decision-making, analyze causes and make predictions.

CODELCO Andina was looking for a technological platform to solve this problem in 2009. With this background, a prototype was developed using Oracle products that integrated the business logic across various mining-metallurgical processes. Initially it included some of the processes at the mine and the plant, to demonstrate the feasibility of performing integrated management of production processes, with an emphasis on the new operational model at CODELCO Andina.

Subsequently the SONDA solution was expanded to the entire production chain and covers processes that were not part of the initial prototype, such as drilling and blasting operations in an open pit mine, subsidence in an underground mine, and from floating to storage and transport of final products at the plant.

Client Profile

The Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (CODELCO) is the earliest copper producer in the world and one of the most profitable companies in the industry. Its main commercial product is grade A copper cathodes. Currently, CODELCO is at the forefront of mining knowledge and technology, and has an organization and business model that incentivizes value creation.

CODELCO’s Andina division operates the River Blanco deposit and is located eighty kilometers northeast of Santiago, between 3,700 and 4,200 meters above sea level. This division currently extracts minerals from the River Blanco underground mine and the South open pit mine.

The project customer is the General Operations Management Department at CODELCO Andina Division.

Business Need

Variability in mining industry processes

A problem often faced by mining companies is the variability in processes, which appreciably affects both their production levels and costs. This problem is difficult to manage as it is difficult to measure, and lacks online visibility to identify how this variability behaves for all the stakeholders involved (planning, operation, maintenance and management). This does not allow for prompt management of disruptions that occur in the process.

At present, the project produces relevant information for some of the plant and mine processes. This information is displayed in real time, which enables more efficient decision-making, to promptly correct any deviation from production plans.

The success of any production process lies in the ability to measure, monitor, learn and consistently reduce the production cycle time. The reason why process variability is not discussed is often simple: measuring this factor is not an easy task. It could be measured through precise observations at periodic intervals, but this is static and if conditions change over time the visibility of these changes is lost. The development of the current technology platform has enabled us to identify variability in processes in an integrated manner for some of the production chain. This platform has been named the “Production Intelligence Platform”.

Solution

The SONDA solution includes the design, construction, installation, testing, operation, maintenance and support of the current technology platform for Codelco Andina, to monitor and control ore flow variability and collaborative planning in real time.

The methodology used generates new ways to manage mining, based on a series of principles, methods, and technological systems that impact both business and technological people and processes. As a whole these are aimed at improving the efficiency of the entire production chain.

The service consists in three parts: Development service for new functionality which enables the current production intelligence platform for Codelco Andina to be extended;Platform evolutionary maintenance service;and Support and operational service for applications and infrastructure, which are currently in operation.

Results

Greater ore flow quantity and quality

The SONDA Integrated Business Management System has enabled process variability to be controlled, which in turn has resulted in greater ore flow quantity and quality.

In addition, the solution has helped to create monitoring that encourages continuous mining, through the tele-operation of main equipment, and the creation of predictive models and dynamic indicators.

The SONDA system has been an effective tool to increase production quality and quantity. In fact, the Andina Division increased its production during 2010 from 72,000 tons/day of ore to 94,000 tons/day, and plans to continue this growth to reach 244,000 tons/day of ore in 2017.

Benefits

  • Greater visibility of production plan performance.
  • Improved production volume: greater quantity of ore.
  • Improved ore quality (Copper Law).
  • The Analog Dashboard improves efficiency in processes that span the mine and the plant, which emcompass underground mines and open pit mines through to the processing plants and transportation of final products.
  • Predictive analytics continuously update models with real-time information.
  • Teams can directly influence productivity, and the projection at the end of the shift is connected to the Dashboard.
  • Business Intelligence Reports (BI) for underground mines, open pit mines and processing plants.
  • The system’s Collaborative Planning automates the calculation of planned production.
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