At the SME meeting in Salt Lake City in late February 2008, I chanced into one of those presentations that justify conference attendance. This one was by Erik Jones talking about mine productivity initiatives at Suncor Energy’s Alberta operations. I asked and he kindly forwarded me the powerpoints of his presentations---available at this link. I thank him and with him success with his ongoing work at the mine.

I recognize that powerpoints alone are no substitute for a full-blown talk or presentation. I realize that only in a conventional technical paper can you get the details. Nevertheless I commend your attention to Erik’s powerpoints as they give plenty of information about Suncor’s mine productivity initiatives in:

Loading: Currently over 30 percent of operators meet or exceed performance standards; since 2005 they have doubled the number of operators able to meet standards; and an additional 10 percent increase in performance will yield an additional 30 Mt/year of oil sands mined.

Haulage: Almost 40 percent of loads are below 90 percent capacity; this is due to new operators, tire shortages, and longer hauls; to improve overload percentage will require more consistent loading practices, tighter control, and a feedback loop to inform and train operators.

Tire life improvement: A cross-functional group including operations, technical, maintenance, and SCM personnel are working on initiatives involving (amongst many things) working with manufacturers to improve tire technology, purchase and used tires, and encourage responsible loading and driving practices.

And if you do not see all the information, contact him—or wait until the SME gets around to sending out functioning copies of the proceedings, or loads the papers onto OneMine.