We invite you to meet some of the people leading this work at Cortez and hear their thoughts, expectations and initial experiences.
Information Technology Manager for North America
What I’ve really enjoyed about starting our digital reinvention is that everyone has come together. There used to be maintenance, there used to be underground teams, and now it’s all really tied together by the Information Technology department. It’s very IT-centric, it’s very data heavy and there’s better communication, there’s a better flow of information and we’re faster through what I’ve seen in this process.
Process Maintenance Superintendent
I’ve got people on my crew who don’t have a cellphone or a cable television, so telling them that technology was going to be a big part of their job, there was some push-back there. But we identified informal leaders, found some of the folks that have had success with the technology we’ve introduced, and the people who are having issues sit down with these people that have had success to learn how to work through their issues. Technology is not my background either, but I’ve tried to jump in and push a lot of this stuff. I’m out there with the mechanics and showing them, this is how you log in, this is how you check this, this is how you look at that. There’s always going to be people in the field turning wrenches; where we’re going with them now is really trying to make each wrench turn as efficiently as possible.
Senior Metallurgist and Project Lead for the digitization of the Cortez Mill
The way I see it, there will be a lot of analytics coming and definitely more sensors that will help make the engineers and operators’ lives easier. They will help us make quick decisions and make us a lot more proactive in catching problems early and improving mill throughput.
Open Pit Manager
We’ve been working on making workflows easier and more streamlined and making digitization more visible around the mine. For example, we’re able to look at dashboards on a daily basis rather than paper reports. New smart boards allow us to zoom in on maps that are always up to date and make comments for other engineers and operators to see, rather than going through those maps manually when they may or may not be up to date. It’s a faster way of communicating.
General Supervisor of the Overland Conveyor
I think bringing some of these tech solutions to our people and getting them to help train each other has been key. One of our crusher mechanics, who moved to a project manager position, has been helping with training on our new conveyor monitoring system, helping to roll it out to the people who worked with him in the field—and I think that’s been monumental to getting buy-in. In cases where our people aren’t comfortable asking me how things work, it’s about getting them to ask their old buddy, “How does this work again?”
Open Pit Tech Services Superintendent
Everyone’s been generating lots of good ideas and stepping back and seeing how that works in a great system. There’s a lot of solutions that look shiny and fancy but, in the end, it boils down to, “Is this tool going to make your life easier?” And a lot of these tools are. They’re going to remove a lot of routine work and open up more interesting things that you can really dive into and start getting a lot smarter about how we do our business.
Technical Services Superintendent, Underground Division
I think the predominant sentiment is that people are excited. They will spend less time mobilizing themselves to go underground and more time optimizing mine plans or modelling mine designs or producing quality work. Shift supervisors are absolutely ecstatic for the potential of what the tool means for us. There’s less guesswork about where the equipment is at the beginning of the shift, about where it is during the shift, and it’s all transparent and displayed on a screen. It will help supervisors make daily decisions quicker.