Shaping Smart Change in the Andes

By Neville Judd, Communications Director

At HxGN LIVE 2016, we nominated our customer, Grupo México, as a Shaping Smart Change honoree. Nominees are celebrated annually at the event for using Hexagon technology to push the boundaries of innovation.

In the Peruvian Andes, Grupo’s subsidiary, Southern Peru Copper Corporation, is applying Hexagon Mining technology with outstanding results. The company invited us to document this success story at Southern Peru’s Cuajone and Toquepala mines, which are among the biggest copper mines in the world.

While our IDS radar and Leica total stations monitor slope stability, MineSight and Jigsaw help Southern Peru to achieve among the lowest production costs in the world. From Q4 2015 to Q4 2016, Southern Peru increased operating performance (EBITDA) by 90.6%. During the same period, net income rose by 182.7%.

The company cut the operating cash cost per pound of copper by 14.2% to 95 cents, making it the highest margin major copper producer in the world.

During a visit to the mines, videographer Javier Carranza and I interviewed users of Hexagon Mining solutions, including mine managers, and directors of operations. Their feedback encompassed fleet management, mine planning, ore control, drill and blast, and integration. Here are some highlights:

  • “Having as many programs, accessories or tools, as possible in one single platform is very beneficial because you get integrity of information. The data is more reliable and therefore the work one performs will have a greater level of certainty.”
  • “Since we got the unified software from Hexagon – Leica, MineSight – we’ve been able to make the day-to-day decisions in real time. We’ve been able to substantially reduce time.”
  • “Here at the mine we use Jigsaw. Here on the left we have trips to fueling station – the percentage of fuel in the tank. And based on that, we send the truck to the fueling station. This has made it so that instead of sending a truck to the pump 60 times in a month, we only send it 22 times, so the truck is being productive rather than spending time going to the pump unnecessarily.”
  • “Using MineSight in particular, we’ve been able to reduce execution times. This is a process that’s been in place for a number of years, and it’s allowed us to make these time savings and make better use of human resources.”

Mining at altitude brings with it many challenges, including dramatic changes in weather. During our five days at Cuajone and Toquepala, we witnessed heavy rain, dense fog, and brilliant sunshine – sometimes all within the space of 15 minutes! While hurrying with cumbersome camera gear from mine blast to mill to pit floor, the 3,500-meter elevation (11,500 feet) challenged us to forget that we live at sea level and work in comfortable offices most days!

Shaping Smart Change
We are extremely grateful for the help and hospitality extended to us by all the Southern Peru staff we encountered during our visit. Many busy people made time for our interview requests and accommodated our tight filming schedule.

Hexagon Mining looks forward to being a part of Southern Peru’s impressive growth plans. Thank you to Grupo México and Southern Peru Copper Corporation for its invaluable help and generous cooperation in the making of these videos.

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