• Tom Jordan

5 Practical Tips for Moving Your Mining Tech Resources Offsite

Updated: Apr 4, 2019

Last month we outlined some compelling reasons why you should consider moving your mining tech resources off-site and into areas where it is easier to attract and retain a wider pool of talent and support network.

In this month's MTS blog, we are going to offer some advice on how this can be practically accomplished.

Newmont Asset Health Centre - Remotely Monitoring Multiple Sites Globally

1. Invest in a Reliable Network

Network access and reliability to remote sites is often fraught with challenges. Investing in a secure, reliable network connection pays dividends when IT support, contractors, system administrators and analysts can all be reliably hosted off-site. This allows them to have full access to their own resources, work more productively, with fewer distractions, less associated travel expenses and favourable rotations that will attract the most talented candidates.

2. Start with non-Front Line Roles

Does your FMS Administrator really need to attend daily production planning meetings? We don’t think so.

The role of FMS Administrators, System Analysts and other back-of-house FMS specialists should be focused around;

  • Ensuring the FMS is running smoothly in preparation for each shift (such as archiving mining blocks, mine model configuration and data quality checks).

  • Ensuring servers and applications are running smoothly.

  • Undertaking scheduled system maintenance such as backups, patching and updates.

  • Extracting data from the system to help optimise the operation.

  • Providing support to front-line roles (such as dispatchers).

Giving the people filling these roles space to perform vital duties without the constant interruptions of a bad network connection, power outages and/or unnecessary meetings will ultimately result in extracting maximum value from your FMS.

3. Pit Cameras

Consider installing pit cameras (such as Axis) for a much clearer context of what is happening in real-time on your site. FMS system monitors and mine models, as informative as they are, don’t fully provide the same visual context as camera imagery.

4. Systems for Collaboration

Work productivity can be impacted when people break up into remote teams; with our global projects at MTS across multiple time zones, this is something we have had to work hard to overcome! The importance of clear communication, task allocation, accountability and visible deadlines becomes even greater when working remotely.

At MTS we are fond of tools such as Google G-Suite for collaborative working documents, files etc., Trello for task tracking, TeamGantt for Project/Resource management, Zoom for screen-sharing/conferences, to name a few. Where appropriate and possible each is cross-integrated to minimise duplication of work. There are many other productivity tools available, but these are secure, easy to use and simple to administer.

5. Regular On-site Rotations

Although this comes with an overhead, rotating your off-site team on-site every few weeks helps ensure they remain current with the operation. It is also very importantly helps ensure that a close working relationship with colleagues is maintained - after all technology has not yet totally replaced the importance of face to face time!

We hope you found this blog useful and informative. Over the past few years, we have found ourselves working on more and more projects in this area. For a demonstration of how we can help boost your site's dispatching effectiveness, drop us a line here

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