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Maintenance management in mining - from strategic management to field practice


In a mechanised mining environment, mining equipment occupies a pivotal position in the mining process and equipment performance is often the production constraint that determines the performance of mineral extraction and processing operations. Studies suggest equipment maintenance costs account for thirty to sixty percent of total direct operating costs in a mechanised mining operation. Whereas in a conventional mining environment maintenance may have been viewed as an ancillary support activity, equipment maintenance and management is now clearly a central link in the mining value chain, and should be a core competence of any mining organisation. Nonetheless, maintenance in mining remains a challenging area. The mining environment is demanding on people and equipment. How do we balance production pressures and asset care? How do we implement robust maintenance systems in a constantly shifting environment? What skills do we need to develop in our workforce? This course is designed to address these challenging issues, and to acquaint the participant with the latest thinking in the rapidly growing field of maintenance management. Managers, engineers, supervisors and technicians operating in the maintenance environment will benefit from attending.

Course Structure

The course will take place over three full days and the schedule may vary depending on the amount of interaction and discussion. A mixture of lectures and case studies on the various subjects will come from university and industry-based lecturers. Contact time will be supplemented with homework reading and a study pack.

Course Content

Strategic management of mining equipment maintenance –

  • Real time monitoring of machine and component health, data interpretation and actions required
  • Machine application and the resulting wear and tear of various components including tracks, tires, ground-engaging tool cutting edges and drill bits
  • Optimising part and component life
  • Global and national data links for supporting maintenance and repairs
  • Oil sampling for component wear detection
  • Principles of out-sourced service agreements
  • Optimisation of parts and component inventory
  • Basic workshop and field service planning
  • Safety in mine maintenance planned, unplanned and condition-based options

Findings and developments from the Centre’s best practice industry workshop on Fleet Management of Trackless Equipment in Hard-Rock Underground Mining held in Polokwane will also be presented and discussed.

Course Lecturers

Prof. Zvi Borowitsh of the Wits School of Mining Engineering and the Israeli Institute of Technology will lead the course. Edgar Bradley, experienced lecturer in reliability and maintenance and well-known maintenance consultant, will present the latest thinking in maintenance management. Guest presenters will include leading specialists from equipment producers, mining companies and consulting firms.


The course had been accredited for 2 CPD points with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA).


Professional Development Hub (PDH) Building

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