One of the most impressive creations is the mine’s culture of continuous improvement.
“We believe that any process can be improved with teamwork and focus,” Ludlow said.
Last year this improvement focus was credited with reducing place change times in the continuous miner sections by 10% and with slashing 300m longwall power and pump moves from 16 hours to three hours.
Twentymile’s equipment availabilities are extraordinary. Running at 95% at present, the mine’s goal is 100% availability. Its maintenance regimes rely particularly heavily on the tracking of each piece of equipment by section and function, location and cost, while the predictive maintenance program is developing a history of component and equipment life.
Another visiting American commented that he believed one of the problems in Australia was that mine management often lacked continuity either because of people changing positions or new owners taking over mines. The conclusion? No matter how good the vision it can never survive constant flux. Ludlow, on the other hand, has been at Twentymile for 20 years.