Nguz Tshisens, J, Moss, A, Sullivan, M, Yuniar, A, Casten, T & Zimmer, C 2022, 'Organising for the successful management of complex underground caving mines', in Y Potvin (ed.), Caving 2022: Fifth International Conference on Block and Sublevel Caving
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 81-94, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/2205_03
The number of caving mines is increasing worldwide, with several new mines under development. While the technical challenges of caving are well known, they are not necessarily well understood. The execution of a development and operations plan is a complex process constrained by the realities of access, construction, ventilation, and mucking requirements, as well as uncertainties in ground conditions and rock mass response during caving. An equally important challenge exists around the organisation and management of resources to build and operate such mines. The challenges require a flexible and collaborative approach from the start that is based on sound engineering and performance measurement. The success of such an approach is illustrated through the progress of the PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) caves from the study stage to access development, infrastructure construction, cave establishment and ramping-up to the current production rate of 200,000 tons per day. Many technical lessons were learned along the way and various technologies were used to meet the challenges. More importantly was the creation of a coherent execution group with a clearly defined leadership team. Central to this was an underground steering committee comprising senior representatives from operations, engineering, geo-engineering, and safety. The committee’s mandate was to determine solutions that addressed the strategic and tactical needs of the business rather than the short-term gains of the project. The collaborative leadership model used by PTFI was instrumental in the successful ramp-up of one of the largest caving complexes in the world.
Keywords: caving, mines, collaborative, leadership, committee
Casten, T, Johnson, M, Zimmer, C & Mahayasa, M 2020, ‘The transition to underground production’, Proceedings of MassMin 2020, Santiago.
Edgar, I, Prasetyo, R & Wilkinson, M 2020, ‘Deep Ore Zone mine wet ore mining empirical learnings, mining process evolution and development pathway’, Proceedings of MassMin 2020, Santiago, Chile.
Flyvbjerg, B 2017, The Oxford Handbook of Megaproject Management, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Flores‐Gonzalez, G 2019, ‘Major hazards associated with cave mining: are they manageable?’, MGR 2019: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Mining Geomechanical Risk, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth.
Ginting, A & Pascoe, NM 2020, ‘Grasberg open pit to Grasberg block cave transition wetmuck and mine design’, Proceedings of MassMin 2020, Santiago.
Kahneman, D 2011, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC., New York, USA.
Perrow, C 1986, Complex Organizations. A Critical Essay, 3rd edition, McGraw-Hill, New York, USA.
Perrow, C 1999, Normal Accidents, Living with High-Risk Technologies, Princeton University Press, Princeton.
Pitzer, CT 2006, When Organisations Fail: New Thinking on Catastrophes, The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Melbourne, and Pacrim Abridged, October 2006.
Simanjuntak, K, Primadiansyah, A, Soumilena, N & Teweng, W 2020, ‘Driving and managing stress in the Deep Mill Level Zone caving mine’, Proceedings of MassMin 2020, Santiago.