A look at three RACE21™ innovations that are changing how we operate and that demonstrate our Values in action.
Improving Water Quantity and Quality Management with the Advanced Water Dispatch System
Water management is key to the sustained future of mine operations in the Elk Valley. Since 2013, Teck has been working with local stakeholders toward stabilizing and reversing the trend of selenium, calcite and other constituents, and improving the health of the watershed.
In 2020, a team of Teck experts recognized an opportunity to improve the management of water movement and discharge at Fording River Operations (FRO). The challenge identified was that the existing water management infrastructure offers limited transparency, onerous data compilation and no immediate control of the overall system.
Put simply, there was a need for a digital solution that would put more capability into the hands of those responsible for water management. RACE21™ set out to find that solution, and did so by developing the Advanced Water Dispatch System.
Now in Phase I, the Advanced Water Dispatch System includes installed flowmeters, temperature sensors and telemetry (the process of recording and transmitting the readings of an instrument) to enable the capture of real-time water flow and sensor data. Future phases will involve installing water pump sensors to enable automated remote control of water pumps, and a centralized and integrated digital interface (dashboards and analytics) to support water management decisions.
“The goal of this program is to improve operational efficiencies, enhance data analytics and optimization, and introduce real-time response and decision-making capabilities,” said Raj Prasad, Product Owner, RACE21™.
“This solution supports regional water quality and quantity objectives, and supports Teck’s sustainability priorities and goals,” explained Karan Virk, Engineer in Training. “And what’s more, it improves safety and saves time because people can conduct work remotely.”
While still in its early days, the Advanced Water Dispatch System is off to a promising start and will set the groundwork for similar programs at other sites in the Elk Valley.
Maximizing Value at QB2 Through State-of-the-Art Situational Awareness
Quebrada Blanca’s new state-of-the-art Situational Awareness Platform brings “getting the lay of the land” to a new level.
Together with members of Technology and Innovation (T&I) and other Teck operations teams, QB2’s Integrated Operations team conceptualized the Situational Awareness Platform in 2018 to help identify, predict and relieve any bottlenecks in the mine’s value chain.
The Situational Awareness Platform’s dashboards are displayed on a video wall in the Integrated Operations Centre in Santiago, Chile. They provide real-time insight into the mine’s entire value chain—from mine exploration to the desalination plant on the coast, and everything in between—and allow a cross-disciplinary team of engineers and managers to react accordingly to optimize outcomes and improve efficiency and productivity.
“It’s a tool that provides live, visual data to our front-line decision-makers,” said Phil Wallace, Manager of Integrated Operations for QB2. “Using Situational Awareness we can identify bottlenecks and issues, and make better business decisions across the value chain."
The team is currently commissioning its first functional iteration, with four dashboards tracking ongoing mining operations at the existing QB operation. More functionalities will be added as the mine ramps up production in the second half of 2022 and beyond.
Connecting Carmen de Andacollo: Wireless Network Upgrade
A cross-functional Technology and Innovation team recently completed a major upgrade to the wireless network at Teck’s Carmen de Andacollo Operation (CDA). The new network provides faster and more reliable internet connectivity in the pit, with speeds of up to 170 MB/second. New links were installed in four towers at various locations within CDA, completing a high-availability and resilient network that will minimize network failures.
This update not only increases connectivity for regular mining processes, but also provides future-ready connectivity supporting the implementation of new RACE21™ initiatives at CDA, such as Haul Cycle Analytics, Drill to Mill, Mobile Asset Health, Ore Body Knowledge, and Water Management, enabling increased operational performance and sustainability.
The most impressive aspect of this initiative isn’t the high performance, or even the complexity of the network infrastructure—it’s the fact that the team collaborated from Andacollo, Santiago, Vancouver and Calgary, and completed the project in just four months, when a network of this size would normally be expected to take more than six months to complete. The team also faced significant challenges due to COVID-19 such as restrictions, quarantines and delays in hardware delivery. Nevertheless, the work was completed ahead of schedule with no incidents to people or equipment.