The Effect of Mechanization on Safety and Productivity of a Gold Mine
- Mechanization safety productivity gold mine.
New resource determinations enable gold mines to change from the conventional system of mining and introduce mechanized mining methods. This decision could however be plagued with problems. It is necessary to review mechanization to determine its impact. In this study safety, gold production, productivity, manpower, maintenance and equipment cost data was collected and analyzed along with questionnaire and interviews from a mine to determine its performance before and after mechanization. From the study, mechanization reduced mining grade cut-off by 86%, increased gold production per annum by 94%, has increased tonnage productivity per man-month by 564%, improved the skill levels of workers but reduced manpower by 53% and has potential to creating labour unrest. It has helped reduce Loss Time Injury Frequency Rate by 1160%, has helped reduce accidents by 94%, but has potential to increase fatality on a mine. Mechanization is also capital intensive with high maintenance cost, causes the inability of mines to sustain production levels, rapidly exhausts ore reserves, causes grade control problem associated with dilution of the ore hence increasing operating cost, workers are exposed to long term health risk, and there is high incidence of crime.