Copper Mine Maintenance Improvement Programme

We were engaged to develop a maintenance improvement programme and a long term and sustainable asset management model and maintenance model to achieve the client’s strategic objectives for its copper mine.


One of the largest copper producer in the world consisting of six divisions and an affiliated company operates a number of open pit and underground mines. An open pit mine located in the Antofagasta region of northern Chile began production in 2008 and required a maintenance improvement program to optimise the availability of plant and mine equipment.

To increase process and system adoption, key processes were integrated using a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) and followed by onsite training, coaching and technical support.

Tailored reliability programs were designed and implemented to reduce downtime of the mine’s critical plant and equipment. Within the supply chain function, critical spare parts were identified then categorised and inventory levels improved using SMEC’s methodologies with an optimisation tool (SOS).

Working closely with the client, we identified operational issues to achieve the following results:

  • Increase in plant availability from 70% to 85%
  • 100% reduction in obsolete and optimisation of critical items / non-critical / strategic / consumables
  • Improvements in the reliability of critical equipment with an average (mean time) increase between failures of critical conveyors from 40 to 100 hours
  • Operational results supported the engagement plan to produce 142MTPA of copper.


Asset & Integrity Management, Facilities Management