In 2022, four separate incidents occurred on the slag haulers which led to flash furnace downtime, resulting in a considerable production loss that cannot be recovered. In response, a rapid results program was initiated, which identified a need for trained personnel to overhaul slag haulers and provide diagnostic services for fault finding and rectification. The company initially contacted previously used vendors, but they were unable to provide the necessary level of service.
Local small business Coe’s Auto from Port Pirie was then onboarded to fill the gap. Since then, they have been able to embed within the Smelter Maintenance Team providing solid support, which has resulted in no further recordable downtime associated with the slag haulers. Coe’s Auto has now started to maintain other pieces of critical diesel and hydraulic equipment, with the local small business successfully filling a gap in experienced labor that larger on-contract suppliers were unable to accommodate. Thanks to the success of this engagement and increased awareness of the quality services provided, Coe’s Auto will be able to continue to grow and provide further services to Olympic Dam.
“Coe’s Auto have been able to supply us with suitably skilled resources and have made a drastic improvement to the availability of the slag haulers as originally identified through rapid results program. We are within reach our aspirational production targets for FY23“ stated Scott Montgomerie – BHP Smelter Maintenance Co-ordinator.