Copper Mountain Mine
  • Starting up a mine of this magnitude is a big endeavor. The task at hand was to build a new mine on an old deposit, an undertaking that required an investment of $438 million.
  • Recognizing the importance in choosing the right lubricant supplier to help prepare and run their equipment operations, Copper Mountain sent out for proposals from leading suppliers. Petro-Canada Lubricants surpassed the competition with their experience, expertise and proven products.
  • Petro-Canada became an integral part of the preparation process. They were involved in designing the lube systems and lube islands, implementing procedures, and selecting the products that would provide the best results.
  • Petro-Canada’s focus on customer service, planning and providing solutions has ensured that mine operations avoid unplanned downtime. Petro-Canada is constantly working with Copper Mountain to deliver on continuous improvement. This includes training, product handling and logistics initiatives such that they continue to add value to their operation.

About Copper Mountain Mine

The Copper Mountain Mine commenced production in the summer of 2011. Located in British Columbia, Canada, the 18,000 acre site has a resource of approximately five billion pounds of copper. Their mill is designed to allow a throughput of 35,000 tonnes per day (TPD), targeted to produce 100 million pounds of copper per year. Copper Mountain purchased over $100 million worth of new mining equipment consisting of thirteen 240 and five 260 ton haul trucks, three hydraulic shovels, the world’s largest mechanical loader as well as a number of other support machines including drills, bulldozers and cranes.

Equipment at mine

“Opening a mine is a huge undertaking, which is why new mines don’t open every day. So when they do, it’s important to choose the right people to work with. We believe we have a great business relationship with Petro-Canada.”

Tom Blake,
Mine Maintenance Superintendent,
Copper Mountain Mine

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“We commenced pre-production mining early, built roads, dams, shops and plants, and literally built the business from the ground up,” explains Blake.

From drilling to production in an impressive 4 ½ years, an ambitious and aggressive target timeline was successfully achieved. The first filtered concentrate was produced in the summer of 2011 and since then the company has maintained regular monthly shipments of concentrate to the smelters in Japan.

Recognizing the importance in choosing the right lubricant supplier to help prepare and run their equipment operations, Copper Mountain sent out for proposals from some of the leading suppliers in the industry.

Copper Mountain presented unique challenges to potential lubricant suppliers:

  • Scale - Processing 35,000 TPD through the mill and mining 160,000 tonnes of rock a day in the mine
  • Conditions – Rough terrain, muddy and extreme weather conditions.
  • Complexity - a variety of equipment, makes, models in use, with many different lubricant OEM requirements to consider – such as Komatsu, CAT, Atlas Copco, etc.

“No matter the presentation, the one thing that mattered most was that suppliers actually did what they said they would do – that’s what’s really important,” comments Blake.

Though many well-known lubricant suppliers came forward with proposals, Petro-Canada Lubricants was the only one that surpassed the competition with their experience, expertise and proven products.

Petro-Canada became an integral part of the preparation process. They were involved in designing the lube systems and lube islands, implementing procedures, and selecting the products that would provide the best results. For Copper Mountain, the real challenge was to get the right oils and greases for their different types of equipment. Many of their machines inside the mill consist of different manufacturer parts and aligning with OEM warranty guidelines is critical across all of the machinery on site. This adds a layer of complexity to planning and managing the different lubricant requirements.

“If we had to use different original lubricants that OEMs demand, it would have been a constant headache. All we had to do was give the Petro-Canada support team our list of needs and wants, and they took care of getting all of the equipment approvals we needed.”

With proven experience working with OEMs like Komatsu and Caterpillar, Petro-Canada ensured that their products are suitable for all of Copper Mountain’s equipment.

Copper Mountain has many pieces of equipment in operation and roughly sixty people that are involved in changing the lubricants for the machines. With different skill levels, experience and training, they wanted to ensure that the equipment was always properly cared for – no matter who was responsible.  With Petro-Canada’s help, they created the Lubricant Survey. The lubricant survey covers all machines and fluids across the entire business. Every piece of equipment, what it is, what it does, what type of oil it uses, oil capacity and proper change out methods, are all covered in this one concise document. When employees are equipped with the document, it helps to better manage machines and change-outs, and reduces the chances of improper lubricant selection – which can prolong the life of the lubricants and the equipment.

“We were looking for suppliers that will not only provide superior products for our operations, but also a team that is going to do the job, do it right, and provide good support and service along the way. Right away we knew that Petro-Canada could do that for us.”

Copper Mountain now turns to Petro-Canada for all of their lubricant needs. Using a wide range of products from HYDREX™ to ENDURATEX™, PEERLESS™ and PRECISION™ to name a few, Copper Mountain is beginning to experience the advanced performance, extended drain interval opportunities, and solid expertise that come with using Petro-Canada products.

One particular product that has performed beyond expectations is their line of VULTREX™ OGL (Open Gear Lubricants). VULTREX OGL greases are highly adhesive lubricants designed for open gear applications, including shovel, dragline, excavator, and drill operations. VULTREX provides excellent protection for handling in mining’s toughest conditions from severe winter cold to extreme summer heat, and from very wet to dry environments.

“What really sets Petro-Canada apart is their experience in the mining industry, their understanding of our equipment, and their local support to help us while we got started, and on-going,” explains Blake.
Copper Mountain has been consistently happy with the results of their collaborative partnership.
“Petro-Canada Lubricants has done an outstanding job preparing for our business,” explains Blake.

“As we move forward we will have new people, new machines, and new processes, and it’s important to keep up the training and collaboration with Petro-Canada to ensure our operations are always running smoothly.”
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