Highland Valley Copper
  • Highland Valley Copper is Canada’s largest non-ferrous metal mine and one of the world’s largest-tonnage copper mining and milling complexes.
  • The mine runs 24 hours per day, 365 days per year in extreme temperatures ranging from -40°C (-40°F) to 40°C (104°F).
  • Petro-Canada formulated PRODUROTM TO-4+ Synthetic All Season, a multigrade oil which, when coupled with Highland Valley Copper’s effective preventative maintenance program, not only improved the component life of the large Caterpillar 789 and 793 haul trucks but helped cut Highland Valley Copper’s oil consumption in half.
  • Once Highland Valley started using VULTREX OGL Synthetic All Season, they rarely go in and adjust the saddle blocks. This equates to roughly a five percent reduction in downtime. Because of a technician coming in, they’ve seen anywhere between a 40 to 60 percent reduction in grease consumption in most applications.
  • “We have several units running over 10,000 hours on the hydraulic oil,” Glen says. “Petro-Canada’s oils have played a large part in this achievement.”

About Highland Valley Copper

Highland Valley Copper, located in south central British Columbia, is Canada’s largest non-ferrous metal mine and one of the world’s largest-tonnage copper mining and milling complexes. It is 97.5 percent owned by Teck Cominco and in 2006, the mine’s copper production totalled 165,560 tonnes (365 million pounds) and molybdenum production was 4.1 million pounds. Copper production during the extension period from 2013 to 2019 is expected to average approximately 295 million pounds per annum.

Equipment at mine

“We have consistently, over the past two and three years, broken availability and reliability records on most of our equipment. Our mine has never run so well and Petro-Canada’s oils have played a significant role in that.”

Glen Torjusson,
Highland Valley Copper

Read the Case Study

"Working at the mine has been both interesting and challenging over the years," said Glen Torjusson, Senior Planner, Mine Maintenance at Highland Valley Copper. "Our employees had to work smart when we were trying to survive low commodity prices and today we are benefiting from those practices."


Glen Torjusson is responsible for all mobile equipment on the mine site. The current production fleet consists of two Letourneau large front end loaders, 30 Caterpillar 793 haul trucks, a backup fleet of Caterpillar 789 haul trucks as well as 11 Caterpillar dozers, 6 Caterpillar graders and a full complement of service vehicles. No rest for these massive machines – the mine runs 24 hours per day, 365 days per year in extreme temperatures ranging from -40°C (-40°F) to 40°C (104°F).


Late in 2001, Glen was having problems with the wet brakes and transmissions on his haul trucks. High ambient temperatures were reducing the viscosity of his existing oil, accelerating brake wear and warping brake discs. He approached major oil suppliers looking for new and improved lubricants to meet the challenge.


Wade Hordal is the General Foreman at Highland Valley. He maintains four P & H 2800 Shovels, two BE 295 BI Shovels,and three BE 49R Rotary Blasthole Drills, with two 495BE and one 49HR to be added to the fleet.


"Before we switched, we had one grease for each season, which sometimes overlapped, requiring some form of hybrid. We even had to have a second product on board for bearings. So, needless to say, we used to change grease a lot," Wade says. “We were looking for one single product for our open gears and bearings and when Petro-Canada came on board that’s what they had to offer."

PRODURO TO-4+ Synthetic All Season

Petro-Canada formulated PRODURO TO-4+ Synthetic All Season, a multigrade oil which, when coupled with Highland Valley Copper’s effective preventative maintenance program, not only improved the component life of the large Caterpillar 789 and 793 haul trucks but helped cut Highland Valley Copper's oil consumption in half.


VULTREX OGL

Formulated to excel in multi-service applications, including shovel, dragline, excavator, drill and haul truck applications, VULTREX OGL greases are designed to withstand the challenging operating conditions of mine equipment and meet or exceed major OEM requirements.


Technical Support

Petro-Canada is one of the few companies who provide a shovel technician – a full-time Petro-Canada employee – to their customers. Their shovel technicians provide timely, on-site solutions that extend equipment uptime, reduce maintenance costs and give the best return on investment.


"It’s reassuring to have someone come and take a look at how we are applying the product and to train our people," Wade says. "Ron Reiniger, our shovel technician, will suggest changes and give us tips on the application of the product. We see him every couple of months and he’ll stay with us for a couple of days."

"We have consistently, over the past two and three years, broken availability and reliability records on most of our equipment. Our mine has never run so well and Petro-Canada’s oils have played a significant role in that." – Glen Torjusson, Highland Valley Copper


PRODURO TO-4+ Synthetic All Season

"The better oils, better filtration, together with the kidney looping and improved components, increased brake life by 60 percent and transmission life by 50 percent. We’ve also increased drain intervals – we used to change oil at 2,400 hours, but now we change it based on oil analysis results," says Glen. "I’ve got some oils out there in excess of 10,000 hours and they’re still showing a very good oil analysis report. PRODURO has given us good long life; it’s doing the job very well."


"We have several units running over 10,000 hours on the hydraulic oil," Glen says. "Petro-Canada’s oils have played a large part in this achievement but it is important to note that we are always looking at improvements in technology as well. We have worked aggressively on filtration and kidney looping the oils."


VULTREX OGL

"One big difference we’ve seen since switching to VULTREX OGL Synthetic All Season is an improvement in the life of saddle block wear plates," Wade says. "At one point in time, when we would do scheduled preventative maintenance (PM), which is every 500 hours, we would spend three to four hours adjusting saddle blocks alone, thus losing valuable repair time on the rest of the machine." "Once we started using VULTREX OGL Synthetic All Season, we rarely go in and adjust the saddle blocks," Wade says. This equates to roughly a five percent reduction in downtime. We’ve been using VULTREX OGL Synthetic All Season for quite some time now. We’ve got the application down pat but Ron gives us a hand in tweaking it for the variations of weather we get on our site."


Wade adds. "Because of a technician coming in, I’ve seen anywhere between a 40 to 60 percent reduction in my grease consumption in most applications over the past several years."


Petro-Canada is not only a supplier, but a partner to their customers. Petro-Canada was selected as Highland Valley’s exclusive supplier in June 2002 and, within two short years, Petro-Canada Lubricants signed a rare life of mine contract.


In February 2007, Teck Cominco announced that it will proceed with a plan to extend the life of the Highland Valley Copper mine to 2019. Petro-Canada Lubricants will be there, offering sound advice and the highest quality products for the life of the mine.

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