A Computerized System for the Choice of Trucks at Ghana National Manganese Corporation, Nsuta

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The contribution of material haulage to the operational cost of open pit mines is significantly high. This has been found to range from 40 to 60 % of the direct mining cost by many experts. Truck haulage system has been applied in many pits of average and high productivity and has become an important cost element in open pit mining. Ghana National Manganese Corporation (GNMC) is an open pit mine located at Nsuta, about 6km from ‘Tarkwa, in the Western Region of Ghana. The mine exploits manganese oxides for export. Truck haulage constitutes the major transportation system in the material haulage at Ghana National Manganese Corporation. The manganese ores occur on five hills, namely A, B, C, D & E. Selective mining is practised to obtain the required grade of ore from all the operating pits. The choice of trucks to handle the large quantity of waste materials and different types of manganese ores efficiently from the pit is a major constraint in the operation. The need therefore to minimize this attendant problem, using computers, cannot be over-emphasized as this would increase fleet productivity and reduce haulage cost. This thesis describes the application of artificial intelligence techniques to provide effective means of truck selection, and their efficient utilization and also work out the plan by which trucks can effectively be dispatched. A knowledge base comprising lexicons was developed and imported into a prototype expert system to assist in the selection of trucks and to validate the use of trucks for all haulage operations in the pits. The study covers the general haulage network and the operations at Hill E neck in particular.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of Postgraduate (Professional)Diploma in Mining Engineering, 1994