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Fuel for thought

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With increasing consumption and prices miners have become more focussed on looking for solutions in how they use and manage fuels and lubricants to reduce their operating costs.

Mine operators today have higher expectations for fuel quality, performance and value, according to Caltex spokesperson Jenny Palmer.

“Caltex fuels meet the tougher 2006 standards for petrol and diesel following the commissioning of all clean fuels units at the Lytton refinery in Brisbane and the Kurnell refinery in Sydney,” she told Australian Mining.

“Both refineries produce ultra low sulphur diesel (ULSD) which has a maximum of 50 parts per million sulphur and cleaner petrol with a maximum of 1% benzene.”

Fuels and lubricants play a large part in helping plant and equipment perform properly and Caltex will soon launch the new CJ-4 engine oil specification designed for new low emission on-highway equipment.

“The new oil specification has some advancement in key areas such as piston deposit control and oil consumption,” Palmer said.

“We still see opportunities for some customers to reduce their operating costs through extended oil drains, extended component life and lubricants rationalisation.

“Caltex’s Delo 400 engine oil is widely recognised in the industry and has helped Caltex deliver on these types of savings to many mining customers.”

Caltex also operate oil cleanliness programs, says Palmer, to ensure mining end users have lubricants delivered into their storage to an ISO cleanliness standard.

“The other important part of any oil cleanliness program that we provide is keeping the oil clean when transferring from on site storage into equipment,” she said.

High-quality engine oil such as Delo 400 is also said to help with engine and fuel efficiency.

Other ways of minimising fuel costs, says Palmer, is to look at on site fuel management and logistics.

“Some new fuel management systems we have seen look useful analysing equipment fuel usage and identifying problems earlier,” she said.

As for working with mine operators to address Environment Health and Safety issues, Caltex operates a Loss Prevention System (LPS) to identify and reduce risks across all areas of our business.

“This system is more than just a safety management system as it focuses on all types of loss including environmental and commercial losses,” Palmer said.

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