SMART Benchmarking Project

Contact Information

Carolyn McCannon
Nathan Hoffman
A Golder Associates Company

(314) 984-8800 phone
(314) 984-8770 fax

SMART Benchmarking Project


What is benchmarking?

Benchmarking allows you to make comparisons between operating units using a set of comparable metrics, and improve processes, methodologies, and best practices for overall performance.

What is the SMART Benchmarking Program?

The SMART Benchmarking Program was created to provide low-cost, continuous benchmarking for mining operations. Equipment data from participants is normalized and standardized, which allows for cross-company comparisons. This data helps participants:

  • Compare their operations to others
  • See equipment trends
  • Identify areas for improvement within their operations
  • Choose where to focus efforts
  • Set performance-improvement targets
  • Use metrics as parameters for planning
  • Make purchasing decisions

The program was initiated in 2003, and was based on Standardization of Definitions for Benchmarking, a graduate project by Zoli Lucas.



How is data submit?

A principal of the program is to make data submission as easily as possible. Participants can submit data in a variety of ways; some participants send raw dumps from their dispatch system, while others send summarized data. The only criterion is the data can be used to create monthly totals by equipment fleet. Unlike other programs, participants send data year-round, which creates a unique live benchmarking system. The totals from all participants are standardized and released quarterly.

Equipment time data is listed in standard categories:

  • Down
  • Delay
  • Wait
  • Net Operating Hours
  • Standby

What rules are used to categorize equipment time?

Equipment data is categorized and defined by a set of general and specific rules.

General Rules:

Net Operating Hours Productive operating time
Down Prevented from operating
Delay Non-productive time associated with the equipment operation
Wait Non-productive time waiting on other equipment or facilities
Standby Not scheduled to operate
Tonnes Tonnes of material moved
Distance Haul distance for trucks
Number of Loads Loads hauled

To standardize how time is categorized in the SMART Benchmarking Program, and clear ambiguity, specific rules are defined and applied to your data. For example, cable moves for shovels are defined as Delay; packing and cluster for trucks is also defined as Delay. These specific time-category rules by activity are applied to all participant data to normalize performance metrics between all companies.

What comparison metrics do you report?

SMART Benchmarking
Calculated Metrics Definitions

Term Definition(s) Formula(s)
Time Categories
DELAY% Percentage of hours in a year spent in DELAY (DELAY / Scheduled Hours) * 100
DOWN% Percentage of hours in a year spent in DOWN (DOWN / Scheduled Hours) * 100
STANDBY% Percentage of hours in a year spent in STANDBY (STANDBY / Scheduled Hours) * 100
WAIT% Percentage of hours in a year spent in WAIT (WAIT / Scheduled Hours) * 100
GOH% Percentage of hours in a year spent in operation

(GOH / Scheduled Hours) * 100


Tonnage per GOH Tonnes of material hauled per Gross Operating Hour

Tonnes / GOH


WOH% Percentage of hours in a year spent in Work Operating Hours (WOH / Scheduled Hours) * 100
Tonnage per WOH Tonnes of material hauled per Work Operating Hour

Tonnes / WOH


Efficiency Categories
Capital Efficiency The ratio of Net Operating Hours (NOH) to Scheduled Hours (hours in a year). NOH / Scheduled Hours
Operating Efficiency Ratio of WOH to actual operating hours



Availability Categories
Mechanical Availability Ratio of time in operation to time in operation plus DOWN



Physical Availability Ratio of Scheduled Hours minus DOWN to Scheduled Hours (Scheduled Hours - DOWN) / (Scheduled Hours)
Use of Availability

Ratio of total operating hours to total operating hours plus STANDBY;

The efficient utilization of the equipment





How is company information and data kept secure?

Your raw data is never placed on the reporting web server or database. The custom import routine takes your raw data and summarizes it into the time categories and production data. Only the monthly total records of the time categories and production data are stored in the database. The reporting website is password protected, and only individual logins are provided. Mines are identified by a generated letter, not company name, and communicated to you from the website. The identification letters are also periodically scrambled and reassigned. Microsoft technology and tested security components from the .NET framework is also employed. Each participant can view the summarized, anonymous data on the reporting website.



What classes of equipment are included?

  • Draglines
  • Cable shovels
  • Hydraulic shovel
  • Loaders
  • Large, medium, and small trucks

What specific equipment types are included?

Equipment Class Equipment Fleet

BE 1360-W

Marion M7800

Marion M8050

Marion M8750

Cable Shovels

BE 295

BE 395

BE 495

Marion 301

Marion 351

P&H 2300

P&H 2800

P&H 4100

Hydraulic Shovels

Cat 375

Demag 455

Demag 485

Demag H655SP

Hitachi EX1800

Hitachi EX5500

Hitachi EX8000

Hitachi UH501

Komatsu PC1800

O&K RH120

O&K RH200

O&K RH400

Large Trucks

Cat 797

Hitachi EH5000

Komatsu 930E

Liebherr 282


Cat 988

Cat 992

Cat 994

LeTourneau L‐1800

LeTourneau L‐1850

Medium Trucks

Cat 793

Komatsu 830E

Small Trucks

Cat 777

Cat 789

Komatsu 685E

Komatsu 730E



What are the fees for the program?

The service fees were established by the SMART Benchmarking User Group in January 2015. All fees listed are in Canadian dollars (C$). A planned increase of the annual subscription fee is anticipated for 2016; participant input will be collected to prioritize additional website and data features related to the increase.

Fee Item Amount

Development Fees

  • - First mine operation
  • - Each additional mine operation

  • C$10,000 at initial signup
  • C$7,500 per operation
Annual Subscription Fee C$5,000 per operation

Setup Fees

  • - Initial Data Processing Setup
  • - Data Processing Changes Setup

  • Mutually agreed upon, based on requirements
  • Mutually agreed upon, based on requirements

Do I have to pay in Canadian dollars?

Mining companies in the US and Australia can pay the fee equivalent in local currency. Please check currency rates for your country.

Who sets the fees?

The fees are set by the SMART Benchmarking User Group.

What is the cost of the Initial Data Processing Setup?

Typically, it takes 80 to 120 hours of computer programming and data categorization time to create and test an import routine. The work is done on a time and materials basis, and typically costs C$10,000 to C$15,000. Golder will provide new participants with a cost estimate prior to Data Integration.

When is the Data Processing Changes Setup fee charged?

This fee is charged when a participant changes the format of their data submittal. The amount will be discussed with the participant if import routine modifications are required to handle the new data format.

How much does it cost to join the SMART organization?

SMART is a voluntary industry program with no cost to participants beyond their own degree of time committed. There is no mandatory time commitment; however, the benefits are commensurate with your interaction and participation with other members.



How does Golder assist the program?

Golder acts as third-party administrator for the SMART Benchmarking Program to execute contracts and legal agreements, and helps maintain data confidentiality. Golder also:

  • Processes the data submitted quarterly by participants
  • Contracts with participants through the subscriber agreement
  • Owns and maintains the website
  • Facilitates contact between participants
  • Takes part in SMART Benchmarking user-group meetings
  • Promotes the program

What are the legal aspects of the program?

The legal agreements are summarized as follows:
The intent of the Subscriber Agreement is summarized below with the following diagram as a guide.

Description: SMARTAgreement.png
  1. Subscribers provide mine performance Data
  2. Subscribers retain ownership to their Data
  3. Golder converts the Data to mine performance Metrics based on SMART standards and formulas
  4. Golder makes the Metrics anonymous among the subscribers
  5. Golder provides a web Site consisting of hardware and software
  6. The Site delivers Content in the form of web pages to authorized users of the Subscribers
  7. Golder owns the Site and the Content
  8. Subscribers may use the Content for internal analysis
  9. Subscribers may withdraw their Data, thus withdrawing associated Metrics and Content, upon termination of their subscription


What is SMART?

Surface Mining Association for Research and Technology (SMART) is an association of mining companies that meets regularly to coordinate the technology development needed by the mining industry. Since 1995, member companies have directed research and influenced manufacturers and suppliers to improve surface-mining technology and services. SMART actively supports learning seminars, collaborative research projects, user groups, and sponsors an ongoing series of learning seminars. Each year, the seminar tackles a new topic of concern for the industry, from developments in large haulage trucks to wireless communications and information technologies.

How is the SMART Benchmarking Program guided?

Tom Demorest from Syncrude volunteers as the program coordinator on behalf of the SMART organization. A SMART benchmarking user’s group meets periodically to provide guidance to the program.

Collaborative Research and Projects

SMART also sponsors collaborative research. This is a primary goal of SMART and one of the biggest benefits to members. SMART has programs in several areas:

  • Wear materials for the mining industry
  • Diesel emissions evaluation
  • Standard definitions for the benchmarking of availability and utilization of equipment
  • Mine haul road design and construction
  • Mining benchmarking database
  • New projects are considered at regular meetings

User Groups

User groups were formed to tackle specific challenges head-on and develop solid solutions that can benefit surface-mining companies around the globe. These user groups illustrate the effectiveness of collaboration:

  • Large Tire User Group
  • Mining GPS Users Association
  • Shovel - Truck Equipment User Group

Recognizing there is strength in numbers, this newest SMART initiative provides members the opportunity to network on issues relating to trucks, shovels, and other mine equipment; operations and maintenance items are the focus. Meetings are twice a year at mining industry conferences in North America.


Copyright © 2008-2015 Marston & Marston, a Golder Associates company

This site is sponsored by SMART (Surface Mining Assocication for Research and Technology). See