TORONTO — Non-union workers across Canada can expect wage increases of 3.2% on average next year, according to an annual survey by Mercer.The global business consultancy said Monday that the projected wage increases would match actual increases in base pay reported for 2012. They would also be up slightly from the average of 3% in 2011 and 2.9% in 2010.Mercer’s 2012/2013 Canada Compensation Planning Survey, conducted annually for over 20 years, includes responses from more than 750 employers across Canada and reflects pay practices for approximately two million non-union workers.[np-related /] The results cover increases in five categories: executive, management and professional (sales and non-sales), as well as workers in the office, clerical and technician classification and those in the trades, production and service sector.Mercer said the results are indicative of a steadily increasing trend that will also see top-performing employees — some 6% of the workforce — enjoy even higher increases as companies strive to retain critical talent.“Differentiating salary increases based on performance is the norm and remains an effective way for employers to wisely spend their reward dollars on the most impactful employees,” said Iain Morris, leader of Mercer’s human capital consulting business for Canada.“Since many companies are still working with limited dollars, taking a holistic approach to total rewards using internal workforce analytics as well as external market data to set appropriate programs for each employee segment is the smart approach,” Morris said.Mercer’s survey shows that in 2012 highest-performing employees received average base pay increases of 4.9% compared with 2.9% for average performers, about 60% of the workforce.Regional and industry differences were also a factor, with Western Canada continuing to lead the way with higher increases than the rest of the country.For example, the Calgary and Alberta markets forecast an average increase of 3.3% for 2013 compared with 2.9% for Montreal and Quebec.Oil and gas companies lead the way with a forecasted increase of 4.2% for 2013 while high tech/telecommunications and public sector/not for profit forecast increases of 2.4% and 2.5% respectively when salary freezes are included, Mercer said.The Canadian Press
Mining3, in partnership with global drilling tools specialist Robit and CSIRO, has taken up the challenge to develop an underground percussive drillhole deviation measurement tool.The new system, dubbed as U-sense, is an upgrade of Robit’s S-sense technology (pictured) licensed from Mining3’s Automated String Positioning System. The S-sense system measures the straightness of surface production holes bored by a percussive drilling process and is commercially available for purchase by Robit. U-sense will extend the technology to longhole underground percussive drilling with water flushing.As Mining 3 Technology Leader Dr Sevda Dekhoda says: “Drilling is one of the critical elements in the process of rock breakage. The location (including length and orientation), explosives charge, and detonation sequence of blastholes are strategically selected to produce the most efficient and optimal rock fragmentation.“The consequences of deviation in drillhole trajectories from the designed pattern include build-ups, hang-ups and poor rock fragmentation, and will normally lead to extra drilling, loss of drill strings, ore dilution, ore loss, increased explosive consumption, time wastage, and delays in the chain of production operations. Hence, the impact of blasthole deviations can be felt throughout the production cycle, excavating, hauling, and mineral processing.”This is where U-sense, which is an easy to use capsule that sits within an adapter between the percussive drill bit and drilling tube, comes in handy. It measures the trajectories of the drilled borehole as the bit is retrieved from the hole, then communicates the information with a receiver system mounted on the drilling mast.The measurement module is on standby during the percussive drilling process and commences measurement once the drilling is complete.As the unit is pulled out of the hole, the sensors record inertial information for processing with onboard proprietary algorithms. Once the tool is completely out of the hole, the data are transferred wirelessly for presentation on a cockpit tablet. The plot of actual borehole trajectory information – with respect to the planned orientation – allows the decisionmakers to drill a remedy blast hole or revise the blast design.“Early access to drillhole trajectory information can have a huge impact on reducing mining costs of freezing stopes, creating large oversize, and under-break or over-break caused by blasthole deviation,” Dekhoda said.“In addition, data from the testing unit will be used to develop decision support systems for determining the best way for a production team to modify the pattern if excessive deviation is detected. The availability of hole deviation data – on every blasthole – will enable further research into optimisation of blast designs for different rock mass conditions.”The project Mining3, Robit and CSIRO are working on has two main phases to develop:A validated pre-commercial test unit;Next generation upgrade and testing of the unit through various case studies.Mining3 expects the unit will be available for priority clients (sponsors) in 12 months and can be purchased through Robit.