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Case Study

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Successfully designed and completed transition to owner-operate on time and within the original budget, delivering an asset with 50% lower operating costs and 20% increased production

Business challenge

Our client needed to assess their operational readiness to identify and close any gaps/weaknesses in their transition plans, including both risk mitigation and contingency.


A major gold producer in West Africa was employing a contractor to mine and manage its open-pit operations.

In order to remove the 'contractor margin' and to obtain improved control of its operations (and associated improvement opportunities), the client decided to insource and transition to an owner-operate model.

Business impact


on time and within the original budget, fully successful transition to owner-operate


reduction in operating cost


production increase, exceeding pre-owner mining production levels


value of new fleet of open pit heavy equipment procured and expedited (including 29 haul trucks)


Top Line Solution

Design a comprehensive program to insource all aspects of the open-pit operations

Conduct an assessment of all processes and systems to determine the Operational Readiness of the site and the client's ability to both execute the transition plans and manage the operations once complete

Develop transition plans (what, who, when) for all affected departments, and identify risks with detailed mitigation and contingency plans

Recruit over 200 employees (many from the local community), and complete comprehensive equipment-specific and standard operating procedure training

Implement a Head of Department Management Operating System across all 10 departments onsite and cost 'wiring' across all departments, allowing for increased cost visibility and greater cost control

Key Takeaway

By working closely with the client to ensure the effective implementation of the designed management operating system and continuous improvement disciplines, cost reduction and production improvement has been maintained – driven by continuously improving drill yield, drill penetration, excavator productivity, truck cycle time and truck fill factor.

LeftMining and MetalsLeftContinuous Improvement