This impetus will require reshaping of organisations for them to be able to strategically react to macro global events or market forces and within ever reducing timescales.
For many companies, this involves implementing a sustainability agenda to deliver against environmental and social responsibilities: reduction of carbon footprint, switching to renewable energy sources, strengthening their 'license to operate', decarbonisation of operations and reduction of water consumption.
For some, it is to adopt new ways of working: focusing on what jobs must be done onsite and which can be conducted just as effectively through an offsite, agile operating model.
To remain competitive, miners must embrace these changes, applying digital technologies and embedding sustainable practices in smart, relevant ways to deliver real and positive impact to their operations.
Demonstrating strong environmental leadership
Maximising productivity from current and future portfolios
Enhancing the return on capital deployed
Leveraging technology to drive cost efficiency
In recent years, organisations have been working to significantly reduce their energy costs and emissions. Investors and shareholders are actively demanding reductions within their organisations, as well as from their suppliers and end‑users.
To be able to maintain the 'license to operate', there is a real necessity to promote energy efficiency, minimise adverse environmental impact and ensure sustainable land use following the closure of a mining site.
Our mission to clients is to reduce risks and energy consumption while improving community relations through a combination of automation and policy compliance.
HSEC (Health, Safety & Environmental Compliance) and ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) leadership begins by developing site‑level baselines for energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions, then identifying the key drivers for each of them. By working closely with the key stakeholders, the combined team generate and prioritise improvement ideas for each core driver.
Mining sites can be difficult to monitor and tough to manage.
Removing volatility across mining and metals products and operations requires not just an assessment of whether the equipment is performing to its full potential or whether a company’s maintenance strategy is aligned with its long‑term business objectives.
Instead, it relies on taking a 360‑view of whether bottlenecks are forming and where potential performance and productivity opportunities can be found.
We help our mining clients to revisit and optimise their operational plans, improve the coordination of their planning and operational schedules and then ensure compliance.
This methodology allows us to work effectively with clients to identify, prioritise and focus on the areas that will deliver rapid bottom‑line improvements and allow us to understand the interactions across their site.
Throughout, we work through the line with productivity leaders to build ownership of what success looks like and then its implementation.
Ensuring capital investment can grow and sustain itself efficiently requires a long‑term lens and understanding of the key drivers of growth in the short to medium term.
This starts with first redressing the trend of falling productivity that many organisations are facing.
That involves a range of targeted initiatives: creating digital roadmaps, strengthening supply chains, experimenting with new operating models, optimising portfolios and improving sourcing practices.
Developing and embedding a more strategic application of capital is critical to maintaining the effectiveness and safety of your operation.
More than ever, it is crucial to thoroughly understand potential resource and supply chain risks, so you can address them proactively. We partner with our clients in negotiating tender planning and supplier bases – both optimising contract strategies and engaging contractors to deliver high performance.
Across all industries, there has been an acceleration in the adoption of technology and its capabilities for organisations.
For some, this moment was triggered by necessity rather than detailed planning, and there exists a big opportunity to further leverage technology across the board in a focused way to achieve priorities and upskill the workforce at the same time.
Within mining, digital transformation can lead to enhanced productivity, automation of back‑office activities and steps towards remote mining. While innovation is important, progress must be measured. For example, absorbing your workforce into the most innovative practices can be costly if it is applied bluntly across a team that may not yet understand or appreciate the fundamentals.
We recommend that new management operating routines and digital transformation should be clearly defined to create a shared view of the desired outcome and foster alignment.
We define goals and a roadmap to achieve them, clear accountabilities and responsibilities (who needs to do what, by when), the means to track progress, regular reviews of progress and strong, visible leadership.
‟The accelerated momentum behind implementing a sustainable agenda and rethinking ways of working has reached all industries, but especially mining. Companies should begin gearing up today for what will be a fundamental change so that they can adapt their business to flourish in smart and timely ways.”
We believe three macro trends are influencing the industry today that will have profound implications for its future:
Energy and Emissions
Increasingly, mining companies focus on social and environmental issues holds a strong emphasis on transparency, shared values and collaboration between local communities. Miners are under increasing pressure from stakeholders and governments to reduce their emissions – maintaining a 'license to operate' will require an actionable plan to address these rising concerns and government regulations. Major global funds are now seeking companies to reduce their emissions, and in general, renewable energy practices are seen as lower‑risk investments. Outside of this, governments are directing boards to be more transparent about their climate change risk. With the momentum built around green finance and stakeholder pressure, the economic value of renewables is sure to grow. We believe the main drivers for companies to consider are the cost of energy, security and control of energy supply.
Increasing digital adoption is driving efficiency in mining operations, particularly in building capacity and capability to deploy digital technology faster and make it the norm within their business, and taking advantage of ready‑made technologies by third‑party suppliers. The combination of these aspects must be introduced in a pragmatic and considered way. Alignment on common agile tools and practices is crucial, but these new ways of working will not add value and may increase risk if applied to the wrong teams or functions in the operation. Furthermore, to be effective, teams must be adequately trained in the use of new digital tools and practices.
Remote and Automated Operations
Select mining companies are now getting value from their remote operating centres. There is an emerging consensus that the future will be different from now, in terms of organisation, operating systems and work processes. This emerging shift has been accelerated by the need for an immediate response to the global pandemic. The safe and considered adaptation to remote working has allowed organisations to maintain their business operations effectively while importantly protecting their workforce. To build upon this momentum, it is vital to design remote and automated operations to ensure they are solving both workforce preferences and operational challenges. To pre‑empt this, our metals and mining consulting expertise tells us that it is important to set clear expectations, agree on priority deliverables over a specific period, confirm actions to deliver priorities and document key processes and protocols.
15-20% increase in output
25-35% capital reductions on major mining projects
10-15% of cost reduction benefits from sourcing and supply chain work
17.5% capital cost reduction through scope and commercial adjustments for a brownfields iron ore mine
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
Australia and New Zealand
‟It is essential to systemise and digitise what is in the heads of mining professionals. There aren’t many technical specialists graduating to the industry. This will create a gap that will be filled by smart technologies and artificial intelligence.”
Australia and New Zealand
‟I always appreciate making our clients successful through increasing their efficiency and profitability by finding the ‘valuable few’ root causes and developing and implementing digital solutions that are effective and sustainable. This is done in such a way that participants enjoy the journey and learn from it.”