The Six Critical Steps to Transforming Your Mining Business

By Alexandre
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The goal of every mining executive is to ensure their businesses and operations are economically sustainable for the long-term by being able to thrive even when commodity demand varies. This is, as we know, easier said than done, especially in an industry that has been averse to change.

Where do should executives begin and what can they do to ensure that operational improvements and increases to productivity and efficiency are maintained and built upon? The achievement of “Operational Stability” holds the key.

Getting to a point of operational stability involves a cultural change in the way the business is run. To ensure your organization arrives at the destination you set for it, you need to be the flight commander and provide the ground control system. Your flight plan, the vision, must be understood and acted upon by your pilots, the people who will execute it. The ground control systems, the supporting infrastructure, must be in place to help both you and your team navigate their way and monitor their progress.

To ensure your organization arrives at the destination you set for it, you need to be the flight commander and provide the ground control system. Your flight plan, the vision, must be understood and acted upon by your pilots, the people who will execute it. The ground control systems, the supporting infrastructure, must be in place to help both you and your team navigate their way and monitor their progress

Based on interviews with mining executives, Dassault Systèmes’ Fiona Carew explores the “Six Steps to Operational Stability” that will set you on the path for success and ultimately set the foundation for enterprise-wide agility.

  1. Set Your Strategic Vision and Lead from the Top
  2. Move to a Lean Mining Business Process Model
  3. Adopt ISA-95 Architecture
  4. Automation is Required
  5. The System Must be Completely End-to-end
  6. Change Management is Critical

Watch a short video presentation to learn more

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Follow Dassault Systèmes Natural Resources Industry on Twitter: @3DSNR

On the web: 3DS.com/natural-resources/

Where Operational Stability Fits in Your Business

By Alexandre
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All mining operations have a number of planning routines that occur throughout the year, which are often referred to as “the planning process”. Generally speaking these planning routines fall into four separate categories:

  1. Strategic Planning – This looks at big picture issues such as should we be selling or acquiring an asset.
  2. Integrated Mine Plan – Often referred to as Life of Mine Planning and takes the longer term view specific to an asset; however, most effort is put into annual and quarterly plans.
  3. Short Term Planning (STP) – Also known as Work Management, it the execution discipline to build a culture of reliability – are we hitting the quarterly and annual budget numbers? Generally speaking the time horizon for STP is inside one month with specific attention to the upcoming week.
  4. Continuous Improvement Planning. All mining companies run these four planning process concurrently. However, STP is the focus of this discussion. The quality of detailed planning (drive short term planning) is often not sufficient to deliver the level Operational Stability that is expected from senior executives, shareholders and other stakeholders.

The primary purpose of drive short term planning is to reliably deliver on short-term plans and schedules established by the mine management. This area of planning is primarily focused on the next 30 days. Generally speaking, variation at the task execution level is driving a large percentage of the variation that results in shortfalls in short term production targets. Improving short-term plans activities can often lead to 10 – 20% improvement in the unit costs with little or no additional capital.

Short Term Planning is comprised of three separate planning steps:

  1. Planning — Here we are planning all aspects of task execution down to the shift level. We are focused on people, equipment, supplies and task location.
  2. Scheduling — Schedules for all the aspects of each task on a shift-to-shift basis.
  3. Execution — All activities relating directly to task execution.

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Read more about operational stability and how to realize it in your business in the eBook “Six Steps to Operational Stability”

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Follow Dassault Systèmes Natural Resources Industry on Twitter: @3DSNR

On the web: 3DS.com/natural-resources/