The market’s current status is a major factor in the strategies of mining companies. Companies develop marginal, high-productivity, high-cost mineral deposits when the market is positive. This is supported by high commodity prices. Companies respond to market downturns by cutting costs, a natural response in a changing market cycle.
It is virtually impossible to control the fluctuations in the global economy, which can lead to changes in commodities prices and currencies. However, miners have the ability to control how they operate. Companies are now focused on reducing operating costs in mining operations. They will need to shift away from reactive cost-cutting strategies and develop sustainable cost management programs. Here are some options.
Better budget management and risk management can reduce operating costs.
A project analysis was conducted in Australia and found that nearly 65% of large projects, those that exceed AUD 500 millions, are unable to deliver the desired value. Your company could use the following tools to improve results:
- Ensure that the working capital management is more robust.
- The key numbers and metrics should be known by engineers, min operators, procurement and construction managers (EPCM) operators, as well as manufacturers.
- You will get a clear picture about the actual production costs, as well as the total amount spent on each unit.
Planning better for mines
It is essential to have a plan that ensures maximum productivity and minimizes time before a company starts excavating. You can improve productivity by:
- To improve the performance of operations, build a team of experienced people in mine planning. Keep an eye on the production volume, mining locations and the mineral content.
- Optimize mine sites with enhanced sequencing
- To raise quality, increase cut-off grades
- Prioritize the mines with low costs of production.
- Reduce capital spending on mines that have lower production potential and are unlikely to be around for very long.
Technology can be used to increase efficiency
Increasing productivity means more output per unit of time, quality, and cost. While humans can accomplish the task of optimizing productivity, technology can eliminate many human errors and allow for much more.
- Production visibility tools allow you to keep an eye on the mining operations, from pit to port. They can also be used to automatically visualize the entire process.
- Use the latest technology to transform systems and assess core business drivers like rates and operating times.
- Create a dashboard to unify your reporting systems. These dashboards are useful for reporting on actual performance.
- Keep an eye out for new technologies to increase productivity and unlock site deposits.
This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at Becker Mining Communications! For over 15 years, Becker Communications has been the industry’s leader in Gas Monitoring System and electrical mining communication systems. As they expanded into surface mining, railroads, and tunneling they added wireless communication systems, handheld radios, tagging and tracking systems, as well as gas monitoring.