Mine planning and scheduling

We help our clients to revisit and optimise their mine plan, improve the coordination of their mine planning and operational schedules and ensure compliance to the plan.

Many of our clients can derive significant value by reinvigorating their mine plan and improving compliance to that plan. A strong management operating system can achieve higher productivity and increased utilisation with sensible targets, cross-departmental preparation and constructive reviews. Combining our understanding of the key value levers and understanding of operations, we help our clients to optimise the development and execution of mine plans.

Typical improvement approaches in mine planning:

  • Improvements to mine plan NPV.
  • Improved management operating system driving productivity and efficiency.
  • Increased final product through optimised plant feed.
  • Higher productivity mining faces and face access.
  • Optimised material movement with reduced total haul distances.
  • Executable ore and waste mining plans.

Typical improvement approaches in mine scheduling:

  • Better equipment utilisation by reducing loss from equipment moves.
  • Improved grade accuracy to plan/reduced variability of run-of-mine (ROM) feed.
  • Improved maintenance coordination.
  • Higher productivity through managed equipment interactions.
  • Improved fragmentation and mill throughput through optimised blast sizing.

Example: Mine planning

A major open-cut metals mine faced the challenge of a collapsing commodity process following the GFC. We helped our client to optimise their mine and fleet plan, enabling part of their fleet to be stood down. We supported this by lifting the availability and utilisation of their remaining fleet, redeveloped their planning and work management systems, restructured the crews to prioritise completion of scheduled work and trained supervisors and trades in Five Whys problem-solving. Our client achieved sustainable cost savings of $40m and a one-off saving of over $10m by using the stood-down fleet to defer major overhauls and component replacement.

Example: Mine scheduling

A North American copper mine experienced years of falling short of budgeted expectations and overcoming geotechnical development challenges to extend the life of its mine. Schedules and mine plans were set with wide feed grade tolerances and without operations and plant input. When we started, the site had already accrued a 10% deficit for the year due to recovery loss in plant operations and issues with operationalising plans. A revitalised planning and scheduling process involving production teams, both stabilised plant feed and delivered higher productivity mining faces. Within six months, the site reclaimed the production deficit and concluded the year nearly 10% ahead of budget for the first time in five years.

We would not have captured the potential value improvements so quickly by ourselves. Without Partners in Performance’s help to keep the group focusing on the bigger ticket items, we would have wasted time on things that were not that important at this time. We may do a similar exercise with some of our other projects, where there may still be opportunities for value enhancement.BOB, PROJECT DEVELOPMENT, COPPER MINING INDUSTRY

Relevant case studies

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