Mining for efficiency

A revealing report was released by PwC on August 15th, focused productivity in open cut mining. The report is based on equipment performance data collected over 20 years, across 5 continents and 136 mines. It includes 308 different makes and models, and 12, 000 years of operating data. The data was firstly normalizes for factors such as the commodity variation, location,  depth, pit geometry and so on. PwC's analysis revealed

  • The global mining industry's open cut equipment productivity has declined by around 205 over the past seven years despite a push for increased output.
  • There is an inherent conflict between a productivity plan based on increased volumes and one based on cost reduction. Those mines  with well delineated strategies which are followed with discipline by their people make up the majority of those achieving top quartile equipment performance.
  • Opportunities for best practice in mining equipment performance are extensive, and will richly reward  those who adopt this discipline .
  • Improvements in work practices can deliver up to 20% gains regardless of ore type or industrial relations.

PwC's mining productivity report suggests mining companies are missing the right data to make informed choices, and to understand the size of the prize. Moving to Best Practice and Benchmarking has provided companies insight into operational challenges as well improved earnings.

"Companies serious about both costs control and productivity need to have a greater focus on the efficiency of their equipment."

Read the full report.