While set up to manage the day-to-day, many mining companies often struggle with the business imperative of continuously improving operational performance.
Partners in Performance is an international consulting firm of business improvement experts, focused on the mining and resources sector, helping our clients improve safety, increase production, lower costs, and optimise capex. Our clients typically choose to use our services when they need to realise bigger improvement, to realise it faster and to realise it more sustainably than might be achieved by doing it alone:
- Whether in the area of productivity improvement, cost reduction (efficiency improvement, contractor management, procurement and sourcing), capital project optimisation or safety improvement, we help our clients realise the opportunities that we’ve helped to identify. We don’t deal in PowerPoint presentations and recommendations, we deal in measurable impact. Our expertise and differentiation is in being able to assist our clients to deliver what is promised.
- Delivery to us means sustainable delivery – we build better teams and deliver better outcomes through working with the client team on site (not around them), ‘hard-wiring’ desired behaviour and building capability. When we walk out of the door the results don’t walk out with us.
- We know mining – we don’t have a ‘mining practice’, our firm is our mining practice. We are focused on and set up to deliver to the mining industry. We have delivered big, rapid, sustainable performance improvements for all of Africa’s major mining players.
- We have extensive experience in Africa, having worked in 18 different African countries, including of course South Africa, and having conducted over a hundred very successful engagements for African resource companies in the past 5 years.
- We are willing to put skin in the game by putting our fees at risk against performance and are very used to doing so – it aligns with our philosophy of commercial alignment leading to desired results.
- We encourage potential clients to talk to our existing and past clients, so they can explain what it’s like to work with us and why with us you really do get what it says on the tin.
The following case studies illustrate the results we are able to achieve:
Ore production more than doubled at African underground gold mine
A West African underground gold miner faced a shortfall of overall underground gold production due to the main mine approaching end-of-life and a delay with the start-up of a new mine. In addition, the links between planning and production were broken and therefore compliance to the plan was very low.
Together with the client, Partners in Performance developed Value Driver Trees for the new mine to determine the bottleneck and key levers for maximum production improvement, and assisted the client in identifying and managing ideas to improve the targeted levers. We also identified gaps in the current Wiring (the ability of the organisation to hold to account and drive desired behaviour), designed future processes for the planning and production routine with clear KPIs and a RACI matrix, and developed, agreed and implemented accountability meetings. Finally, a defined feedback loop was implemented, linking the production and planning teams to ensure key decisions were made and actions could be completed within the expected timeframe.
After six months underground ore production had increased by 128% from 1.8 kt/day to 4.1 kt/day with minimal fleet changes, and more than 80% plan compliance was achieved for production and development.
Daily ore mined (kt)
Cost reduction at an iron ore processing plant
A processing plant at an iron ore mine was 16% over budgeted cost eight months into its financial year, and was set to exceed its annual budget as it had done in previous years. Falling iron ore prices meant that the mine’s profitability was under pressure, driving the need for reduced spend while maintaining availability in a throughput-focused culture.
Partners in Performance was engaged by the client to implement systems, processes and reporting (‘cost Wiring’) to allow for better management of costs, and to develop contractor management plans, while identifying and implementing ideas to reduce consumption of inputs in order to further reduce costs.
In five months, the client achieved a 23% reduction in monthly spend compared to the baseline, implemented ideas worth R56m p.a., and met its annual budgeted cost while maintaining 91% engineering availability.
Spend / month (excluding labour)
Construction productivity and operational readiness at an African copper project
A major (>$500m) African copper project construction was significantly behind schedule. Partners in Performance was engaged to both accelerate construction and assure the successful post-commissioning ramp-up of production.
Initially, we worked with the operations and project teams to apply our proven construction productivity methodology, redress the schedule overruns, and ultimately deliver copper 12 days earlier than the market commitment. As part of this turnaround, the full commissioning sequence was completed in just 19 days and the critical path to first copper was reduced by 31 days.
We then worked with the operations team to develop an integrated ramp-up plan, which improved visibility and understanding of the drivers of performance. We also rolled out a set of cascaded meetings to improve accountability and facilitate management of the production ramp up.
A project that ramped up on time and exceeded planned production for the first three months post-commissioning.
Weekly copper production vs. planned ramp-up curve
Gareth Huckle - Director
Email: : Gareth.Huckle@pip.global
Tel: +27 71 794 9994