Innovation needed to remain relevant in changing environment

24th April 2015

By: Bruce Montiea

Creamer Media Reporter


Font size: - +

Mining houses and consulting engineering firms that continue to conduct business the way they have always conducted it will become irrelevant in the ever-changing environment, says project management and consulting firm Aurecon mining services leader Eduard Vorster.

He tells Mining Weekly that Aurecon strives to avoid a ‘this-is-how-we-have-always-done-it’ approach, as it results in “projects being shelved that could have shown a good business case if innovation and project-specific fit-for-purpose designs and solutions had been implemented”.

Vorster says a significant number of Aurecon’s clients ask for help on how to derive the most value from low-grade resources in competitive world markets. He adds that, through experience, the company has learnt that there are no hard and fast rules for making low-grade resources economically viable.
“In some instances, capital expenditure and operating expenditure reductions are the only measures necessary to make a low-grade resource project economically viable.

“However, in other circumstances, solutions can vary from identifying alternative markets, consumers or products to redefining the resource size, throughputs and logistics methods.”

He states that Aurecon considers the entire value chain of a project instead of considering issues in isolation: “Our holistic approach and fit-for-purpose and innovative solutions enable us to maximise the economic viability of our clients’ projects.”

The company’s mining team follows a client-centred, project-specific approach for every project to help clients mine, process and export commodities at a competitive cost, and help them deal with the pressure resulting from ongoing global demand for commodities, driven by emerging economies such as China and India, says Vorster.

He states that, despite the global economic downturn in the mining sector, Aurecon’s mining business has achieved steady growth over the past five years on the back of the mining team’s continued effort to implement innovative solutions and be flexible.
Vorster says the company’s diverse experi-ence, skills sets and competitive labour rates have given further impetus to its growth by allowing for the execution of “small, stay-in-business projects”, as well as large brownfield and greenfield projects


Edited by Leandi Kolver
Creamer Media Deputy Editor


The content you are trying to access is only available to subscribers.

If you are already a subscriber, you can Login Here.

If you are not a subscriber, you can subscribe now, by selecting one of the below options.

For more information or assistance, please contact us at

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?