Eliminate Process Constraints
August 15, 2019

Commodity Cycle Price Swings are Back, but don’t let them be the key driver of daily operational tactics.  As headwinds, tailwinds, and tariffs affect each commodity in the Mining and Metals sector, one constant factor that companies can control is cost.  At Audere Partners, we work alongside our clients to optimize the Mining/Metals Value Stream from (Mine to Mill to Market) to produce at the lowest cost per unit products. By driving efficiencies within the process and the effectiveness of supporting services and solutions, we help enable both digital and human capital to manage the production at the optimal cost.

As Mining and Metals companies embrace technology and new solutions on their digital journey at a faster pace, one recurrent operating theme we see is the abundance of data and analysis that has little to no scenario creation or playbooks. The lack of proper tools and management systems often causes front line management and process stakeholders to make different decisions in real-time. Rather than clients reviewing operational performance analysis ad nauseum, we deploy our analytical tools with the purpose of operational change, and constraint management with improved results. We believe the only way to deliver optimal operational results across the mining/metals value stream is to understand the process end to end: Management Operating Systems,  KPIs, the x’s and y‘s from each process, solutions inside the process, data captured and analytics performed. The human capital deployed by clients in the value stream is the key to making “digital” work. We closely collaborate with these resources, fine-tune the analytics, and identify the true constraints and causes. We enable clients to monetize the investment in all their optimization solutions and control the process more efficiently.

Open Pit Capabilities and Approach to Optimize Safe Production Tons

Our team of consultants, SME’s and industry experts have analyzed and solved complex operational problems for over 20 years, collaborating closely with clients to assure constraints are managed and moved to a capital resolution, not a process or system constraint. Even in the most advanced adopters of optimization technology/solutions in open-pit mining we still observe, the largest aggregate of downtime for shovels is waiting for trucks and the largest downtime in aggregate for trucks is waiting for shovels; this is not optimization or constraint management.

Our unique methodology can quickly access dispatch solutions from a systems and management standpoint, giving insight as to the maturity and effectiveness of dispatch systems.  By understanding the management and technology gaps and how to calculate and measure KPIs, asset optimization is achieved, and long-term sustainable processes are established.

Once real-time analytics and the proper use of AI is understood to drive organic operational value, Audere Partners works with mine ops teams to design and implement integrated control rooms. These control rooms help turn data into information, information into better-operating results and ultimately change the dispatch position into a value chain optimization function.  We also design a data integration requirement with the asset maintenance system into dispatch operations function. The data integration better allocates asset downtime for scheduled preventive maintenance and non-preventive maintenance, which optimizes the available asset kit, delivers higher asset operating efficiencies, as well as a more effective maintenance program.

About the Author

Boyce Jacob has over 20 years of experience in the global extractive commodities sector, with a focus on the Mining & Metals industry.  His extensive list of global enterprise clients includes Rio Tinto, Teck Resources, Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, Cleveland Cliffs, Drummond Company, and US Steel. Jacob has a developed keen sense of analysis and improvement of operational strategies and performance. Working with CEO’s/COO’s and their executive leadership teams across seven continents and over 17 countries, Jacob has led growth and improvement projects, acquisition and divestiture projects, which led to a very acute operational understanding of the sector. His prominent skills include developing operational and technological solutions, defining/designing significant data/IoT initiatives, building analytical and operational solutions, delivering operating efficiencies based on real-time data analytics, and improving business outcomes.  By solving complex problems using big data and algorithms, these solutions achieved significant reductions in operating costs for his clients.  Jacobs is also a National Mining Association Industry Board member.