Thoughts on Making Mining Lean

In a  recent article published in Mining Magazine, Dassault Systèmes’ takes a look at the benefits of making mining lean,  then illustrated through several case studies. Highlights from the article follow below:

“Making Mining Lean”

Even though the mining industry faces challenges that are unique to its value chain, most of its problems, if not all, have been experienced in other industries in one form or another. Solutions for such problems have already been put in place in other industries.

For mining companies to effectively execute on lean practices to increase productivity and innovate, a virtual mine framework based on a three-tiered approach: Operational Stability, Mine Execution Excellence, and Business Agility is required.

  • Operational Stability brings consistency to operational performance by reducing variability through the stabilization of processes.
  • Mining Execution Excellence enables continuous improvement of processes.
  • Business Agility is the ability to identify, simulate, validate, and adapt business processes more robustly to changing conditions.

achieving lean mining

To enable these transformative steps, mining companies should adopt the following technological changes:

  • Clearly define business processes that enable mining and plant operations to function and then implement the change management needed to put such business processes in practice.
  • Establish excellence in business governance to gain visibility and control over planning and production. Key aspects include: collaboration across the organization, synchronizing operations across multiple departments; and tracking mining activities and responding to variances in real-time. A governance layer contains the following elements:
    • Collaboration across the enterprise
    • Excellence in business planning
    • Compliance to corporate commitments
    • A visualization and control center
  • Employ a visualization and control center, enabled by a platform that can interoperate with existing and diverse systems to bridge silos across data sources and functions.

The article concludes with two short case studies on Lean Practices in two different industries. The first story illustrates an example from Nuclear which would be applicable in mining: “Collaborative Design, Engineering, and Project Management”. In short, the company created a unified model of their operations. Next, it looks at the well-known Dundee Precious Metals case study in the mining industry, in which this company took an underperforming asset and turned it around through the use of lean practices, driven by a technology backbone.

This blog is a highlights from a Recent Mining Magazine article “Making Mining Lean”,by Dassault Systèmes’ José Santos, Natural Resources Solution Director, and Nicolas Jeannée, Natural Resources Mining Solution Director.

Follow Dassault Systèmes Natural Resources Industry on Twitter: @3DSNR

On the web: 3DS.com/natural-resources/

Mark

Mark

Industry Marketing Director at Dassault Systèmes
Mark Bese is the Industry Marketing Director for Natural Resources at Dassault Systèmes. His scope within Natural Resources encompasses mining, upstream oil and gas, water, and agriculture and forestry. He began his first engagements in mining almost 15 years ago marketing software solutions.