Lunch and Learn – February

Join MEC Mining’s Senior Mining Consultant Matthew Turner for our next lunch and learn session in Brisbane. Matthew will discuss the theory of optimising cut off grades over time for open pit metalliferous mines. Touching on the challenges of practical application within the inherent variability of key assumptions.

Date: Wednesday, 26 February
Topic: Cut Off Grade Optimisation for Open Pit Metalliferous Mines 
Venue: Cromwell Business Hub: Level M, 200 Mary Street – Brisbane
Time: 12pm-1pm
Cost: Free
RSVP: Monday, 24 February – emelia.chalker@mecmining.com.au
Spaces are limited, register asap.

MEC awarded Mining Monthly’s Consultant of the Year Award

After an exciting year of innovation and strategic change in 2019, MEC is delighted to be the recipient of Australia’s Mining Monthly (AMM), Consultant of the Year award. The AMM is widely acknowledged as one of the most authoritative mining magazines produced in the Asia Pacific region and a unique source of industry news and information. This award reflects industry recognition of the dynamic work being done by MEC and a boost for the company as we embark on further developments and expansion in the coming year.

The accolade affirms the wisdom of MEC’s decision to make a raft of changes to better serve our client base which, in 2019, grew by 30% with new clients from Australia and international markets such as Russia, Laos and across Africa. The company’s recent expansion into Western Australia is a case in point, improving proximity to our customers and making the consultancy much more accessible and responsive to their demands. In addition, the move means that MEC can diversify geographically and across commodities bringing our expertise to a broader spectrum of clients.

In addition to the physical expansion of the company, the award recognises the positive steps taken by MEC to streamline our management structure to cope with the company’s growth and anticipate future developments. The launch of the MEC Advisory was also a contributing factor in the win. This specialised body, headed by accomplished industry veteran, James Cooney, is designed to assist mining companies with strategic management and evaluation of resources projects and is seen as a highly valuable stand-alone advisory arm within the company’s services.

The final feather in MEC’s cap helping to secure the award was undoubtedly the initiation of the Graduate Training program. With a clear vision of the industry’s future, the program is being developed by MEC to forge mutually beneficial relationships with students and graduates to secure a pipeline of excellent engineers, equipped and ready to move into the field.

Against the well-regarded competition, we at MEC feel honoured by Mining Monthly’s affirmation of our achievements and confident that the award is a precursor of yet another productive year ahead.

MEC Mining’s 2019 in review.

Where has 2019 gone?! What a great year it has been! Here are five of our favourite articles for you to look back on.

  • Networking – Are you running with the right herd?

Building networks is an important part of both your professional and personal life. It’s now commonly quoted that “you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”.  Read more

  • The 6 Best Things About Being A Mining Consultant

Thinking of pursuing a career as a mining consultant? Here are six of the things mining consultants love most about their work. Read more

  • Mining mentoring program set to nurture MEC talent

MEC Mining employees will soon benefit from mentorships with some of the top minds in the business. Find out who here

  • The Importance of Effective Communication Skills in Your Business

It takes communication to work in a team, and even people working alone have to report to their bosses. If you run a business, you have to tell employees what’s expected of them. Read more

  • Contract Mining: What’s your Style?

There are many scenarios that might result in a mine owner looking for assistance from a contract miner.  Choosing the right contracting strategy can be something of a mine-field (see what I did there?), depending not only upon the project objectives the mine owner is trying to achieve. Read more here

We look forward to sharing more industry news and topical articles with you in 2020!

Post Doze Licence – Expression of Interest

Post Doze is a method of improving the economics of waste material movement by extending the use of dozers. The Post Doze method was developed jointly by 3D Data Guidance and MEC Mining and is protected by an PCT Patent Application number: PCT/AU2017/050915. The Post Doze method is applicable to strip mines and bulk earthmoving applications where waste is moved less than 200m horizontally. In Post Doze, a 100 -200 tonne excavator is used to elevate and translate waste towards the low wall, which is then pushed to spoil by dozers. A significant volume of work has been undertaken on the method to validate the value and create operational sequencing and training material.

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NPV trap

Net present value (NPV) is the universally accepted tool for measuring the value of a mining venture. We spend a lot of effort maximizing the NPV by changing all sorts of parameters. Essentially, NPV just converts future cash flows back into today’s dollars by compounding the discount rate ( think interest rate ) into the future. NPV discounts early cash flow less and later cash flow more. Usually, any cash flows that are more than 15 years away are attributed negligible value in today’s dollars.

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Cobalt crunch

There is a crunch coming in Cobalt supply as electric cars become more common. There is 25kg of cobalt in the lithium ion battery pack of a Chevy Bolt. Looking down the track 5 years, let’s say that 10% of 78 million cars sold world wide are electric. This will require 195,000 tonnes of additional Cobalt supply each year. Currently the total world production is only 123,000 tonnes, all of which is already needed to make items such as aircraft parts.

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Maximizing machine production hours may destroy value

Most mine sites measure performance in terms of ore mined, waste moved or product produced. Production KPIs tend to manifest as a drive to maximize the working hours of equipment. The drive to achieve production (rather than value) KPIs often has some negative side effects that destroy the value that they seek to create. Maximizing equipment hours tends to reward the building of inventories, as to achieve high hours, machines need to work even when they are not required.

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3 ways to get 25% more production out of your dozers

  1. Use a production blade. Spade blade and Komatsu IMac blades increase production by up to 20% compared to standard U blades.
  2. Optimise your design for push productivity in 3D. This often improves productivity by 25% in rehab and by up to 15% in production dozing. 3D Data Guidance make software that does this.
  3. Use GPS the guidance system to display push direction vectors to the operator. This cuts unplanned rehandle by up to 20% and shortens the learning curve for new operators.

Time Heals

Time tends to claw back the pursuits of people, eventually weathering and ageing our infrastructure. Time is however our friend when it comes to mine rehabilitation. Fresh mine voids and spoil dumps are ugly, however, it would be a mistake to assume that what you see today is what it will look like in 100 years. The forces of nature are powerful when it comes to reclaiming a mine site back to nature. I tour a lot of mine sites and much of the time I can’t tell which areas of scrub are rehabilitated spoil and which areas have not been mined.

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