Life of Mine design, scheduling and financial reviews have recently been completed by MEC Mining for two major underground coal resources in the Bowen Basin. The critical success factor was timely completion to meet business requirements and our Senior Mining Consultant Geoff Watson delivered the optimised production scenarios in around 3 weeks. In addition, capital and operating cost models were reviewed and updated to generate LOM financial evaluations.
Lately I’ve noticed an increase in the market trend of insourcing and outsourcing. What is the difference in value creation for your organisation? Which one will serve you best?
These are the questions companies need to ask themselves in the current cost-pressurised environment. Will it work best for you to insource, by bringing in a third party to work from within your company? Or will you be better off outsourcing, by transferring portions of work to outside suppliers, rather than completing it internally?
With the recent spike in the coal price many open cut coal mines are looking at bulk dozer push as a strategy to increase the overall stripping and uncover more coal. Bulk dozer push can be applied in most situations where the coal dip is less than 20 degrees and has the following advantages:
The saying goes that nice guys finish last and for the early part of my career, this used to really bug me. I was only good at being nice and my conscience would usually stop me from doing mean things at the frequency that I thought might be required to get ahead. With the passing of time it is now clear that the saying is not true. I have seen a few not so nice guys come and go. On balance the vast majority did not get ahead and many matured a little and snapped out of being mean because it wasn’t helping their cause.
With a birthplace in the heart of the Yorkshire Coalfield (UK), Geoff has over 33 years experience in the operational, technical and financial aspects of the mining industry. He has managed and mentored mining and technical personnel from coal developments, longwall operations through to technical services and major contracts.
Everyone has been pleasantly surprised by the recent run up in the metallurgical coal price. From around $82 per tonne – where commentators were saying it would remain for the next decade, it has shot up spectacularly to over $200 per tonne for premium hard coking coal. Now I’m sure that it will retreat somewhat from the latest run, but my view is that the long term is looking bright for premium metallurgical coal producers.
Every time I turn on the TV these days there is an evil, greedy mining corporation killing, maiming and polluting in the ruthless pursuit of money. So allegedly, according to TV, mining companies are plundering away unchecked at everyone’s expense. The themes vary from the heartless interplanetary miners in Avatar, Alien and Moon, to the idolisation of crooks that rob gold mines such as in the Point Break remake. At least mining got the last say on Point Break, because the movie’s plot was very ordinary to say the least.
When a mine starts up, the approvals process demands that a plan is developed to rehabilitate the mine progressively and at closure. At approvals stage, there is little appetite to slow down the already lengthy and cumbersome process with complicated rehabilitation planning. This tends to see mine developers prefer to adopt a safe solution for post mining land use that conforms with the industry norms, rather than take risks to achieve a better outcome.That sees most companies nominate grazing as a post mining land use, since its easy to grow grass and cows eat it. Not much risk in that.
The mining industry can have a very short memory when commodity prices rise and bad habits from the mining boom glory days can easily creep back into the industry.