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Confidential Mining Client · Chile

Two projects at different development stages set the roadmap for joint feasibility and exploration with Haley & Aldrich’s Lean and mining expertise

Discovered 132 innovation opportunities

for mining methods, processing and comminution, waste handling, infrastructure, and power

Identified 15 different scenarios

to show how the project can be executed at different budgets levels

mining feasibility and operations

Client challenge

It was a complicated proposition: After establishing a joint venture of two mining companies with separate projects in geographic proximity but different developmental stages, our client now hoped to integrate them into one viable operation. To succeed, they had to manage the development and integration of onsite infrastructure and facility design needs that included power, water, access roads, a processing plant, tailings storage, pipelines, and port facilities. They also needed to secure environmental and operational permitting.

Given that one project was in the prefeasibility stage and the other in feasibility, and that the two organizations had differing perspectives, our client was looking at a complicated planning and stage gate process. It was crucial to provide the joint venture’s Steering Committee with the information — and projected financial numbers — they needed to ease their minds about challenges and green light the entire integration. The client sought out Haley & Aldrich for not just our extensive track record in mining operations, but also our unique ability to take on our client’s challenges as our own and provide a path forward that produces the value they need.

Our approach

We knew the most effective path was to connect team leaders and their home-office counterparts to cocreate — and therefore align — the combined conceptual and prefeasibility studies. We had to challenge each group’s differing notions about the schedule and process and effectively manage the transition from separate projects to a joint venture to, eventually, one company. Haley & Aldrich used Lean practices and team building exercises to streamline the processes and get everyone on the same page faster and smoother. We developed and facilitated a multiday workshop to consider the known and hidden factors that would make or break this important project.

Instead of weeks of repeated meetings with stakeholders from disparate parties, we quickly broke down the silos and gathered together all necessary participants for three consecutive days. During this workshop, we facilitated conversations and exercises designed to give everyone a voice and ensure everyone agreed upon and understood all crucial aspects of the project.

Using our Lean expertise, we helped our client assess customer value to understand who the customers and key stakeholders were — and learn what was important to identify possible pitfalls and opportunities from the merged operation. We brainstormed and prioritized mine plan scenarios while considering tradeoffs associated with tailings, plant, water, infrastructure, and mining operations. These exercises helped develop a project organization chart and confirm a high-level, commitment-based schedule through prefeasibility. The schedule included gates and milestones that addressed key issues associated with safety, environmental and operational permitting, community relations, and operational constraints — all in just three days.

Value delivered

  • Used mining experience and Lean methodology expertise to give our client the organizational structure, roadmap to key data needs, and confirmed schedule needed to get buy-in from the joint venture’s Steering Committee
  • Identified 15 different mining operation scenarios to show how the project can be executed at different budgets levels
  • Discovered 132 innovation opportunities for mining methods, processing and comminution, waste handling, infrastructure, and power — and identified a comprehensive list of the associated risks

For more information on this project, contact:

Bruce Wilkinson

Program Manager, Senior Lean Practitioner

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