Alternative Fuel Source

Never has the use of diesel fuel in mining been more heavily scrutinised.  Global awareness of sustainable practices is not only impacting the industry itself, but also affecting the ability of the industry to participate in capital markets around the world.

For most mining operations, generally located in remote areas, there is a heavy reliance on the use of diesel fuel.  The shift to clean energy solutions is not a simple one although the potential is huge, with mines typically consuming millions of litres of diesel each year, providing energy for large mobile equipment.  However, new energy sources require careful consideration of the technical and financial viability, including requirements for safety in their design, storage, and operational use.

With the current pace of change in renewable and battery in technology, it is likely that these energy alternatives will ultimately prove cost effective for miners and provide a positive contribution to their social licence to operate.  However, as with any investment, due diligence is critical, and hasty decisions made in response to public pressure could be costly down the track. 

MEC Mining is currently assisting clients in assessing the impacts of alternative energy sources, including use of battery technology and trolley assist for electrification of diesel equipment.  If you are interested in developing an understanding as to how your operation may benefit from a transition to alternate energy technologies, contact MEC for a confidential discussion.

Contact MEC Advisory:
Ph: 07 3832 0301

Adopting a multi-variate approach

From an investors point of view, the mining industry is an investment opportunity with outcomes which are based on highly speculative or sensitive variables.

It is known for having volatile commodity price cycles, limited orebody knowledge and requiring large capital investments, that are mostly inflexible once committed.

The primary goal of a mining operation is to maximise shareholder benefit by extracting the most value out of an ore body. To effectively do this, it is critical to ensure the fundamentals which are developed are fit for purpose for the size and shape of the orebody (i.e. mining fleet size, plant capacity and product.)

Conventional mine planning methods use deterministic values for uncertainties and static system configurations. By adopting a multi-variate approach which integrates uncertainties and design options into the optimisation process, a more flexible and valuable outcome could be expected than that of which conventional methods are likely to achieve.

Contact MEC Advisory:
Ph: 07 3832 0301

Contracts and Tenders: A vital component

The excitement of an early prospector’s ‘Eureka’ moment after unearthing a nugget of gold or finding a gloryhole was undoubtedly followed by the realisation that the hard work was only just beginning.

Modern mining hasn’t changed much in that regard. But today, the initial euphoria of a significant find is also tempered by the attendant ongoing administrative hoops which need to be jumped through.

At the upper end of the scale there are the state and territory governments, gatekeepers and scrutineers of all mineral and energy resources, with the power to initiate exploration contracts. Along the scale are the ongoing deals enacted to keep a mine in motion, the tenders, re-tenders and contractual deals that pepper the life of a mining operation and, if not well-considered, can be an obstacle to progress.

Whether making a direct application for a new mine or submitting (or inviting) a competitive tender for one component of a working operation, navigating the plethora of steps involved can, excuse the pun, be a minefield. Yet each step of the contracts and tenders process is a vital component in ensuring that outcomes are not merely viable but productive for all concerned at every stage of an operation

With mining contracts representing in excess of $3 billion per annum in Australia, engaging contractors who have the capability to deliver the technical, operational, safety and financial services required is critical. The most successful commercial contracts are undoubtedly those formulated with clear understanding of mutually agreed expectations and outcomes, arrived at through the robust scrutiny of all parties involved.

To ensure healthy, productive contracts which respect all parties’ roles and responsibilities prior to commencement means enacting due diligence which is both timely – and ongoing.

So, while it is gratifying to see both miners and contractors grasping the importance of relational contracting, engaging an impartial, external party to oversee contracts and tenders is a valuable investment in time, productivity and in preserving relationships with contractors.

With mining exploration set for a post-COVID boost, now is a good time to explore the benefits of engaging the services of an external advisory company. Contact us to discuss how to utilise our extensive knowledge of all facets of the mining industry and expertise in conducting due diligence for contract and tender valuations.

Contact MEC Advisory:
Ph: 07 3832 0301

Aerial view of a mine site with vehicles

Mergers and Acquisitions: An integral part of the mining landscape

Over time, mergers and acquisitions have become an integral part of the mining landscape. Lately, the relatively small number of low-risk greenfield opportunities is driving investor interest in brownfield acquisitions. With a merger or acquisition offering the potential to regenerate growth, revitalise profit, mitigate risk or develop a new market penetration, the prospect is tempting, particularly when volatile market conditions challenge investors to consider ways to secure growth.

Continue reading “Mergers and Acquisitions: An integral part of the mining landscape”
two cogs with words imprinted strategic planning

Strategic Mine Planning – 6 Critical Considerations

Recent mining publications have been reflecting on the current state of the industry, many referring to the cumulative effect of decisions made in response to both the pandemic and the GFC. Citing poor investor confidence, the dangers of knee-jerk cost-cutting exercises and business initiatives that lack any long-term strategic intent, the expert view is that now is a prime time for reflection, planning and action.

Continue reading “Strategic Mine Planning – 6 Critical Considerations”
continuous improvement

Continuous Improvement

A major multinational mining company was seeking assistance with continuous improvement of their mines performance due to pressures resulting from low commodities prices. MEC supplied an experienced Principal Mining Engineer to audit the sites performance and work with the management team to develop a strategy to improve the sites performance. This review resulted in a multi-pronged strategy to target:

Continue reading “Continuous Improvement”
person pointing at graphs and tables on a sheet of paper

Bringing Realism to Feasibility Studies

With the experience gained from a variety of different mining backgrounds and a good mix of operational and planning experience MEC is able to provide a holistic and common sense approach to feasibility studies. By assessing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats presented by various mining scenarios, the team is able to differentiate between what could be achieved and what will be achieved.  This in turn produces best practice mining solutions, produces real world outcomes and provides a high degree of confidence in all projects undertaken for ours clients. 

Continue reading “Bringing Realism to Feasibility Studies”
Two men at a mine site

Agile advisory services

Our Mining Advisory Team is agile and cover a broad range of projects for our clients. One day you could be on-site conducting Mine Audits or Mine Project Reviews and the next day you could be back in the office working on a Due Diligence Study or Mining Project Evaluation. But no matter what your assignment it, MEC Mining has an engrained focus on leveraging the combined knowledge of our team to deliver quality outcomes.

Continue reading “Agile advisory services”