This paper outlines the journey of cultural maturation and management system development at the Mt Rawdon (MRO) gold mine from its acquisition by Evolution Mining Limited (Evolution) in late 2011 to 2016.
Evolution embarked upon a series of projects that aimed to improve the operational consistency and implementation of change on-site, while leveraging off the existing strengths of the operation. This document describes the gaps that were identified, the processes used to close them, and the resulting cultural change and production outcomes, with a specific focus on how to optimise the culture at any mining operation.
MRO had a history of four owners in less than three years when it became a key asset of Evolution. The site leadership team (SLT) decided to influence the culture at MRO by reviewing and upgrading the existing management processes.
The first priority was to improve transparency and collaboration at the SLT level, followed by improving competency in project management. The next phase was to strengthen the internal communication using a deliberately designed network of meetings, communication screens and other initiatives. Once there was some traction, the focus moved toward increasing production volume and decreasing cost per unit by improving short-term planning and execution capability. Together with other initiatives, this resulted in improved collaboration between all functions, which in turn netted over 37 per cent mining production uplift.
Following solid success, a process of prioritisation and alignment management was implemented. This supported the ‘Mine to Mill one operation’ ideal and allowed the SLT to decide month-by-month what actions were to be prioritised. These priorities incorporated production realities and longer term imperatives of the balanced business plan.
Much of this work was completed during a period of declining gold prices and a relentlessly strong Australian dollar, making it difficult to justify spending money on improvement projects. This work proved critical for the operation’s long-term survival.
Boon, M and Franklin, M, 2016. Improving consistency of delivery at Mt Rawdon Operation, in Proceedings International Mine Management Conference, pp 305-320 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).