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Keeping up with the Joneses – the value of industry surveys and benchmarking


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Author T D H McGrath and W P Staunton


Benchmarking, comparing an operation or process with the industry standard, is known to be a useful method for identifying plant optimisation opportunities, and in many cases providing the pathway to realise the benefits. The difficulty is generating the database of plant data necessary for a benchmarking exercise. Larger companies can benchmark internally; this option is not available to smaller companies, and the full value can only be realised with a comprehensive “industry wide” approach.

The Gold Technology Group at Curtin University through the AMIRA P420 series of projects has undertaken several comprehensive metallurgical industry surveys in the gold industry over the last two decades. Analysis of these surveys has demonstrated areas where many operations can benefit from re-assessment of their operating practices.

This paper will review the work undertaken by the Group in this area, in particular the 1999 surveys of gold companies in the Australasian region, and the 2012 international survey of the industry. The challenges of, and opportunities arising from these surveys will be discussed. Some of the highlights from analysis of these databases will be presented as well as noting changes in processing practices observed by the Group over the last 20 years.


McGrath, T D H and Staunton, W P, 2018. Keeping up with the Joneses – the value of industry surveys and benchmarking, in Proceedings 14th AusIMM Mill Operators' Conference 2018, pp 509–516 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).