Vice optimization at Anglo American Copper Business, Director and Chairman of the Productivity Collahuasi Mining Seminar, Rodrigo Subiabre:
END OF SUPER CYCLE OF COPPER … a perfect storm faced with EXCELLENCE
1985-2015, three decades of gold for the growth and development of Chile where the GDP has increased by 16 times, with mining as the engine of the economy of the country. We have faced several storms in these 30 years, maybe this last one -of the end of the super cycle of commodities, including copper and one of the most complex because of the intensity and simultaneous challenges, such as labor productivity, intensity of use of invested capital and – not always profitable at full, and generated demands or expectations that do not cover the needs of our internal teams, communities and society.
Facing this storm, companies have opted for the first four classic steps: 1) Increase labor productivity by reducing its own power in minimum ranges of 10% and some more aggressive 25%; 2) Reduction of external services, they are also indirectly associated with labor productivity; 3) Restriction of investments capital, with emphasis on maintaining cash flow, above parameters such as Net Present Value (NPV); and 4) Maximizing the use of capital installed for maximum performance of all the technology invested in recent years. The storm is not a problem in itself, but that is the way how we face it. This will storm a problem, a crisis, a challenge or an opportunity for change.
Each company has had in recent years examples of excellence in some areas of their organization. Therefore, the call is to share and capture what facts made it possible to achieve that level and display it in a particular way so that together with other areas and companies identify the ways of cooperation and integration. I am convinced that much of the excellence obtained was achieved by a team of quality with a desire to make a difference, where teamwork is more important than individual agendas, where everyone can innovate in their job beating their own personal marks, but without losing sight that they are part of an all.
However, we have to face future storms with a quantum leap in our team, with the development of new skills of optimization with methodologies in the first level of the production chain, and then with the introduction of new technologies. In that order!
Expomin 2016 in their seminar of Productivity will show a summary of actual cases with their successes and problems encountered later. We will also cover some options on how to further improve productivity after workforce reductions already made during 2015. It will be a meeting for discussing regarding what more we can do … we look forward to the great mining experience and also to the small-scale mining.