Business Advice

3 Ways to Make Your Mining Operation More Efficient

Mining is a labor-intensive affair. The best mining subsidiaries out there have perfected the efficiency of a large-scale gold mining project in order to reduce the cost per ounce in the extraction and purification processes that precede any commercial use of the commodity.

Firms operating mines in this space must balance the need for environmental-friendly practices—such as the elimination of cyanide use and other chemicals that can damage the waters of a nearby dam or natural aquifers that exist nearby—with a commitment to continued efficiency that translates into financial statements that inspire investor confidence over the long term.

Reimagining your operating mines in a more efficient way is crucial to continued success in this competitive field, and learning from some of the industry’s finest is a great place to start.

1. Prioritization of research and process improvement is crucial.


Firms like Alamos Gold (NYSE: AGI) and its subsidiaries offer a fantastic place to begin when searching for a boost to operating efficiency. Alamos operates three highly productive mines in North America (the Mulatos mine in Mexico, and the Young-Davidson and Island Gold mines in Northern Ontario). Alamos is a multinational mine operator based in Toronto and has expansion projects that are focused on the mountain regions of Utah and western Turkey.

The Alamos Gold in Turkey expansion is particularly interesting for those looking to emulate the firm’s formula for success. Environmental renewal is a key area of Alamos’ operational playbook, and the elimination of harsh chemicals that can damage groundwater and kill off plant life has been left behind by Alamos Gold. Conforming to high internal regulatory requirements isn’t an easy transition, but even with the protections in place, Alamos is still managing to extract hundreds of thousands of ounces of gold at an alarmingly low cost. This is due to the commitment that Alamos has made to continuing improvements in the research and processes employed at each mining site.

2. Maintain high-level equipment accountability.


Equipment accountability is crucial to a strong development project for your firm and its subsidiaries. Alamos has adopted highly efficient systems of control that allow its mines to operate without a hitch. Others have followed suit with new inclusions like an electronic equipment checkout form solution. Tracking your firm’s equipment is essential for maintaining safety standards for those working at the sites you operate.

Equipment checkout and monitoring solutions are there to maintain safety standards that will keep your employees happy and healthy, and your operations continually on target. One of the worst things that can happen to a mine is a preventable injury. Accidents happen at worksites all the time, and more often than not, a commitment to equipment monitoring could have prevented the problem. Accidents cause injury and pain to your workers, and they slow down your critical processes, costing the firm time, energy, heartache, and money.

3. Address visibility gaps for shareholders and beyond core leadership personnel.


Finally, maintaining great levels of efficiency is far more streamlined if your firm eliminates visibility gaps that can affect shareholder sentiment or key worker morale. Maintaining a high degree of visibility from top to bottom isn’t always a popular decision among key leadership members, but in the mining industry, this is becoming a new norm that others are following in order to boost productivity and efficacy overall.

Allowing for the interplay of information across the firm helps your team feel more cohesive. This provides a springboard for your miners to continue to meet and exceed targets that will propel your localized subsidiaries to new heights in the measurement of efficiency.