The 2-day Money Mining & Sustainability seminar comprehensively explains the philosophy and methodology of Whittle Integrated Strategic Planning. It includes an explanation of the process involved and the benefits derived from developing a Whittle Enterprise Optimisation model. This seminar presents a framework for cross-functional business collaboration which can be extended to all stakeholders. The ideal approach is for senior managers from all business disciplines to attend the seminar together. Participation in the seminar is either a final step in deciding whether to embark on an Enterprise Optimisation study, or the first step in doing it.
Money Mining & Sustainability seminars have been attended by over 2,500 participants worldwide. You can find the dates and book for upcoming public seminars on our website. In-house seminars can also be arranged, upon request.
“The Whittle course was a real eye-opener and essential for any senior execs serious about getting the most out of their assets.”
Robert Smackman, CEO, Crusader Resources
“A unique approach to optimising project value and cash flow returns… this is well worth attendance & highly recommended.”
John Meyer, SP Angel, London
A Strategic Assessment is a short exercise to discuss and explore the potential of Whittle Integrated Strategic Planning for your business. Conducted over several days, this involves:
- Examining the current practice for all the key components of Whittle Integrated Strategic Planning.
- Comparing this to best practice.
- Estimating what the scale of benefit (to production, cash flow, or NPV) might be in applying best practice. (e.g. 10-20%, 15-25%, 30-50%, etc.)
- Determining what it would take to apply best practice. (i.e. time, cost, information availability, organisational readiness, etc.)
The Strategic Assessment can be undertaken as a site visit or as a desk-top analysis. The deliverable of a Strategic Assessment is a 10-20 page report which identifies the key value drivers for the site. It also provides an educated estimate of the potential benefit of undertaking a full Whittle Enterprise Optimisation study. The Strategic Assessment is written using concepts and terminology explained in the Money Mining & Sustainability seminar.
“The results from Whittle’s enterprise optimisation across four production scenarios of Condor Gold’s La India Project in Nicaragua, resulted in an average increase of 51% in NPV, 20-25% increase in contained gold with pit shells and a 20% increase in the annual production ounces gold during the first 5 years of the mine life.”
Mark Child, Chairman and CEO of Condor Gold plc
Activity Based Costing & Theory of Constraints
Two core elements to be undertaken before building a Whittle Enterprise Optimisation model are the design of an integrated Activity Based Costing (ABC) and Theory of Constraints (TOC) model. This involves:
- Conducting a series of workshops with management and operational staff.
- The review of the financial and operational information systems.
- The design of a model that identifies;
- key activities
- their respective cost drivers
- the proportion of period versus fixed costs, and
- the location and nature of the main constraints/bottlenecks in the system.
The population and reconciliation of the resulting model is to be completed by local staff. The conduct of Activity Based Costing and Theory of Constraints modelling are worthwhile exercises. They are also the first step in building a complete Whittle Enterprise Optimisation model. In addition, the output provides the template for the design of cost, operational and management reporting systems.
Whittle Consulting can work with you to construct and operate an Enterprise Optimisation model. This involves a comprehensive 12-20 week study comprising data collection, modelling, optimisation and analysis. Typically, this would be structured as follows:
Month 1 : Base Case
Build a Base Case optimisation model, replicating and reconciling to the current plan. This uses existing pit, phase or underground mine designs, the current mine schedule, cut-off and stockpiling policy, existing processing and production/commercial assumptions. This phase is intended to match the business’s existing plans in Prober E, and to check the calibration and accuracy of all the settings through to the current financial model. A base line should be set on social, political and environmental impacts of the operation. The original case is re-valued for the application of ABC/TOC and any other change in assumptions to produce an updated version of the base case. A by-product of this phase is an audit and confirmation of the integrity of the current strategic plan.
Month 2 : Optimised Case
Develop an Optimised Case. Allow the optimiser to control the variables that are flexible, whilst observing appropriate constraints. This will revise the pits / phase / schedule / cutoff / stockpiling / blending / processing / production / logistics / capital (i.e. the 10 mechanisms of a Whittle Enterprise Optimisation model). These mechanisms are applied consecutively for validation and interpretation purposes, but ultimately simultaneously, to see what the ore body and system is capable of in terms of generating stakeholder value.
Month 3 : Scenarios
With a powerful Whittle Enterprise Optimisation model in place, a variety of scenarios can be explored with this sophisticated optimisation model of the business. The scenarios can reflect different future market conditions, or alternative business strategies. Alternative plans can be developed, evaluated and maintained as options. This prepares the business for future changes to market conditions and business context.
KPI/Management Reporting/Information Systems
A Whittle Enterprise Optimisation study identifies the key drivers of value within the business. It also sets a blueprint for the new operating strategy with a degree of clarity that cannot otherwise be achieved. It is important that cost and operational information systems, management reporting systems and processes, including targets and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are aligned with this strategy. If the strategy is to maximise “Net Value per Bottleneck Unit”, then it is important to have reports and targets which are consistent with this objective. Typical targets including, maximising utilisation, tonnes and recoveries allow for a new set of value-based objectives. (e.g. KPIs like “tonnes per hour” need to be replaced with “dollars per hour.”)
With everyone working the right plan and with the right measures in place, the business of mining becomes rewarding for all involved.
Following a Whittle Enterprise Optimisation study, the following can be reviewed and aligned as necessary:
- Operational data systems
- Cost accounting design
- Management reporting
- Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s)
- Targets and incentives
Whittle Consulting can participate and advise, or even lead this stage, or can engage implementation partners, as required.
Ongoing Review & Assessment
As time passes, more data becomes available, operating experience grows, new technologies emerge and the market changes. Strategic plans must also evolve, regularly adapting and evaluating new threats and opportunities as they arise. As a minimum, we recommend updating your Whittle Enterprise Optimisation model annually.
Depending on the size and complexity of the model, and the mechanisms that prove to be important, the Whittle Enterprise Optimisation model can often be maintained in commercially available software tools (Geovia Whittle/SIMO). Alternatively, Whittle Consulting can supply ongoing access to Prober E through a simple Framework Agreement.
The Whittle Integrated Strategic Planning process will identify and prioritise the changes to operating policies that you need to implement. To assist, Whittle Consulting has a range of alliance partners who are experienced and aligned with Integrated Strategic Planning methodology and the Whittle Enterprise Optimisation model. This will ensure the effective realisation of the opportunities Whittle Integrated Strategic Planning has identified for your business.
This support can include:
- Detailed mine design
- Short term scheduling
- Resource & reserve sign-off (i.e. JORC or NI 43-101)
- Operational improvement programmes
- Mining & processing technical support
- A range of mining & processing technologies
- Assays, geo-metallurgical studies
- Mine to mill
- Engineering estimates
- Mining & software
- Management system software
- Sustainability programmes
- Change management
Our network of alliance partners includes: