Identify bottlenecks &
improve cost modelling

New concepts for the mining industry

Watch Video

In this 7-minute video, you will gain a high level overview of:

  • Activity Based Costing (ABC)
  • Theory of Constraints (TOC)
  • The impact of the Whittle process on the NPV of mining projects and operations. 
Cost modelling based on activities performed and their relevant cost drivers, plus a distinction between period/fixed and attributable/variable costs.

Activity Based Costing (ABC)

Activity Based Costing (ABC) is a cost model that accurately reflects the cause-and-effect relationship between activity costs and the cost drivers to which they are attributable.

Whittle Consulting applies ABC to:

  • Identify key “Activities” in the business that incur costs.
  • Identify the appropriate “Cost Driver” for each activity. This is wider than production tonnes (e.g. depth, distance, hardness, abrasiveness, volume, density, water table, etc.)
  • Create a complete model which recognises “Front Line”, “Support” and “Back Line” activities.
  • Identify the underlying “Fixed Cost” or “Period Cost” by examining the total cost of each activity at full capacity.
Theory of Constraints is a methodology for identifying the most important limiting factor, standing in the way of achieving a goal. Thus eliminating the constraint within the system.

Theory of Constraints (TOC)

Theory of Constraints (TOC) views any manageable system as being limited in achieving its goals by a very small number of constraints. TOC recognises that processes and organisations are vulnerable to their weakest link, which can adversely affect the performance of the entire operation.

Whittle Consulting utilises TOC in a strategic context to:

  • Identify the primary and secondary bottlenecks to cash flow within the system and what their true characteristics are.
  • Optimise the performance of these bottlenecks by aligning the operating policy of the entire system to the characteristics of the bottlenecks.
  • Subordinate everything else. Increasing activity levels in non-bottleneck parts of the system is either a waste of time or is destructive.
  • Elevate the bottleneck performance until it is no longer a bottleneck.
  • Once successful – start again!
  • Continue until the ultimate bottleneck is where it should be in a design sense. This will be the most capital-intensive part of the system or the market itself.
“It is no exaggeration to say that the Enterprise Optimisation techniques, namely the integration of Activity Based Costing and Theory of Constraints, constitute the most significant innovations that I have seen in almost 30 years of experience in the mining industry.”
Peter Knights
Professor of Mining, Queensland University

Start by attending a seminar

Discover the mechanisms to enhance mine valuation for open pit and underground mining projects and operations.

Our proprietary software – Prober

Whittle Enterprise Optimisation is the culmination of 35 years of development by our founder,

Jeff Whittle (AO), and the Whittle Consulting team.


Prober is the most powerful mining optimisation software in existence:

  • A multi-thread, cloud-enabled, non-linear, multi-variable, simultaneous mine optimiser.
  • Has the power to resolve the largest and most complex Enterprise Optimisation models.
  • Harnesses the substantial knowledge, understanding and data that exists within the mining organisation, without compromising on detail.
  • Can run multiple scenarios quickly to evaluate dozens of scenarios in weeks, not months
  • Controls every aspect of the mining business, from the mineral resource through to cash flow.
“I recognised that Whittle had a great process but importantly, the right tool to do the job. Prober is that tool. Without it, Integrated Strategic Planning and the optimisation of the entire enterprise simply would not be possible.”
Tim Duffy
President Director & Managing Director, Agincourt Resources

Mining consulting services