Mining equipment in Australia runs at lower annual outputs than most of its global peers. Australia is not best in class for output from any category of equipment and is below the annual output of North America across all classes of equipment.
There is an inherent conflict between a productivity plan based on increased volumes and one based on cost reduction. Those mines with well delineated strategies which are followed with discipline by their people make up the majority of those achieving top quartile equipment performance.
Company-wide equipment performance for many global miners sit in the second and third quartiles, and the differences between their best and worst performing mines are stark. The differences between median performance and best practice output by equipment category can be over 100%.
Hard rock mining conditions are a well-worn excuse for poor productivity performance, when in fact data reveals there are many mines digging very hard materials who are achieving best practice. The extent to which these variances are monitored, rationalised or dismissed is unclear as data capture management practices are still evolving compared with many other industries. The Tier 1 assets have the best ore bodies in the world. Imagine how profitable they would be if they also delivered best in class productivity performance.
Productivity is heavily dependent on the way people act and operate. A better rated piece of equipment might deliver 5-10% output improvement, and require additional capital, but changes in the work practices can deliver 20%+ gains, often at little or no cost.