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Operational Throughput


The situation

DBA was approached to conduct a detailed review of the throughput process for an open pit manganese mine in South Africa. Three key issues were identified:

  • A systemic lack of leadership and absence of robust systems and tools to manage the operation

  • Approach to contractor management was flawed which included structural and skills challenges especially in the maintenance environment

  • Mine planning system required attention

The DBA involvement

  • Installed new Management Operating System to establish the rhythms and routines, underpinning agendas, action logs and performance KPIs to enhance the level of discussion and feedback.  The key thrust here was the inclusion of the strategic contractors.

  • Developed bespoke Dynamic Constraints Model of the end-to-end mine operations to identify constraints and key opportunities for improvement which included cost and scenario planning for future growth

  • A Results & Performance Meetings Framework acted as an inclusive review of all strategic functions

  • Implemented debottlenecking initiatives, having understood the constraint after thorough consultation with front-line teams and as evidenced in the Dynamic Constraints Model

  • Implemented new maintenance management processes with contractors and at the principal including scheduling, resourcing and management of a lifecycle management programme for key plant and equipment

Key Outcomes


  • The project was initiated to close the gap and enable the mine to deliver on its budget of 2.40MT, with a goal to achieve the stretch target of 2.64MT, and set up the mine to deliver 3MT+ in the following year

  • This was achieved including stretch goals - Quarter 1 showed sustainable results being delivered with forecasts on track for a further 14% improvement

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