Astute Consulting takes an evidence-based approach through auditing to identify opportunities for improvement for its customers. Our audit process is aligned to ISO 19011:2018 Guideline to Auditing Management Systems. The audit scope is flexible and is agreed with the customer to meet their specific needs. Our service objective is to focus on open-pit mining, and drill and blast to identify improvement opportunities in our customer’s management systems.
Drill and Blast Audit
The audit criteria are bench-marked against legislation, Australian Standard 2187, the Australian Code for the Transport of Explosives by Road or Rail (AEC-3), and the Australian Dangerous Goods Code (ADG 7.5). The audit criteria are used to identify improvements in the customer’s management systems. The audit additionally focusses on QA/QC processes, design execution, blast review methods, and cost tracking.
Drill and Blast Contractor Audit
Aside from the agreed compliance scope above, Astute Consulting will develop audit criteria bench-marked against the contract. The purpose is to assess adherence to performance indicators such as quality, design execution, equipment availability, and utilisation. Moreover, assessing whether drill and blast costs are inline with blast design specifications verse the execution actual.
The mining audit criteria is bench-marked against legislation, codes of practice and guidelines. The audit will identify improvement opportunities in the management system by reviewing key management plans such as the Traffic Management Plan and Ground Control Management Plan. The audit will also focus on efficiencies within short term planning, haulage management, dump management, equipment performance, and utilisation.
Mining Contractor Audit
Aside from the agreed compliance scope above, Astute Consulting will develop audit criteria bench-marked against the contract. The purpose is to assess adherence to performance indicators such as quality, design execution, equipment availability, and utilisation. Astute Consulting will also assess whether haulage costs are in-line with expectations. Lastly productivity rates will be assessed and factors such as dig-ability and poor truck cycles that hinder productivity will be audited.
Safety Culture Assessment
Understanding what the Safety Culture is in an organisation allows informed decisions to be made on resource allocation. Astute Consulting will measure common and tested factors such as Safety Leadership, Just Culture, Learning Culture, and Accountability to name a few, to understand the safety climate in the organisation. An analysis is conducted on data gathered through a survey to provide management meaningful evidence to make decisions on focus areas to enhance the organisations safety culture. Astute Consulting understands that the results of recommended system changes should create tangible benefits. Therefore, Astute Consulting will measure key indicators such as incident rates and equipment damage costs at the time of the assessment. This will be done again at an agreed point in the future to recognise the results of system changes.
Understanding costs from the bottom up is key to cost management. Astute Consulting offers an outside 3rd party view on what factors are leading to high operational Drill and Blast and Mining costs. The process is to analyse company data, conduct interviews, and complete site observations as to why there may be an increase in costs. For example, increasing the number of fixed assets may be due to underestimating resource requirements or under-utilisation. An increase in fixed costs without an increase in production results in a higher unit cost. Whether cost per drill metre or cost per BCM mined, Astute Consulting will determine the factors leading to high costs from utlisation, mining inefficiency through to equipment resource estimation.
Whilst many factors can lead to high costs, there are also many opportunities to reduce costs in a mining operation. If efficiencies can be gained where the fixed assets can be reduced, this has the opposite effect and lowers unit cost. Astute Consulting not only can determine why there are high costs, but it can also seek opportunities to reduce them with validated data.