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Mining and minerals processing

Introduction

Broadleaf specialises in risk management, to better understand and create value from uncertainty. We conduct enterprise-wide risk management studies, quantitative risk analyses and capital evaluations, qualitative risk assessments, project framing analyses, technical hazard studies and associated activities, for mines, minerals processing plants, smelters and production facilities. We operate throughout the world and in most mining sectors.

Some of the larger examples are listed here. They include:

  • Quantitative analysis of uncertainty in capital costs, operating costs, project schedule and investment value
  • Project risk assessments
  • Maturity evaluation and the development of complete frameworks for the management of risks across the organisation and within projects
  • Support for strategic decisions, including decisions related to mergers and acquisitions, organisational restructuring, water use strategy, integrated carbon capture and energy policy, selection of ore processing approaches and technology and the allocation of sustaining capital
  • Development of risk management plans and risk management strategies
  • Project value improvement and value management studies
  • Technology risk assessments, including risks associated with different technology choices and with the installation and operation of critical equipment
  • Hazard and safety studies
  • Risk assessments of mine-wide site operations, process plant operations, cogeneration projects, mini-mill and smelter operations, and transport hazards
  • Training in project risk management, quantitative analysis and technical hazard studies

Bauxite and aluminium

Alcoa World Alumina Australasia

We modelled energy supply risk for a smelting operation and the associated insurance impacts; we facilitated a risk assessment for a smelter expansion; we carried out an extensive gas supply business continuity risk assessment and assisted in assessing the cost effectiveness of alternative fuel supplies and equipment upgrades required to run alumina refineries on oil; we carried out several qualitative risk assessments of alumina refinery upgrades; we carried out a risk based business case assessment of alumina refinery waste disposal methods; we carried out several business continuity risk assessments of new corporate IT systems’ introduction to Australia and a risk based cost-benefit analysis of the merits of a hot IT standby site.

Ma’aden Aluminium Project

Ma’aden Aluminium Project is a massive project from mine and railway through refining and smelting with associated power plant and infrastructure, to the port. Capital cost estimates came from several different companies performing major sub-projects. We were part of a team that brought the estimate together and we conducted a quantitative risk analysis of the total cost. A particular area of concern was the interface project, on which we performed several updates of the risk and quantitative cost analyses.

Nabalco

We conducted a desk review of Nabalco’s risk management program, including the company’s risk management policy and processes, environmental risk guidelines, organisational processes and risk registers.

Base metals

MMG

We conducted a qualitative risk assessment for the Dugald River Project implementation and a quantitative risk analysis of the associated costs and schedules, consistent with the MMG risk management framework; we developed the company’s risk management framework, and assisted in its implementation at all sites in Australia and Asia; we provided a four-day foundations of risk management course, executive and managers’ workshops, and detailed training on subjects such as fault tree and event tree analysis, bow tie analysis and risk treatment planning.

Mount Isa Mines

We prepared and facilitated a risk assessment for the Zinc Concentrator Upgrade Project for Xstrata Zinc Mount Isa Mines, the upgrade to take place in a brownfield operating site.

Nyrstar

We facilitated the development of a new framework and approach to the management of risk that now operates across this multinational company, involving a facilitated evaluation of the current approaches against the requirements of ISO 31000 and the development of an improvement and implementation plan; we drafted and developed many tools and documents including a qualitative risk rating system, risk assessment approach and risk register system; subsequently we supported the roll-out of the new framework through a series of interventions in Europe and the USA; we provided two training courses in Switzerland and Canada for ‘champions’ who would lead the roll-out; we helped Nyrstar develop a risk-based process for the allocation of sustaining capital across the group.

We undertook risk management and value management for the Port Pirie Development Project, involving qualitative risk assessments and treatment planning, quantitative analysis of the capital cost (with several updates) and value management exercises involving the engineering organisation and the Nyrstar project team; the coordinated approach should give the project the best chance of bringing new life to an old facility cost-effectively.

Coal

Anglo Coal

We carried out a quantitative capex risk assessment of the Lake Lindsay project.

BHP Billiton

Illawarra Coal: We conducted a number of hazard studies, including Failure Modes and Effects Analyses (FMEAs), Hazop studies and a fire safety study of the Dendrobium coal washery upgrade; we developed a risk management plan and we conducted risk assessments and Hazop studies for the West Cliff coal preparation plant (CPP); we conducted value management studies and risk assessments of a new mining domain and associated coal clearance, mine development and gas ventilation, extraction and management projects to meet environmental requirements.

Mt Arthur Coal: We facilitated a Hazop study for the coal handling and processing plant (CHPP) upgrade project.

BMA Coal

A new approach to the Goonyella Complex Expansion Project was required; we facilitated a divergent thinking workshop to develop over 20 viable options for value improvement for further consideration.

Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal

We facilitated a risk assessment of new rail unloading facilities at the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal; the terminal went through several expansions and at each expansion we facilitated quantitative cost risk analyses.

Peabody Energy

Shortly before its takeover by Peabody, we carried out a quantitative cost and schedule risk assessment of the Codrilla coal mine expansion.

We facilitated a value management workshop with the engineering organisation and Peabody personnel for the Eaglefield expansion project.

Port Kembla Coal Terminal

We facilitated a risk assessment of the rail modifications associated with the Port Kembla Coal Terminal Upgrade Project.

Rio Tinto

We carried out a major cost and schedule risk assessment of the Kestrel Mine Extension project in the lead up to full sanction and provided support to the project in allocating the project contingency.

Sedgman

We provided training and mentoring in the application of the @Risk software package, based on a review of Sedgman quantitative risk analysis models, with advice on potential improvements to risk management processes and methods.

Solid Energy NZ

We provided high-level support and advice during the preparation of the company’s enterprise risk management framework.

Wollongong Coal, Russell Vale Colliery

We facilitated the risk assessment for the Underground Expansion Project at the Russell Vale Colliery, a requirement for planning approval. The assessment focussed on risks that might affect the quantity of water in Cataract Reservoir, the quality of the water flowing into the Reservoir and the ecological health of upland swamps and creeks. The assessment was reviewed by an Independent Risk Assessment Panel and the regulators. Our report was presented to the NSW Planning Assessment Commission.

Xstrata Coal

We developed the company’s project risk management framework.

We undertook quantitative risk assessments of project capital costs for mine development and expansion projects in Australia and South Africa; we developed incentive models based on the achievement of project cost, schedule and safety targets for a large coal handling and processing plant construction contract.

We facilitated qualitative risk assessments for a wide range of projects for new coal mines and mine expansions; we facilitated a large root causes analysis of a dragline shutdown; we facilitated a Kepner Tregoe decision analysis exercise to recommend the best option for movement of raw coal from the new decline to the coal wash plant at Oaky Creek North with new conveyor technology.

We facilitated a review of strategic options for capturing and using fugitive methane emissions from Australian mines; we facilitated a review of water management strategies for Australian operations; we assisted in setting risk-based priorities for the due diligence team exploring a large merger opportunity; we facilitated a review of ethical practices and compliance with the company’s Business Code of Conduct.

We provided many risk management training courses in Australia and South Africa.

Copper

Bariq Mining

We conducted a quantitative risk analysis of the capital cost uncertainty for the Jabal Sayid Project, a copper-gold development in Saudi Arabia. It built upon qualitative risk assessments carried out by the project team, and provided a complementary view of the risk and its implications for the funding required to be able to complete the project.

BHP Billiton

Escondida Copper, Chile: We facilitated risk assessments of several projects including a new acid heap leach project, and a new desalination plant and water pipe to the mine.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold

We conducted a quantitative range analysis of uncertainty in the capital cost estimate for the Tenke Fungurume project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Kazakhmys

We carried out cost and schedule risk assessments of the Bozshakol Copper Project in support of the feasibility study undertaken by Aker.

Nautilus Minerals

We facilitated risk assessments and quantitative risk analyses of uncertainty in the capital cost, operating cost and schedule estimates for the Solwara 1 project, a unique underwater mine on the sea floor off Papua New Guinea almost 2 km deep that will be mined by remotely controlled mining equipment.

Ok Tedi Mining Limited

We provided audit and peer review for a sophisticated quantitative risk analysis for a sensitive mine waste management project involving engineering, social and environmental aspects.

PanAust, Frieda River Project

We conducted quantitative cost and schedule risk analyses for the Frieda River Project.

Rio Tinto

Oyu Tolgoi: We have been involved in several stages of the design of the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia as it has developed; we facilitated quantitative risk analyses of project schedule and cost estimates, fully linked and incorporating the key activities of major sub-projects.

Port Kembla Copper: We facilitated a range of reviews, investigations and technical risk reviews over a period of several years, including a detailed root cause analysis of a high profile accident that was reviewed by WorkCover and the Minister.

Xstrata Copper and Sagittarius Mines

We facilitated the pre-feasibility level risk assessment of the Tampakan project and helped the company understand and rationalise the many strategic options; later we facilitated a risk assessment of the feasibility phase, leading to a quantitative risk analysis looking at the development schedule and the potential sources of delay; all these studies were consistent with the Xstrata risk management framework.

Diamonds

BHP Billiton Diamonds

Ekati Diamond Mine: We facilitated risk assessment workshops in Yellowknife for the Fox Deep, Sable and Pigeon open pit and Fox Deep underground developments and prepared a draft risk management plan for the Feasibility Study report, all consistent with BHP Billiton’s enterprise wide risk management (EWRM) framework.

Gold

AngloGold Ashanti

We conducted a project framing workshop for the pre-feasibility stage of the La Colosa gold project in Colombia; we carried out quantitative cost and revenue risk modelling of the Boddington gold mine development at prefeasibility and feasibility study stages.

Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines

We conducted a quantitative risk analysis for the capital evaluation of a major gold mine expansion and development.

Lihir Gold

We conducted a risk assessment of the Power Distribution Reliability Project at the Lihir gold mine and processing plant in Papua New Guinea. We helped the company develop its framework for risk management, including the revision of its approach to qualitative risk analysis and the drafting of a risk management policy statement and a handbook; we helped launch these with a facilitated Executive team workshop.

Newcrest

We developed an entire, multi-phased, investment opportunity management and governance system for all the company’s major capital projects.

Newmont Waihi Gold

We provided an independent review of an assessment of the risks to people associated with potential ground collapses near a proposed recreational lake at the Martha open pit mine.

Otter Gold

We conducted a risk assessment of all aspects of Tanami site operations.

Iron ore and steel

Anglo American

Kumba Iron Ore: We conducted a structured and objective evaluation of their current approaches to the management of risks within large development projects and the portfolio of major investments; we made practical recommendations on changes that should be made to their current approaches to provide a sounder and more effective basis for decisions, leading into a detailed implementation plan.

Arrium (formerly OneSteel)

We conducted a workshop with senior management to provide a greater risk focus to their approach to health and safety management.

BHP Billiton

We conducted qualitative and quantitative risk assessment and capital evaluations for BHP's Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI) plants, in Australia and Venezuela; we developed incentive models based on the achievement of project cost, schedule and safety targets for a large plant construction contract.

BlueScope Steel

We conducted hazard studies for a coil paint line and development of a new industrial complex; we conducted fire safety studies of steelmaking, caster and slab handling plants at Port Kembla.

Fortescue Metals Group

Christmas Creek 2: We worked with the mining contractor Downer Mining to facilitate qualitative and quantitative risk assessments, with a particular focus on operating costs for mining techniques different from those employed at other major mines.

Hunter Specialty Steels

We conducted qualitative and quantitative business enterprise risk analyses of a new mineral processing and smelting process.

Rio Tinto

We carried out quantitative cost risk assessments of stages 1 and 4 of the Hope Downs development; we carried out quantitative cost risk assessments for the Wandoo Housing Project.

Xstrata Iron Ore

We facilitated a review of treatment options to reduce the risks associated with travel to and from a remote site in West Africa.

Magnesium

Australian Magnesium Corporation

We facilitated several quantitative cost risk analyses; towards the end of the project we facilitated a large and public value management study over several days that identified over $600 million of plausible savings.

SAMAG

We facilitated a risk review of a proposed design that was a new approach to an existing technology, with a strong emphasis on the opportunities as well as the threats.

Manganese

BHP Billiton

GEMCO: We provided technical writing services for GEMCO expansion feasibility studies; we carried out several qualitative and quantitative risk assessments of capacity expansion projects for the business, both as part of studies leading to approval to proceed with expenditure and to help the Owner’s and EPCM teams to refine and improve implementation plans.

TEMCO: We facilitated a technical review of the operations with particular emphasis on the operating procedures and practices.

Nickel

BHP Billiton

We conducted quantitative cost and schedule risk analyses for the Cliffs Nickel Project, and later for the EPCM costs; we conducted quantitative cost and schedule analyses for the Talc Re-design Project; we conducted a quantitative range analysis for the capital costs of the NDS1 Project; we conducted quantitative capital cost and schedule analyses for the Ravensthorpe Nickel Project.

We facilitated HAZOP and safety integrity level (SIL) studies for the Yabulu Expansion Project and the Yabulu Debottlenecking Project; we undertook a quantitative schedule risk analysis for the Yabulu Expansion Project.

INCO (now part of Vale)

We conducted qualitative risk assessments and quantitative risk analyses of uncertainty in the cost and schedule estimates for the feasibility study for the Goro Nickel Project.

LionOre

We facilitated a HAZOP study for the Tati Project, involving copper, cobalt and nickel solvent extraction, copper and nickel electrowinning, cobalt precipitation and the associated solvent extraction fire response system.

Norilsk Nickel

We conducted detailed training in the application of @Risk to uncertainty in mine planning and capital evaluation; we prepared detailed quantitative risk analysis models for business evaluation of the Wedgetail, Black Swan and New Cawse developments.

Minara Resources

We conducted an enterprise risk management maturity evaluation and gap analysis of the company’s risk management framework and processes, identified opportunities for improvement and suggested how practical improvements could be made.

Weda Bay Nickel

We conducted qualitative risk assessments and quantitative risk analyses of uncertainty in the capital and operating cost estimates for the pre-feasibility study for the Weda Bay Nickel Cobalt Project.

Western Mining Corporation

We conducted technical risk assessments and quantitative risk analyses of options for new nickel smelting technologies and mine infrastructure packages.

Xstrata Nickel

Over a long involvement with the Koniambo Nickel Project, we developed and implemented the strategic approach to risk management, conducted reviews, undertook quantitative cost and schedule risk analyses and facilitated detailed HAZOP studies.

We reviewed the central and site risk registers for the company; we provided risk management training courses in Toronto and Sudbury, based on the Xstrata risk management framework.

Platinum group metals

Impala Platinum

We worked for Impala on the development and support of their ERM framework on many occasions, involving practical advice and the provision of tools and methods; we conducted a root cause analysis of a fatal accident and developed a new approach to major accident investigation.

Xstrata Alloys

We provided risk management training courses in Rustenburg, South Africa, based on the Xstrata risk management framework.

Potash

BHP Billiton

We conducted quantitative risk analyses, in Toronto and Saskatoon, Canada, of capital cost uncertainty and schedule uncertainty for initial stages of the Jansen Project and reviewed in-house schedule and other risk assessments.

Uranium

Alliance Resources

We facilitated a qualitative assessment of the strategic and operational risks for the company and its Four Mile Project.

BHP Billiton

We have conducted numerous qualitative risk assessments and quantitative risk analyses for the Olympic Dam business over many years.

We conducted quantitative risk analyses of cost and schedule for the Yeelirrie Project.

Rio Tinto

We conducted quantitative risk analyses of the capital cost and schedule uncertainty for the Ranger Exploration Decline Project.

Other services

Anglo American

We reviewed the arrangements for the independent peer review of projects and developed a revised, risk-based strategy involving establishing a formal ‘College of Reviewers’ to conduct timely, value adding and structured Competent Independent Reviews; we provided foundation risk management training, and advanced training on specialised aspects of risk management, for the College of Reviewers; we developed an evaluation tool for members of investment review teams.

BHP Billiton

We provided project risk management training for senior personnel in Australia, Chile, South Africa and the USA; we assisted in the development of the first edition of BHP’s risk management guidelines.

Downer Mining

We assisted in the technical evaluation and risk assessment for the establishment of a pyrolysis plant for recycling used mining truck tyres. The technology had not been used on these specific tyres before. A review of its performance, risks and required enhancements was performed in China and in Brisbane.

We conducted a risk assessment to assist the company when tendering for an underground mine development and mine production project in Africa.

Xstrata

We developed the company’s project risk management framework; we provided extended project risk management training for managers across the company in Australia, Canada and South Africa.

We developed the company-wide risk management framework including a risk management maturity evaluation tool that was implemented across the group for governance reporting; we provided training workshops for group-wide risk management champions.