Tag Archives: Open-pit Mining


USC Consulting Group is a world-class operations management firm that for the past 50 years has helped mining companies around the globe improve their business performance by increasing throughput, reducing costs, eliminating waste, increasing productivity, improving quality and leveraging existing assets.


Your process improvement experience starts with USC digging in to begin to learn what truly makes your mining operations tick. We conduct detailed diagnostics, at the point of execution, whether underground, in the pit, surface, processing plants and support services to gain an understanding of impediments to increased performance. We’ll handpick a team uniquely qualified to address your specific challenges. We’ll observe how you do things around the clock, shift to shift, engaging directly with the people on the front lines – production, maintenance, engineering, and all support departments. Then we’ll collaborate with you to turn our findings into a detailed, workable plan, complete with tools from our well-rounded toolkit.


This is the point when most consultants leave you with a binder and walk out the door. Instead, we’re developing a project plan, organizing work breakdown structure, developing performance goals, determining measurement metrics and making sure our jointly developed strategies get the desired results. Managing data and information in the mining environment is vital for continuous improvement efforts. As part of our implementation process, we will help you enhance how your organization makes use of key data and information. Knowing where the right data and information lives and putting it to value added purposes is essential to managing a successful business. Leveraging enabling technology such as Microsoft Power BI helps to achieve, and then sustain the desired outcomes. Our LINCS® Lean Information Control System will enhance your existing Management Operating System (MOS) by smoothing the change process, providing timely feedback on KPI’s to process owners and actionable business intelligence to key decision makers. We openly share the results of our collaboration to increase and maintain operating excellence, and provide the extra horsepower needed to put ideas (both yours and ours) into action. We help deliver on your goals by empowering your performance. In fact, we’ll help you audit, verify, and sustain results for years to come.



USCCG’s Mining team uses the best of tried-and-proven, and emerging, methodologies to bring about enterprise-wide Lean Transformation, resulting in significant operating and financial gains, all at a very attractive ROI.

Discover more about our work in the Mining industry and contact us today to start your process improvement experience.


Define your mine management operating system and close the gaps in productivity and workflows.

Mines are sprawling operations. Companies have to monitor large and numerous assets, from employees to equipment and minerals. Given the scale of these operations, many organizations have turned to data to inform their decision-making, initiatives and communications.

At the center of such plans is a Mine Management Operating System (MMOS). Without it, management may have trouble realizing gains and expectations. Yet with a clearly defined MMOS, mines can be become proficient in tactical, technical and technological responses.

With a structured MMOS, organizations can:

To learn more, download our ebook “The Mine Management Operating System: A Foundation for Success” today.

Improve operating performance by identifying these gaps and opportunities in your mine management operating system

Of the more than 62,000 employees working in American mines, over half staff maintenance departments, according to data from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. This operational distribution has developed because of the ascendance of automated mining technologies, which have reduced the need for production personnel but increased maintenance demands significantly.

Despite the intensified focus on maintenance activities, firms in the sector continue to struggle in this area. Many are leaving efficiency gains and cost savings on the table. As research from EY revealed, many also depend on deficient communication strategies that separate maintenance and operations teams.

Here are a few queries that might help mining maintenance leaders gather the data they need to move forward.

These less-than-ideal mining maintenance tendencies carry serious consequences – especially for mining companies with expansive open-pit operations where cost-effectiveness and operational efficiency reign supreme. Stakeholders at these sites can, of course, avoid financial fallout linked to declines in productivity by bolstering maintenance strategies. But before embarking on improvement efforts, open-pit leaders should pose some key questions to better understand their baseline needs.

Here are a few queries that might help mining maintenance leaders gather the data they need to move forward:

How are work orders processed?
Work orders constitute the backbone of maintenance operations. These documents and the internal mechanisms by which they move throughout the organization are critical in the age of automated mining technology. Yet maintenance departments within many firms do not have such formalized workflows in place to keep mission-critical assets up and running and instead rely on hastily delivered spoken reminders among technicians. This often leads to costly downtime and production pauses.

Ideally, mining companies should maintain digitized work order processes that allow operational staff to configure detailed service requests with all the information technicians need to make repairs in a timely manner. Open-pit maintenance leaders managing looser processes centered on in-person exchanges should embrace this methodology to make headway.

Is the right technology in place?
Mining technology continues to move forward at breakneck speed, catalyzing transformation in the industry along the way. Advanced tools such as automated drills and driverless trucks allow firms to mine continuously and reach new operational heights, according to the MIT Technology Review. Sadly, many of the back-end maintenance systems that support such cutting-edge assets are not as advanced and rely on nontechnical processes. Again, this creates risk.

To keep up with innovations unfolding in mines, open-pit maintenance leaders should adopt digital tools such as enterprise resource planning and computerized maintenance management software.

What is the ratio of planned to reactive maintenance?
Reactive maintenance strategies were common decades back. Now, with the rise of asset sensors and sophisticated data collection and analysis tools, organizations across all industrial sectors must maintain predictive methodologies to keep costs down and stay competitive.

Reactive maintenance is often four to five times more expensive than planned work, which is why firms should develop and sustain 80-20 maintenance ratios, wherein technicians devote 80 percent of their time to scheduled asset management activities and 20 percent to repairs. Open-pit mining operations failing to maintain such balances must work toward implementing proactive maintenance strategies designed to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Mining maintenance leaders supporting open-pit facilities would be wise to kickoff improvement activities by answering these critical questions. Those in need of additional guidance should consider reaching out to USC Consulting Group. With nearly 50 years of experience, we can help open-pit maintenance stakeholders improve their processes and boost productivity. Connect with us today to learn more about our services and work in the mining space.