Minerals & Metals

Production optimisation

Optimising to increase grades, tonnage, reducing risk and increase profitability; we focus on producing mine designs and planning that match fluctuations on commodity prices and capital costs with a strategic vision on mining operation.

Optimising your project — and your returns

Major capital projects face many challenges as they move from vision to successful reality. Our expertise can help you to meet these challenges and enjoy strong returns.

Common problems during the planning phase include weak economic modelling, siloed expertise, and subjective decision-making and poor-quality data, including metallurgical data.

It takes informed advice and support to overcome these kinds of problems and deliver a high-quality project — safely, on schedule, and within budget.

At Ausenco, we’ve forged an alliance with Whittle Consulting, experts in enterprise optimisation for the mining industry. Together, we offer clients a unique and effective approach that can deliver a step-change in economic performance for owner assets. Combining strategic business optimisation with fit-for-purpose design, we can uncover value-increasing opportunities across an entire mining enterprise, from pit to market.

Reaping the rewards

Project optimisation offers many benefits:

  • An integrated mine design based on compelling and defendable financial analysis
  • A breaking down of silos between engineering disciplines (e.g. geometallurgy, mine engineering, process engineering and infrastructure) to increase confidence in study results
  • Increased confidence in information released to investors
  • Increased profitability
  • An easier path to raising finance for capital programs
  • Increased returns to shareholders
  • Reduced project risk.

Our approach uses the Whittle Consulting 10 distinct modelling mechanisms, run simultaneously to produce a life-of-mine business plan that offers increases in net present value (NPV) of up to 35%. This is an integrated solution to mine design, development and implementation.

We can create further value by implementing this optimised business model in plant design and operation, and in mine infrastructure and logistics.

The right data for the best results

We use a best-practice approach that begins with detailed geometallurgical analysis. Prior to a feasibility study, we can deliver a plan for sampling and test-work that will result in the best possible results from a geometallurgical campaign.

At feasibility stage, we use advanced statistical techniques to determine how the ore, with its associated variability, will react to blasting, extraction and processing throughout the life of a mine. A detailed geometallurgical campaign with simultaneous optimisation can have a compounding economic impact on a project.

Our advanced geometallurgical analysis will:

  • Enhance the ore resource by generating a geometallurgical block model
  • Create sophisticated data for inputs to an economic optimisation study
  • Support more cost-effective, fit-for-purpose plant design
  • Feed data into a mine schedule, cut-off grade, stockpile, plant throughput and product specification throughout the life of the mine.

Open Pit

  • Final pit optimisation


  • Extraction sequencing optimisation

Strategic mine planning

  • Creating additional value by mining sequencing