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Success Underpinned by a Culture of Continuous Improvement

This is the second of four in a series on technology and innovation.

The operation of a mine involves substantial hauling of material by truck. One of our successes is the 2017 haulage optimization project at the CC&V mine in Colorado, which saw a 40 percent average reduction in truck travel time during a major road rebuilding.

This and other success stories highlight the importance of Newmont’s Full Potential program, which Manager Jennifer Meikle describes as “critical for eliminating operational bottlenecks and delivering value that lasts.”

As Full Potential Manager, Meikle is focused on promoting collaboration between the sites and regions, and on providing a consolidated view of value generation across the business. For her, Full Potential matters because it “empowers everyone to continuously improve our business.”

The program helps employees identify and rank opportunities for increasing production and sustainably reducing costs per ounce. No matter an individual’s role, he or she is encouraged to pursue operational improvements as part of the program, with a site coordinator overseeing the execution by project leads and their teams. At the end of the day, it’s up to general managers to take ownership over the initiatives, which are guided by the three D’s:

  • Diagnose: Hypotheses are validated through data analysis prior to rating and ranking the top initiatives
  • Design: Approved initiatives are valued, and detailed project plans guide execution
  • Deliver: Value tracking begins once action plans are set into motion

The Full Potential program is in place throughout Newmont’s operations. In Ghana, for example, teams at Akyem implemented a Reduce Equipment Delays initiative, which cut downtime at the site by 20 percent for shovels, 22 percent for trucks and 30 percent for drills. The success led to improved equipment usage and productivity, with the year-to-date value creation now $300,000 over target.

And at Boddington, home to the first Full Potential deployment in 2013, initiatives have provided steady improvement in gold recovery and throughput. Screen upgrades in the leach tanks, for example, have reduced bottlenecks in the processing plant.

Empowering employees to focus on improvements, specifically in key production areas, productivity and unit costs, has enhanced our operational excellence and delivered improved levels of operating cash flow. A more engaged and enabled workforce also fosters retention and brings benefits to our people that are much harder to measure.

Next week, we will highlight Newmont’s Metallurgical Services team in Colorado and learn how it’s advancing best practices in processing and metallurgy.

To learn more about our commitment to delivering superior operation execution, visit our Investor Briefcase at Stay tuned next week for the third in our series on Technology and Innovation: Competitive Advantage through People.