As we wind up 2018, two things are abundantly apparent – the world is not in the mood for waste, and secondly, time is the most important commodity we have.
Applying these important principles to our minerals industry points us in an interesting direction. Firstly, the old project development methods need revamping because apart from the shortage of cash to fund endless de-risking, the time involved is so far out of tune with the just-in-time world that we live in that it just can’t fly. Exploration tools have improved, in field analysis and logging is an almost instantaneous reality, and manufacturing methods with CAD CAM and laser techniques make the delivery far faster too.
So why then are we still experiencing the ridiculously long lead times in mining projects? Could it be that the mindset is the bottleneck? Consider the Eiffel Tower, or the Victoria Falls Bridge, both marvels of engineering for their time and in a time when there were no computers at all. People made decisions and executed them, fast, accurately and with confidence, and what magnificent things they achieved.
In fact, we at APT would like to think that it is indeed possible and things are changing as I write this. Having just completed our 143rd plant, manufactured in 8 weeks and erected on site in just one week, it is indeed quite possible to at least provide the processing goods. As we enter 2019, nobody can predict the future, but with more and more people clamouring for better standards of living we can be certain that the demand for minerals will grow, and the prices are good too. Great news for our business! So, drag out a new can-do mindset and lets get on with it, fast!
Happy Christmas and a very good New Year to you all.