From Pit to Port: Everything You Need to Know About Supply Chain
In today’s competitive global economy, inventory management and supply chain play a vital role in an organization’s success. The ability to oversee products and ensure availability is a key challenge for mining companies due to the mission-critical and high-risk nature that assets play in business success.
A successful mining company requires continuous improvements in its supply chain. Working from spreadsheets or other archaic software not only slows improvements, it prevents smooth day-to-day operations. Effective maintenance management is critical.
Triple Point Technology
One of the best supply chain management software systems comes from Triple Point Technology. The system – Triple Point Supply Chain Optimization (SCO) combines collaborative and integrated planning, optimization, monitoring, and response to address the unique challenges found in the mining industry.
SCO allows companies to gain visibility into global supply chain; optimize sourcing; ensures accurate demand forecasting; effective sales and operation planning, production planning and scheduling, reduced distribution costs; and improved customer service. The system by Triple Point Technology provides real-time visibility across the entire supply chain.
Barloworld Supply Chain Software
Easy configuration and optimization have made Barloworld Supply Chain software one of the best. The company has extensive experience of providing inventory management software solutions to the mining and heavy industry sectors as well as a long list of prestigious customers.
With Barloworld, miners have an array of inventory and supply chain services at their fingertips. The company offers CAST Aurora, a supply chain network modeling software that delivers significant cost savings and service improvements; Optimiza Inventory Planner, a revolutionary system that builds an inventory risk model for mining companies to reduce risk; CINO, which is a multi-echelon inventory optimization tool that identifies the ideal inventory planning strategy for an entire supply.
Barloworld also contributes to operational downtime. The company’s software addresses and manages downtown correctly, helping to keep it to a minimum and/or removing it from the equation.
Pronto Xi Supply Chain Management (SCM) Software
Designed specifically for the mining industry, Pronto Xi Supply Chain Management offers tailored solutions to maximize asset utilization and improve asset value through maintenance planning. The integrated asset management and maintenance software provides mining teams with all the tools they need to plan and establish maintenance activities and schedules as well as detailed asset performance reporting.
The benefits of Pronto Xi are unsurpassed. Miners have the ability to develop and maintain an equipment and asset register; maintain full history of asset’s performance including maintenance work; record full financial history of assets including costs and maintenance cost; create maintenance alerts for equipment, accurately plan, forecast and identify resources for preventative maintenance activities; implement condition monitoring and integrate with Microsoft Project.
Deliver superior coordination and integration of products, customers, suppliers, and the related financial issues with Pronto Xi.
IBM Optimization Mine to Ship
Adopting an optimized and integrated mine-to-ship supply chain management approach can help address various operational challenges like execution disruptions (broken equipment), late ship departure penalties, and reduced customer service levels.
IBM Optimization Mine to Ship allows integrated mining companies to enhance their mine-to-ship supply chain operations by optimizing each supply chain component in a fully integrated schedule.
The scope of this solution spans from the loading of materials into the trains at the mine hub to the berthing of the ships, their loading and their departure. It offers various capabilities including the ability to take into account real-time operation information regarding equipment status, rolling stock status and location, equipment efficiency and planned maintenance, etc. The result is a closing of the gap and associated costs between planning, scheduling and execution.
The solution is built on top of the IBM ODM Enterprise platform, which allows efficient What-If analysis and scenario comparison, making it easier to collaborate for the various supply chain stakeholders.
The last on our list of supply chain software, Quintiq is one of the best. The software enables mining companies to visualize all activities in their network and optimize effectively through supply chain. The system allows companies to minimize costs and maximize profits while also presenting new opportunities through intelligent planning.
Quintiq transforms critical infrastructure constraints and labor shortages into opportunities. With the world’s most advanced optimization techniques, mining companies can simplify their complex decision making processes and maximize potential profits. In addition, Quintiq offer an end-to-end mining supply chain solution, from production to ports through to shipping.
As labor-intensive as the mining industry is, there are hundreds of software system and programs available to manage and optimize their needs.
Gerald Group resolves iron ore dispute with Sierra Leone
Gerald Group, the US commodity trader, will pay Sierra Leone $20mn and cede a 10% stake in an iron ore project as part of the resolution to a nearly two-year dispute that led to the shutdown of production, the two sides revealed.
Gerald's wholly-owned subsidiary SL Mining filed for arbitration in August 2019 over a royalty payment dispute and suspended the Marampa mine the following month. Sierra Leone's government responded by cancelling its mining licence.
As part of the agreement signed on Friday, Sierra Leone will take a non-dilutable 10% stake in a new company that will replace SL Mining and resume operations at Marampa by June 1, Gerald said in a statement.
Gerald will make two $10mn payments this year and will have the immediate right to ship its current stockpile of about 707,000 tonnes of iron ore, it said.
Both sides will withdraw their legal claims before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the statement added.
Gerald’s chairman and CEO Craig Dean commented: "I am delighted that we have been able to resolve our differences and have a fresh start and new beginning with the government of Sierra Leone."
Sierra Leone's Mines Minister Timothy Kabba told a news conference on Tuesday that the agreement was a milestone for the country.
"Whatever the pain we may have borne or dreaded throughout these two years ... this outcome justifies our action," he said.
Gerald estimates that Marampa holds about 1 billion tonnes of iron ore with a potential lifespan of 30 years.
Back in 2019, Dean spoke with Mining about the development of Marampa and commented: "SL Mining offers a substantial opportunity for Gerald Group as our Marampa mine in Sierra Leone is set to deliver six million tonnes of high-grade iron ore during its operational life. If you analyse the iron ore market it has transformed, even from a couple of years ago when prices were very low. Now prices have stabilised we’re in a favourable position with our first shipments leaving for China.
"Our goal is to make ‘Marampa Blue’ an internationally recognised premium grade iron ore brand. We intend to expand the delivery of high-grade 65% iron ore concentrate to markets in Europe and Africa.”