Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
SMITH, G.L.. Strategic long term planning in mining. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2012, vol.112, n.9, pp. 761-774. ISSN 2411-9717.
The fundamental challenge facing mineral and metal companies is how to create sustainable value while operating within mandated strategic bounds, identified constraints, and variable market and economic conditions. This can be achieved by allowing the fixed physical nature of the mineral asset to drive definition of the optimal technical solution to mining and processing activities, and developing and resourcing a strategically aligned portfolio of production entities that creates flexibility to near- and longer-term business environment shifts, i.e. a production mix that allows variation of output to respond to short term market variation, within a long term context. The practical achievement of this outcome is enabled by the concept of strategic long term planning. The core elements of strategic long term planning in the metals and minerals industry, and the relationship between them, are expanded. The strategic long term planning framework is a logic construct that enables delivery of an optimized, strategically-aligned business plan from the mineral asset portfolio using a set of tools and techniques with a common language, standards, systems and processes to align decisions and actions on a cyclical basis.