Implementing mining readiness strategies

By Jeffry Del Carpio | February 6, 2023

Mining readiness presents a unique opportunity to create value from the early stages of project development. Whether it’s implemented within a new mining complex or a future processing facility, this practice maximizes asset efficiency, avoids delays and production losses, and boosts operation start-up.

To achieve an optimal level of performance, we must take a holistic and structured approach that follows the following process:

  1. Preparation and alignment
  2. Information collection
  3. Development of the operational readiness (OR) Plan
  4. Validation of the OR Plan
  5. Creating the OR Plan
  6. Implementation.

By looking at these procedures, organizations can learn how to effectively implement operational readiness to their mining readiness strategies.

What is mining readiness?

To widen the lens, let’s first look at business readiness, which is a methodological approach that prepares an organization to realize the full potential of an initiative. In this case, the OR approach is used to describe the management framework that enables organizations to transition to operations, achieving production and business objectives without compromising the value of the project.

The readiness process in mining is similarly used from any pre-operational phase: Preliminary studies, design, detailed engineering, procurement, construction, and project closure or handover are all good places to implement the strategy. It can be used in greenfield and brownfield operations, most notably within technical, economic, environmental, and social feasibility resource conversion.

Comprehensive checklists have been created to help organizations implement mine readiness, ensuring successful projects throughout implementation.

Preparation and alignment

To ensure the effective functioning of the team at the beginning of the preparation development, the following steps should be taken:

· Define the job positions and hire the appropriate people

· Define the scopes and roles to be included

· Review key project information

· Conduct a kick-off meeting

· Develop an initial work plan.

Information collection

After an initial meeting, the information gathering sessions will provide a solid foundation to help define the scope and work plan for this stage, where the following should be done:

· Conduct meetings with the key team and main stakeholders of the project

· Define the expected impact of the project

· Define objectives and final agreements.

Development of the OR plan

Developing a clear and concise plan in which responsibilities and objectives are well defined will enable measurable objectives to be achieved in the development of the OR. This work plan must:

· Define the scope of the OR plan

· Determine the deliverables and the output associated with each one

· Integrate the project team to align key project milestones in the OR Plan

· Create a solid base for the implementation of the OR Plan

· Communicate in case of doubt.

Validation of the OR plan

Together with the mining readiness team, the project functionality team will evaluate the development of the OR plan and the applicability and compliance with the established scope. The following considerations should be made during this stage:

· Review and validate the scope of the OR plan with the functional team

· Incorporate the requirements identified at this stage.

The OR plan

Mining operational readiness will be successful if the objectives, requirements, and responsible parties are defined within a clear schedule of tasks. At this stage, mining readiness should include:

· The scope and effort of achieved reports

· Work plan (deliverables)

· Execution schedule

· Estimate of resources and effort required

· Cost estimate

· Risk assessment and risk register.


The execution stage must be one of preparation, adaptation, and flexibility. Regardless of how comprehensive a plan may be, unforeseen events will happen, and adjustments will have to be made along the way. This stage can be summarized as follows:

· Developing the OR check list

· Being prepared for the unexpected

· Being flexible

· Celebrating success.

Ensuring that the project will be ready to go from day one is critical to the success of the venture, and operational readiness and use of the mining readiness checklist will ensure that everything is in place for a successful start. Contact us for a more detailed application of these checklists and to find out how we can help.