The dark days of the downturn may be over but the environment remains uncertain, and executives today need enhanced tools and analysis to understand more clearly the value and risks associated with the status quo and with pursuing new opportunities.
Monica Banting, Mining Partner, PwC Canada
Volatility in prices for bullion in recent years has made Kinross Gold Corp. particularly vigilant about how it deploys capital to its global operations, which span the Americas, West Africa and Russia.
Rather than wielding an axe at every project, management has pursued a course of disciplined capital allocation. To help it make the right choices, the company adopted a creative concept known internally as Project Value Assurance. The process adds business experts to the technical teams of engineers, geologists and other mining specialists and allows the company to examine its projects through an economic lens from day one.
“Project Value Assurance has been a disruptor in a great way because it's allowed us to look at opportunities that perhaps we didn't think were viable in the past and turn them into something that we think has legs.”
Hélène Timpano, Vice President, Business Optimization, Kinross Gold Corp.
Barrick Gold Corporation is challenging the industry status quo with a three-pillared initiative it calls Best in Class.
The Best in Class initiative supports Barrick’s drive to lower its all-in sustaining costs below US$700 per ounce by 2019. The company is already an industry leader by this metric, and achieving this goal would position Barrick well for withstanding future metal price downturns.
“It's not just about implementing the technology, it's also [about] driving the business outcome and the behavioural outcomes.”
Michelle Ash, Senior Vice President Transformation and Innovation, Barrick Gold Corporation
While most mining companies have had to adjust their business models to cope with the commodity downturn, First Mining Finance Corp. was born of the slump, conceived by an industry veteran to capitalize on distressed assets. The company describes itself as a “mineral bank” with a mission to add value in a bear market using unconventional thinking.
“What I've learned is you need a really good vision in this business and you need a lot of gumption. You need to be fearless and you need to be aggressive.”
Patrick Donnelly, President, First Mining Finance Corp.