Open Innovation to 
Redesign Operations

We helped a gold miner completely rethink operations more than 4000 meters underground through open innovation and collaborating with suppliers. 

 

CHALLENGE:

An industry leader faced a challenge: strong demand for their product, but very limited access.  Their gold resources were more than 4000 meters under the surface.  The rock temperature was 140 degrees Fahrenheit at that depth and the very hard rock was very unstable.  This was not a good workplace for the thousands of people who had to extract the gold.  The situation was unsustainable. 

 

DISCOVERY:

After developing a strategy for the company and setting targets for improving the operations the team realized that normal continuous improvement was not going to deliver the necessary results.  The company needed an operational step change to be able to deliver growth and profitability in the medium to long term but did not know how to deliver the change. 

 

The focusing question for the mine became finding a way to mine at these depths without people operating in the mining areas, or underground. 

 

Initial conversations with suppliers and visits to other operations demonstrated that there were piecemeal opportunities but no complete solution.  To solve the problem Stratist consultants developed an open innovation program.  

 

We defined the key aspects of the operations that needed to be improved on and invited 60 supplier companies from startups to the worlds largest to help design solutions.  We started with a blank sheet and led innovation sessions to explore new ideas, then created the project teams to deliver results.  

 

 

IMPACT

This innovation program developed new technologies that are operating underground today and have the potential to unlock billions of dollars in long term value.  

 

A second critical impact was the change in the client team.  They began to look at their operations differently, applying innovative thinking to their day to day activities, which led to positive changes in operations throughout the company, leading to safety and profit improvements.  

© 2016 by Stratist Consulting.