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This paper discusses observations made by the author during the last 30 years, having worked in Canada, USA, Australia, South America and Sweden mining industries in numerous roles including participation in mine feasibility studies, operating mines, review boards and research activities.
Strategic approaches are observed at different levels, from the high level of corporate strategy, which concerns itself with maximising shareholder value, to mine site strategy focussing on maximising the value of a specific asset.
Looking at the life-span of a mining project where one of the company’s assets is exploited, the focus shifts from a longer-term outlook of project definition during which scoping and feasibility studies are performed, to the shorter-term problem solving of project execution including the construction and production phase. With this shift in focus comes the temptation to alter or even disregard the original strategy implemented at the early stage of the project. A potential consequence of this is that tactical decisions can become misaligned with the long-term strategy, and the real value of the asset is never realised.
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