Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Knowles, WM, Transforming mining - a framework for dramatic changes in performance, in Aziz, N (ed), Coal 1998: Coal Operators' Conference, University of Wollongong & the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 1998, 366-373.


The mining industry has been slow at adopting the latest management philosophies from other industry sectors, such as manufacturing, and in retrospect, with good cause. With the plethora of three-Ietter-acronyms such as TQM, JIT , TPM and now, BPR each touted as the panacea for profit improvement, you vvonder if you must choose one or attempt to embrace them all! In truth, each new insight into organisational behaviow" bears some investigation. This paper looks at the underlying principles and elements of successful change strategies, and how several mining companies, including coal mines, in Australia, Chile and Canada, are applying these principles to their operations. These examples illustrate the need to think radically, and to view mining as an overall process deliveling value to the customer rather than a collection of functional silos. They also show that often, a continuous improvement initiative is not enough when a fundamental redesign, a paradigm shift, is needed for a performance breakthrough.