In this Insight, we have connected with Paul Staples, VP and Global Practice Lead, M&M, to discuss his take on Ausenco’s project delivery capabilities and differentiators
Paul Staples is Ausenco’s Minerals and Metals VP and Global Practice Lead, with over 25 years of experience in the industry. He has extensive engineering and consulting experience, including plant operations, study management, large comminution circuit design and plant optimisation. In his current role, Paul is responsible for technical developments and overseeing the quality of our project delivery across our global offices.
What would you consider Ausenco’s main differentiators?
Our people and their technical expertise are highly valued as they play a fundamental role in the continuous innovation of our services, they encourage others to challenge paradigms, and they improve the outcomes for our clients. This culture stems back to when the company was founded in Australia in the 90’s, and the competitive nature of the “lump sum projects” landscape where smart design and cost-effective engineering was paramount for success. We have subject matter experts, not just in process engineering, but also in layout, earthworks, mechanical and other disciplines that can all add substantial value to our clients’ projects.
Our technical expertise leads to increased innovation in our designs, more cost-effective approaches, and often a significant reduction in the project footprint which results in a reduction in bulk materials quantities, installation time and capital costs. Our technical expertise is the main reason why many of our clients come back to us because they know that we’ll deliver a safe, efficient and operable plant at the lowest capital cost.
What is Ausenco’s approach to projects?
We incorporate a unique commercial approach which aligns our clients’ success with our own. This approach contrasts with our competitors’ approach, which typically focuses on generating revenue solely on selling hours. Selling hours is in direct conflict with our clients’ goals, as they seek to achieve the most efficient project with the shortest schedule and lowest capital cost.
Our approach can take many forms but often incorporates a gain-and-pain type of commercial agreement, which ensures that our success hinges on the client’s success, extending to the EPC lump sum delivery of projects. Under the EPC model, Ausenco takes on the risk around schedule and capital cost to ensure that the client’s goals/success firmly aligns with our own.
Another essential differentiator of our approach is that we place innovation at the centre of our value proposition. Ausenco has worked on many firsts in the industry, for example, the first major mine in Laos, developing innovative processes, innovative flow sheets, etc. We have never shied away from being the first to apply an innovation to a project. This approach to innovation is not common in the mining industry, where the culture is conservative and typically where people like to see new concepts proven over time before applied to their projects. We contrast this paradigm by being at the forefront of novel approaches to designs and flow sheets by better understanding and mitigating the associated risk. This paradigm ultimately saves the client money regarding capital and operating costs.
Ausenco offers the full range of services including environmental, mining, infrastructure, pipelines, transport and logistics, asset management, contract operations, and much more. Very few competitors can offer the similar breadth of ‘pit-to-port’ services. Our company has evolved to offer a “one-stop shop” experience for our clients, which significantly minimizes the number of interfaces across the life-cycle of a project.
How do we go about innovation?
Innovation has been a key aspect of our regional strategic plans with some initiatives planned for launch throughout 2018. We have subject matter experts in all areas of the business who regularly look at new technologies in the industry to see where we could potentially improve our service offerings to keep us at the forefront of innovation in the industry.
New opportunities also arise on a project-by-project basis, or when a client comes to us with an idea about developing or implementing new technology for their project. We embrace these opportunities by harnessing the unique skills of our global experts who can move forward locally, in partnership with the client. We’ve recently applied this practice for clients such as Goldcorp and Barrick Gold.
Do you have any closing statements about our project delivery services?
Ausenco’s project delivery business line builds around our consulting, mineral processing studies and project delivery capabilities, through the cycle of scoping, feasibility, and ultimately into execution and operation. By the time a project reaches its feasibility phase, the ability to add value declines as most of the key decisions have been made. That’s why our focus as an organization, and within our community of subject matter experts, is to add value as early as possible.