Planning crucial in boom time

AUSTRALIAN resource companies have been warned to plan ahead and plan carefully to survive the risks of the country’s unprecedented mining boom.
Planning crucial in boom time Planning crucial in boom time Planning crucial in boom time Planning crucial in boom time Planning crucial in boom time

Michael Roche

Kristie Batten

The warning came after the Queensland Resources Council released its growth outlook study, which identified that the Australian resources sector would undergo immense growth in the next five to 10 years, with Queensland on the cusp of an unprecedented expansion.

According to the report, almost 70 projects were either under study, committed or under construction, representing combined capital expenditure by 2020 of $A142 billion.

QRC chief executive Michael Roche said if the projects went ahead, the state’s minerals and energy industries would need another 40,000 workers.

Information management specialist Glentworth managing director Neil Glentworth said more workers meant more growth, which was why resource companies needed to be smarter now than ever before.

“The booming mining sector across central and southern Queensland has meant organisational perimeters are bulging at the seams,” he said.

“With great intakes of staff and their collective information, companies need to think very carefully before introducing new information management systems to meet their growth needs.”

Careful planning is key to ensuring management systems meet growth and is necessary to improve the flow of information and long-term productivity in the resource sector.

“Often players in the mining industry spend up big on large-scale platforms suited to organisations of their size, then just sit back and hope for the best,” Glentworth said.

Santos chief information officer Hugh Banister said careful planning for its multibillion dollar Gladstone LNG project was an essential process, with the company employing a dedicated team working for six months to identify the business processes of the project’s development.

Banister said planning ahead was the key to success, no matter the size of the project or the size of the company.

“Smaller companies still need to put in a proportional amount of effort upfront for benefit later on down the track,” he said.

With business plans constantly evolving, Banister said it was crucial to stay on top of things.

“With the GLNG project, the first gas production isn’t expected until 2014, which means there’s still time between now and then for things to evolve,” he said.

“Things do and can change and therefore pre-planning is essential.”

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