Rio Tinto workers at the Oyu Tolgoi mine, Mongolia

Best International Project 2018 – Proudfoot selected as finalist by MCA

Proudfoot takes a finalist position for Best International Project in the 2018 Management Consultancies Association (MCA) Awards. The International Project Award is open to all Consulting firms worldwide, and the winner is announced at the 2018 MCA Awards ceremony, April 26th in London.

Proudfoot was chosen for its work in Mongolia for global mining company, Rio Tinto. Our project team, on the ground since February 2016, has been supporting the creation of Oyu Tolgoi, the world’s largest underground mine, capable of producing copper for the global market for the next 100 years.

Initially, Proudfoot was selected from 11 consultancies to win a critical project to develop an innovative management operating system (MOS), to better manage people and processes, but importantly, to keep construction of this multi-billion dollar investment on track, safely. Key to the project was the development of an Integrated Planning Process to safely optimize the allocation of space, time, and materials across more than 20 practices, recognizing any constraints or conflicts and resolving them, in order to bring to life the concept of ‘One Plan’ across the site – right time, right place, right outcomes.

Some of the challenges the team faced include:

  • The sheer scope of the project. The mine’s deposits lie over 1.5km under the Gobi Desert over an area of 12km. The mine is expected to reach full capacity in 2021, employing thousands of workers on site, so we factored the development of a ‘city’ – with facilities, roads, airports etc. – into the MOS.
  • The remote location. Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar is 550km away. Temperatures can range from -30 degrees in the winter to 40 degrees in the summer. Proudfoot’s team was international (from the US, South Africa, Canada, UK, France and Spain). We worked on a 4+1 rotation pattern, spending four weeks on location followed by a one-week break. Each trip to site took up to 40 hours.
  • Cultural differences. There is a broad mix of workers at Oyu Tolgoi and from different parts of the world. They have different approaches to work. Implementing the MOS was like creating a language that everyone could share.
  • Promoting a One Team mentality. We designed the MOS to work across silos/teams, changing thinking to ‘What’s best for the business.’

Mining is transforming Mongolia’s economy, accounting for 90% of exports and a third of GDP. In the Gobi Desert there now exists a mini city with 3,000 workers, 90% of whom are Mongolian. Proudfoot was there at the beginning, has continued to work with them side-by-side on the surface and 1.5km underground, and is proud to be helping Rio Tinto with this critical company development.

For more information, visit the MCA Website

Proudfoot designs, implements, and accelerates operational and digital transformation, through people. Realizing tomorrow’s results. Today.

Photo Credit: Rio Tinto

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