Stakeholder management vital for Qld mining cleanupDOWNLOAD
The importance of considered stakeholder management has been the key learning in managing post-flood mining operations, according to Deloitte Partner Gary Doran who has managed the after effects of a 1 in 357 year flood for two mines in Mt Isa.
Friday, 14 January 2011: Past experience shows that prompt focus on stakeholder management will make an enormous difference to the speed of recovery of many of the mines affected by the Queensland flooding. Proactive management of key stakeholders ranging from Government departments, native title holders, employees through to community groups and effected individuals is vital.
The enormity of this problem means that many of the government departments will be stretched and by being proactive in dealing with the critical issues will mitigate delays and cost. The complexity of the solutions should not be underestimated. Management will need to develop and evaluate options and canvass these with stakeholders. Another critical issue which will need to be resolved almost immediately is access to critical equipment like water pumping equipment, evaporators, stormwater pond lining, all which will have long lead times.
Other key issues to be considered as a matter of urgency include environmental considerations, staff safety, operational viability, ASX disclosure, repairs, transport, infrastructure, customers and insurance.
Management of 1 in 357 year flood
In 2009 two Deloitte Corporate Re-organisation partners were appointed receivers and managers of two copper mines north of Mt Isa, which in 2008/09 were flooded by what is now known as a 1 in 357 year rain event.
The flooding caused considerable damage to the mine sites and contaminated the surrounding environment and brought to light a myriad of issues ranging from the various government departments (Dept of Environment and Resource Management, (DERM), Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI), native title owners, adjoining landholders, employees, mining contractors, suppliers, insurers, local, state and national press and various action groups.
Over two years, more than $20 million was spent rectifying the damage to the environment (rehabilitation of surrounding land and creek systems) and repairing damage to the mine sites (haul roads, mine pits, stormwater ponds and processing facilities).
During this period a lot of time was also spent working with the insurers to mitigate any further losses and to substantiate the insurance claim.
As a result of this experience, some of the key learnings include:
Communication and Stakeholder Management
Crisis reveals the importance of proactive communication with all stakeholders, understanding their issues and managing them. For example, a key focus at the time might include:
Having the skills and credibility to enter into a constructive dialogue with DERM is vital. Those mines affected by the current Queensland flooding, for example, should be asking such questions as:
In our experience, a clear assessment about when and how to recommence operations needs to be made. Key considerations include:
Of course, this is just a few of the lessons that have been learned. The task at hand for the Qld mining industry is a challenge, but prompt, informed and decisive action will dictate the rate of recovery and will help to drive vital revenue back into the Queensland economy at time when it is most needed.