MMDC despatches 6 vessels as new operational strategies kick in
Left photo shows the newly improved MMDC Causeway that allows for more efficient and faster nickel ore shipments. In middle of right photo, MMDC Carrascal Project General Manager Engr. Rodrigo Cal discusses the mine plan with his staff.
Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation (MMDC) has successfully despatched six vessels within the April-May period, as the Company adopts smarter operational strategies to cope with falling nickel world prices.
MMDC reached the April-May milestones without demurrage, said Carrascal Project General Manager Rodrigo C. Cal, adding that the Company will strive to maintain the despatch in shipments with strategic focus on efficiency improvements, better planning, clarity of roles in executing plans, effective inter-departmental coordination, among others.
Engr. Cal said part of MMDC’s efforts to enhance efficiencies is the new scheduling system, which calls for early preparation of stockpiles of scheduled ore quality, simple but important ore sampling or assaying turnaround time management, and focus on equipment scheduling to avoid unwanted delays.
Another efficiency initiative, he said, is the improvement of the causeway – the road on an embankment built on Carrascal Bay by MMDC so that its trucks can load nickel ore on docked barges – and the expansion of backing areas so that more barges can be accommodated at any given time.
“These improvements now enable us to load more barges at a time and thus translate to faster shipments,” Engr. Cal pointed out.
Getting both contractors and organic personnel on board with the new loading strategy, he said, was, and will continue to be, crucial.
“This is a team effort so everyone involved in the operation must be motivated to share our goals,” he said. “We have to make everyone feel that they are contributing to achieving the overall objective and their efforts are appreciated.”
For 2018, the Company, Engr. Cal said, is also giving keener attention to strengthening the managers’ planning function and, while at it, ensuring roles are clear so that the plans are well executed. He added MMDC is finalizing a new mine plan, which he sees will be more responsive to the current trends and prices of nickel in the world market.
Under the proposed revised mine plan, Engr. Cal said MMDC is on track to meet the target number of vessels that the management team has committed to ship out for the rest of the year.
Meantime, Engr. Cal said operational improvements aimed at improving personnel morale, as well as establishing a system to identify and control costs, are ongoing.
“Communication is important so that management can connect with the workers and let them know that they mean a lot to the company, and the workers can have a good working relationship among themselves,” he said.
With a working system in place, Engr. Cal hopes to rationalize costs, save more, and boost employee productivity and morale.