Gold Mining Operational Performance Improvement through Visual Management Principles


An ASX-listed mid-tier gold mining company engaged ORBIZ to implement tiered visual management systems across their five assets in Australia. The program’s high-level objectives were to stabilise operational performance at each site, increase capacity, reduce cost and foster a continuous improvement culture across the workforce.

The program would be the first phase of a Lean Management Operating System (MOS) implementation to drive performance from mine to mill at each site and support the company’s vision of “creating a premier global gold company” with a portfolio of world-class assets.


With three sites in regional Queensland, one in New South Wales and one in Western Australia, ORBIZ deployed a full-time consultant to each location to work alongside the local leadership teams whilst establishing overall governance with the COO through head office.

The project started at a pilot site in Queensland to trial the project approach with the client’s workforce and design the visual management structure to enable quicker deployment at later locations.

Each local leadership team mapped the value stream from mine to mill to study the flow and understand where the constraints resided. This approach also allowed each site to define the performance metrics they would use to manage their business.


Each site implemented a tiered system of Visual Performance Centres (VPCs), with Level 1 being the site level VPC owned by the General Manager and a series of Level 2 VPCs owned by each Functional Manager.

Project Performance Centres (PPC) were introduced to provide structure and governance to capital projects and large improvement initiatives that required cross-functional collaboration. One site utilised this system to stabilise and accelerate its Life of Mine program, which required the exploration of twenty-three mining tenements to be planned and executed.

The project also produced a series of unplanned initiatives, including a simple Ideas Generation & Implementation process to improve Safety, Productivity and Cost performance embraced by one site as a component of its Act Like an Owner (ALO) program. This visual process engaged the workforce to submit ideas to be assessed using a cost-benefit matrix, then assigned ownership for implementation with a tracking system and originator feedback.


The program had a variety of commercial impacts across the sites that include:

  • $45m in benefits delivered over two years through six significant projects on PPC
  • $1.2m pa uplift in processing performance through VPC activity
  • 2,600t pa capacity increase through plant shut optimisation ($750k pa)
  • $200k Capex avoidance through site stores improvements