Whittle Consulting, strategic optimisation specialists for the mining industry worldwide, has announced a number of contract awards in Africa in the first half of 2010. The appointment announced at the end of April 2010 of Steve Burks as MD of Whittle’s African subsidiary based in Johannesburg was prompted by existing work as well as the award or imminent prospect of several new studies. During this period, work was completed on a comprehensive optimisation study of the Navachab gold mining and processing operation for Anglo Gold Ashanti in Namibia. This followed work done for the Ghanaian operations of the same company in 2009, relating to the Iduapriem open pit.More recently, Goldfields awarded a study of the Tarkwa gold production operation in Ghana to Whittle Consulting, and work has also recently commenced on a study of the Black Rock mining operation and Assmang’s related manganese ore processing, transport, ferromanganese smelting and product distribution activities. Assmang is a joint venture company between African Rainbow Minerals and Assore. Good progress has also been made in marketing to several other prospective clients in the platinum, gold and iron ore sectors and further awards may follow soon.Steve Burks commented “Typically, these studies link the complete geological, mining, processing, logistics and product marketing elements of the overall operation. This provides the owner with a detailed business model of the complete value chain across several distinct operational departments or even multiple mines and processing plants, regardless of scale or complexity. Our aim is to identify improved operational strategies and alternative scenarios for the future, to enable the client to increase net present value of the enterprise by a significant amount. Improvements in the range 5-35% in NPV have often been demonstrated to be possible when accompanied by committed implementation by the customer of the strategies identified in our studies. Frequently, this is achieved before the application of any new capital investments simply by optimising the use of the existing or approved assets.”This work adds to Whittle Consulting’s current global portfolio of work including studies of projects and operations in Australasia, North America and Chile. The same approach to enterprise optimisation is used by all operational offices of the group, and lessons learned in each region are incorporated on new projects in other regions to the extent permitted by the confidentiality agreements signed with each customer.