Top 8 Tips to Reduce Operating Costs in Mining Operations

20 Apr, 2023

The Importance Of Safety & Proper Transportation Of Equipment

Mining operations involve the use of heavy equipment for extraction and transportation. While these are essential to mining operations, they can also be extremely dangerous if not operated and transported properly. The safety of workers and the surrounding environment is of utmost importance, making the safe transportation of heavy equipment an essential component of any […]

Read Post
17 Nov, 2022

Top 8 Tips to Reduce Operating Costs in Mining Operations

Like all industries, mining operations are always looking for ways to reduce costs and generate more profits. There are wrong ways and right ways to go about reducing mining operating costs, so let’s look at the best methods we’ve found for cost control in the mining industry. Table of Contents 1. Ensure mine vehicles are […]

Read Post

Weekly newsletter

No spam. Just the latest release and interesting articles in your inbox.

Like all industries, mining operations are always looking for ways to reduce costs and generate more profits. There are wrong ways and right ways to go about reducing mining operating costs, so let’s look at the best methods we’ve found for cost control in the mining industry.

1. Ensure mine vehicles are fit for purpose

All vehicles and machinery used in mining operations should be customised for your individual needs.

You’ll find that plant and equipment providers who regularly deal with the mining industry have a deep understanding of the harsh environments in which these machines will be working in.

These providers (such as Plantman) can also give you plenty of advice on efficiently maintaining and operating equipment in such a way that saves you money. For instance, it might be by reducing the fuel consumption of heavy equipment or configuring mine service trucks precisely the way you need them to be in a remote location.

2. Use mine operations technology

Mining is challenging work, but it’s not all brawn that gets the job done. Technology and the use of data control much of the modern mining industry. Technology is used in the initial planning to locate deposits, and it certainly doesn’t stop there.

Specific mining software and technology can give you a wealth of information that ultimately makes your operations more efficient and productive, thereby saving money and increasing profits. Some of the advantages of mining technology include:

  • Visibility of operations throughout the mine
  • Identify issues and problem areas
  • Alert operators to equipment issues in real-time
  • Repair equipment quickly with minimal downtime
  • Improve queue times
  • Maximise each haul
  • Alerts of diesel contamination

These systems help identify issues, risks, repair needs, and more. In addition, all of the data is easily accessible through a dashboard, so management have more information at their fingertips than ever before.

3. Minimise vehicle queue times

When mining vehicles are waiting in a queue, it’s pretty evident that they aren’t being as effective as they could be. More often than not, this isn’t the driver’s fault but rather how operations are planned. This is another area where getting the right vehicle for the job is so important.

Let’s say, for example, you use a few different vehicles to remove materials from the mine, but only one or two can be filled at once. So if the other vehicles return before the next vehicles are filled, they have to wait. This downtime simply isn’t productive.

Therefore, in planning your mine site, look for ways to either use more vehicles with smaller loads or fewer vehicles with larger loads for concurrent task scheduling to play out effectively. Of course, every operation is slightly different, so there’s no set rule. But working out the most cost-effective way to coordinate vehicles is certainly a way to save money.

The technology mentioned above can help to monitor these processes, giving you all the information you need to optimise further.

4. Regular servicing of machinery

There is little doubt that poorly maintained machinery will cost you money. Whether you own or lease the equipment, there are multiple ways to ignore maintenance requirements that will cost you money.

Firstly, without proper maintenance, minor issues turn into costly repairs. If it’s your own equipment, that means more repair costs. For rented equipment, at the very least, you’ll be without equipment temporarily while you source a replacement or the existing one is repaired. That’s costly downtime you simply don't want.

Furthermore, there may be additional expenses from your rental company if the faults are due to not following servicing and maintenance requirements.

When one piece of equipment goes down, it can set off a domino effect of crucial mining tasks not being completed on time. This slows down your operation, leading to waste in all aspects of your project. So, to reduce equipment costs, have all machinery serviced regularly to ensure it is in proper working order and has a longer working life.

5. Increase production of mines where operating cost is low

Another way to reduce costs in mining is to plan your work carefully. Ideally, all of the surveying and site research has already been done to give you information on the most profitable mine sites and which are costly to run.

Ultimately, some sites will have a lower operating cost for several reasons. As long as the chances of production are good, you should prioritise these sites above all else. If money needs to be spent, it should be on low-cost, high-production mine sites.

6. Decrease capital expenditure for low-production mines

With the above point in mind, it’s also crucial to identify mines with lower production potential. Typically, this means there is less to be gained from those sites, and they may have a shorter lifespan than other, more productive mines.

Ideally, if you plan your operations carefully, you can limit the amount of capital expenditure on these less productive mines. Naturally, you still want to work the mines and extract what you can. But understanding each site’s potential gives you greater control over where you invest the most capital and ongoing expenditure.

7. Optimise your workforce

This step might be easier said than done, and, indeed, getting the most out of your workforce often comes at a cost too. However, you can experience a significant boost in productivity when your workforce is happy, engaged, and skilled to perform their role. But how do you get the most out of workers?

Mining is hard work, and conditions are pretty rough. Despite paying people well for their efforts, it’s still not easy to find skilled labour and keep them working productively in a harsh environment. But there are definitely things you can do to support your employees. Here are some workforce tips to boost productivity and ultimately reduce costs.


Naturally, training is the cornerstones of any employee experience. If people aren’t adequately trained to do the job, they are less efficient and less confident in their own performance. Therefore, when initiating training programs, be sure that staff know it’s not just about helping them on this job but also about giving them skills for the rest of their career.

You can also ensure that people are cross-skilled in a variety of roles. Not only do people usually appreciate the chance to do something different, but it also gives you more flexibility in where you allocate human resources.

Hire locally

The mining industry is often full of fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workers pulling long shifts for weeks at a time. It’s a workforce model that seems to work. However, there are certainly arguments against it. If you can hire locals to the area and train them in essential mining job functions, you can reduce the expenditure on flights for your FIFO workers.

Plus, when you hire locally, you can better control shift times, and there is less reliance on people working long hours in harsh conditions (which ultimately sees productivity decrease after a time).

Involve workers in operations

Some mine workers are more than happy just to do the hard work day after day, collect their pay, and head home. That’s totally okay, but you can also get some extra engagement from people when you involve them in operations. That means helping them to understand more extensive plans and the general business models used in the mining industry. Assisting people to feel more invested in the company and the work is an excellent way to increase productivity.

8. Rent or lease earthmoving equipment

One of the best ways to reduce your earthmoving costs is to lease all the specialist vehicles you need for a mining project. Reducing this type of upfront capital expenditure is a much more economical way to go about things.

While there are benefits to purchasing assets outright, especially when it comes to tax time, the fact is that you still need to spend the money to acquire those vehicles. If you don’t have the cash flow to purchase them outright, this means taking out loans which ultimately come with interest costs. This can be avoided by renting or leasing your equipment.

In reality, you may only need certain vehicles for specific parts of the operation, giving you the flexibility to hire what you need when you need it and only pay for what you use. This makes a lot more sense than investing heavily in assets that will not only depreciate in value but also potentially spend a lot of time sitting unused on the sidelines.

The other benefit to renting or leasing earthmoving equipment in Australia is that you can generate strong relationships with one company that can provide all the necessary vehicles and machinery. With fewer vendor relationships, you have more substantial bargaining power.

Need help with earthmoving equipment in Australia?

If you’re setting up a mining operation in Australia, you can save plenty of money by hiring or leasing your vehicles and equipment from Plantman. By working with us, you build a relationship that can service your entire fleet. From mine spec service trucks, water trucks, fuels trucks, and crane trucks to specialised earthmover equipment, we help you keep costs down and minimise downtime.

Fill in the form below or speak with us today to discuss your requirements with one of our team members. We’re eager to get your projects running as efficiently as possible.







Plantman acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of this region, the Whadjuk people of the Noongar Nation and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and their descendants.