Creative thinking and a commitment to teamwork make everyone at Goldcorp a winner.
At the end of June, we celebrated at our first Global Excellence Awards where we showcased the incredible work our employees have done in improving our operations in the categories of Safety and Operating for Excellence (O4E).
The Origins of O4E
O4E is about continuous improvement – looking for ways to do things better, smarter, safer, and more efficiently. After global gold prices dipped in 2013, O4E campaigns took on a particularly significant urgency. We established an O4E team at each mine and challenged them to create projects that would enhance our operations without compromising safety. Our Safety team members were integral to many of the O4E projects, as well as pursuing their own new initiatives and ongoing projects.
We’re proud to say that all of our teams, both award winners and runners-up teams, took to heart the challenge to fulfill Goldcorp’s guiding vision: Together, Creating Sustainable Value. All of the projects were exceptional and worthy of recognition, some were considered groundbreaking, reflecting the fresh thinking and energy of our teams.
Here are a few brief highlights about our O4E award winners:
- Porcupine recovered $4.9 million worth of gold from piles of decades-old reject material from the mine’s grinding mills, demonstrating “creativity before capital”.
- El Sauzal found a way to save $150,000 a year in fuel costs by substituting used motor oil for half the diesel fuel used in explosives, and determined that a sister mine could cut its annual diesel bill by $700,000.
- A ‘Ventilation On Demand’ project at Eleonore will save $1.6 million in electricity and propane costs by equipping workers with wifi-enabled tags that tell the mine’s ventilation system to feed fresh air, or to shut off because there’s nobody in the vicinity
- Los Filos nearly doubled a production growth target of 8% with improved maintenance practices and solutions to equipment failures and production jam-ups.
- Penasquito increased haul fleet production by three weeks per year by safely improving overall truck speed.
- Marlin worked with haul truck operators to increase average daily tonnage by 40 per cent.
Our Safety teams showed similar initiative, leading to seven awards:
- Musselwhite’s ‘Tin Can Manway’ project virtually eliminated injury risk for miners ascending and descending the raises between levels of the mine.
- Red Lake invented a standardized one-day ‘Safety Training Day’ program that runs small groups of workers through eight distinct and engaging safety and workplace-conduct programs in a single day per year.
- The frequency and severity of safety-related incidents, days lost to injury and equipment damage dropped 70% at Cerro Negro after a comprehensive Preventive Safety Measures system was introduced.
- The annual Safety Expo at Los Filos has blossomed into a two-day cultural event attracting 6,000 people promoting workplace and community health.
- The ventilation system in the assay lab at Wharf was overhauled after determining that lead particles were circulating in the lab and adjoining areas due to an old, faulty ventilation system.
- A small, simple braking device to protect operators from the potential dangers of a high velocity drill core ejection when hitting high-pressure water veins underground was invented at Eleonore.
- Marlin reached compliance with an international work safety standard, OHSAS 18001. The mines’ injury rate fell 83 per cent from 2010 to 2013.
It’s important to note that nobody just breezed through their projects. All of the teams relied on support from department representatives in order to overcome logistical, engineering and operational challenges. There was a lot of head-scratching and robust debate as ideas matured into smart, workable projects that everyone could support. Team members came to understand those moments as part of the creative dynamic that helps a big, robust company to thrive even in challenging economic times.
Finally, the success of these projects has instilled a belief that a motivated team can achieve anything if they commit to working together.
Next year, our program will be even more ambitious. We will double the number of award categories to four: O4E, Safety, Environment, and Corporate Social Responsibility. We are looking forward to even more creativity and innovation by our people.