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FEATURE

Mining
Consultants
IMEC drafting manager Derek Jackson (left)
and IMEC director Robert Markoski.

New kids on the block


In just a little over a year, a Perth-based consulting company has proven that by adopting a
lean business strategy emerging businesses can succeed in even the harshest economic
climates. By Sadie Davidson

riginally the brainchild of


directors/mechanical engineers
Martyn Abbott and Robert
Markoski, IMEC was founded on
the experience both acquired as consultants
and clients in projects across Europe and
Indonesia.
Having completed work on a gold mine in
Indonesia and gained Engineering Chartered
accreditation, Abbott and Markoski got in
touch with long-time friend and colleague
Derek Jackson, a highly skilled design
drafterer and 3D visualiser, who was keen to
join the team. From there IMECs pursuit of
success was officially in motion.
Just two months after its establishment in
November 2013, the company completed its
first project. This led to the establishment of
the Perth head office in 2014 and the Irish
head office in May the same year.

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With Jackson and Markoski heading the


team in Perth, while Abbott operated the
European arm of the company from its base
in Ireland, the company found itself at the
forefront of business opportunities across
Australia, Indonesia and throughout Europe.
IMEC is involved in a project to deliver
underground mine dewatering optimisation
to an Indonesian gold mine.
The company carried out the design and
construction management for the entire
project, which began with a dewatering
optimisation study and evolved to a full design
and construction management project.
The project was a particular challenge for
the young company as it called for pumping
water at temperatures of up to 90C at flow
rates greater than 500 litres per second.
Although pumping such hot water was
a challenge, it opened up the possibility of

using geothermal energy to reduce power


costs with a binary cycle plant, which is
something we are currently investigating
IMEC engineer Robert Markoskiname said.
This could eventually lead to a reduction in
fuel costs and improved mine optimisation.
IMEC said the key to its international
success in such a short space of time was its
lean business strategy.
We operate a lean business philosophy
where everything from our offices in both
Australia and Ireland to our software is
completely flexible, IMEC drafting manager
Derek Jackson said.
This enables us to expand and contract
as projects see fit and ensures we offer
our clients the best project outcome at a
competitive fixed rate.
Through our experience working as both
consultant and client, we realise that

February 2015 AMM 57

MINING CONSULTANTS

when a client contacts a consultancy, they


dont want to pay for that companys poorly
managed overheads and that is why we
adopted out lean business strategy.
It means our clients always get the best
project results at the most competitive and
fixed price.
In just its second year of operation IMEC
has already worked on every underground

the surface for a total depth of 1372 metres


at a gold mine just south of Leonora, in the
Eastern Goldfields.
The cable installation works formed part
of an overall site power upgrade project to
ensure supplies for mining activities to 2015
and beyond.
IMEC was appointed by Murray
Engineering to provide multi-disciplinary

Through our experience working as both consultant


and client, we realise that when a client contacts a
consultancy, they dont want to pay for that companys
poorly managed overheads and that is why we adopted
out lean business strategy.
IMEC drafting manager Derek Jackson

mine in Ireland, as well as further afield in


the UK and Europe, not to mention projects
closer to home.
It recently played a significant role in the
successful completion of what is thought
to be one of the deepest high voltage cable
lowering installations in Australia.
The cable was installed in a borehole from

engineering support for the project including


the design of all equipment and selection of
materials required to safely lower and later
suspend the cable down the borehole.
The IMECs cloud-based data storage
system enabled the company to present
a united front on all projects despite the
obvious geographical barriers.

IMEC director Martyn Abbott on site.

IMEC director Martyn Abbott said thanks


to that cloud-based system, whether you are
in our office in Perth or onsite in Kazakhstan,
no matter the time, youre only a click away
from getting the documents you need.
This in turn leads to a huge reduction
in paper usage and storage costs, further
backing up our lean business approach.
IMEC uses the latest software in customer
relationship management control, project
tracking and data logging as well as the
latest engineering software for finite
element analysis and structural analysis, 3D
modelling and simulations.
With a number of successful projects
already under its belt and interest in the
fledgling firm continuing to grow, 2015
could be the year IMEC establishes itself
as one of the industrys go-to consultancy
companies.

The Business
of Mining

value IN CONSulTING
Mining engineers, geologists and metallurgists once lived
for long periods in isolated places and rarely had an opportunity
to visit other mines. The role of consultants in those days was
to bring ideas from elsewhere, ideas that had been tried and
proven to work. Today, mining professionals are able to keep
up to date using on-line journals and social media. They travel,
change jobs frequently and are generally well informed about
technical innovations.
Today, consultants can still bring good ideas and experience
from far away and this makes Australians and Canadians, in
particular, valuable in developing countries. But they do more
than that.

Peter McCarthy
Chairman / Principal

Consultants promote communication, develop innovative ideas,


and provide solutions to problems more quickly and efficiently
than the client can do alone. To make this possible, consulting
firms aim to employ the best and brightest people, which
they do in competition with the salary and benefits structures
offered by large mining companies. Consulting firms invest
heavily to develop in-house reference material, knowledge
management systems and innovative operating techniques in
order to remain relevant. For that reason consultants cost more
per hour than contract employees, but do they offer value
for money? The ongoing growth of consulting firms around
the globe, through good times and bad, shows that they bring
something to the industry that is valued and worthwhile.

amcconsultants.com
At AMC we are proud to be a part of the mining services sector with bases on three continents.
For more information feel free to contact me, Peter McCarthy on pmc@amcconsultants.com or call one
of our consultants in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Vancouver, Toronto or Maidenhead.

58 AMM February 2015

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