Why Exploration Miners Need to Invest in an Industry Specific ERP Solution
Published: 4th February 2022
Mineral exploration activity is projected to continue rising over the next five years, as economic conditions stabilise following the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand for mineral exploration is also projected to continue increasing over the period, as existing deposits become depleted. However, exploration expenditure by major mining firms and junior miners is unlikely to return to the level it reached during the height of Australia’s mining boom. Exploration activity is anticipated to rise only gradually, as firms focus on production at existing mine sites, with greenfield exploration set to become the focus of many investors.
Raising the capital needed for an exploration project has always been difficult due to fluctuating prices, high labour costs and the uncertainty of what is actually in the ground. Investors are also demanding more transparency, pushing exploration miners to re-evaluate how effectively they can manage and report costs at a more granular level to their shareholders.
Exploration miners, in particular junior miners, often manage the costs associated with exploration mining by relying on a set of software systems that are often unintegrated, manual in their data entry and reactive to a company’s needs. Their main function is as data capture tools, reporting on what has happened, rather then what is currently happening within a company. This oversight of only receiving data on what has happened can often lead to projects going over budget and lower operational efficiency. We would all agree that this is not an ideal position to be in during the exploration stage.
We often find many exploration miners who use spreadsheets and other manual data entry tools are often reluctant to pursue an ERP system. This is due to the perceived cost of software, with companies usually hesitant to spend the money setting up an ERP system for a possibly unproductive mine. This is where an ERP solution such as Pronto Xi comes in. Pronto Xi offers an affordable and scalable ERP solution that grows to support a mine through its life, helping to keep track of costs and provide a better return on investment. With Pronto all of you company data is kept in one location, with different sites separated into individual data sets, allowing you to see how each mine is operating at any time.
From 2015 to 2020, 25 of the 38 new implementations completed by Scope Systems were for Exploration companies.
Exploration and Pronto ERP
The high project costs during exploration means that having an ERP system that is affordable during the exploration stage, and is scalable throughout the lifecycle is invaluable for your company.
Pronto Xi is well suited to exploration mining as it offers an Exploration module, giving companies a quick and efficient way to establish standardised business processes. The module allows companies to have access to industry specific ERP functionality, through a cost effective software as a service (Saas) model, reducing your software capital expenditure.
Investing in an industry specific ERP system allows you to:
- Eliminate all manual intervention between your financial system, business intelligence reporting and bespoke spreadsheet applications, with associated costs and delays in the reworking of data integrity problems and accurate representation into the company dashboards.
- Improve project costing reporting and determination of real costs and profits of jobs.
- Automate purchasing processes for tighter control of costs associated with projects.
- Accurately represent assets related projects to allow for improved visibility of costs on short term one off projects.
- Minimise/Reduce total administrative workload required to manage current operations through efficient data entry, systems and document controls.
The ability to monitor and have a deeper granularity of your projects costs allows project managers of your high value feasibility studies, EPCM, construction, development and operation phases to reduce cost blow outs or project delays. This helps ensure that becoming operational is on time and to budget.
Scope Systems Customised Solutions
With over 20 years of experience in implementing ERP solutions in the mining industry, Scope Systems has developed additional solutions specific to the needs of exploration miners. These additional solutions and customisations work seamlessly alongside Prontos Exploration module and are perfect for junior miners seeking a lower costing, exploration specific system. By choosing an integrated system over manual data entry software such as excel, you have the ability to track all standard accounting functionality with the added benefit of also tracking all non-financial drilling and physicals data to accurately track the budget and actuals of projects and leases.
By investing in an ERP system during the exploration stage of your project, you will have greater visibility and control of your mining costs, allowing you to make more informed decisions. The scalable nature of Pronto Xi coupled with its industry specific exploration module and Scope Systems own customisations makes it the only piece of software you will need to have an efficient and transparent operation.
If you have any questions or want to discuss further how Scope Systems can work with you during the exploration stage, or any stage of your mines lifecycle, then please get in touch with us through the form below.