We help mining leaders hone strategy, transform operational performance and organizational effectiveness, and deliver step-change improvements right across the value chain—from resource efficiency to capital productivity to marketing
Mining represents a major proportion of the world economy, a focus of massive investment, and a key growth driver for many countries. Yet after the past decade’s commodity boom, mining companies are operating in a complex environment characterized by high price volatility, increasing operational challenges, and shifting regulation. To create value today and secure competitive advantage for the future, they must achieve laser-sharp strategic focus, drive operational excellence across the business, and deliver high levels of capital and resource efficiency.
What we do
We serve approximately two-thirds of the world’s top 25 mining companies, across all regions and functions. We help their leaders hone strategies to deliver consistent value-creation in a volatile world, transform their operational performance and organizational effectiveness, and deliver step-change improvements right across the value chain, from resource efficiency to capital productivity to marketing.
Our Mining service line is made up of more than 500 top-caliber practitioners and experts across six continents, including numerous mine engineers, metallurgists, geologists, and business managers, with deep operational experience in mining. Our client service is backed by an extensive program of proprietary research and a suite of high-impact management tools. Four things distinguish our work:
We make major investments in knowledge. Our global Basic Materials Institute (BMI) houses 50 leading professionals with deep expertise across all major metals. We offer our clients unique insights on supply, demand, trade flows, and future prospects for all major mining commodities. We publish extensively on these topics and are core participants in the world’s major mining conferences. We also collaborate with global institutions, mining associations, and policymakers to help shape the industry’s future.
Global industry expertise
We bring deep insight into every significant mining commodity, including coal, iron ore, precious metals, bauxite, potash, copper, and other base metals. This is grounded both in deep practical experience, informed by our long-term relationships with leading mining players across commodities and regions, and in-depth proprietary knowledge.
Deep functional expertise
We bring cutting-edge expertise and a track record of breakthrough impact to all key functions, from strategy to organization to marketing. For example, our holistic approach to transforming mining operations integrates technical, managerial, and behavioral levers to optimize value, build capabilities, and sustain improvement over time. Our capital-productivity approach translates capital strategy into optimal capital allocation, portfolio mix, and project implementation. We offer a suite of proprietary tools such as MineLens, an in-depth operational benchmarking database that enables clients to capture throughput improvements and capital-expenditure savings of 20 percent or more.
We are trusted counselors to CEOs and other senior executives, bringing a top-management perspective to mining companies’ most important opportunities and challenges. We offer objective perspectives rooted in knowledge and analysis, and work in close partnership with our clients to translate strategies and solutions into bottom-line impact at speed and scale. Our McKinsey Implementation service line works intensively with our clients to translate recommendations into lasting and substantial performance improvement. Our Recovery and Transformation Services helps companies rapidly plan, execute, and sustain turnarounds.
Examples of our work
- We helped transform a state-owned national mining company into a mining house that is active across multiple companies and commodities—and outperforms the market. Our multi year support included redefining corporate strategy, identifying M&A targets and supporting post merger integration, and operational transformations at several key sites.
- We supported the holistic cost and throughput transformation of large-scale iron-ore mine in Asia–Pacific. Impact included 10–15 percent improvements to truck payload, a 15 percent reduction in mining cost per tonne, and a 15–20 percent reduction in cost price through procurement initiatives.
- We helped transform the maintenance approach of a US surface-coal miner—increasing planned jobs from 42 to 54 percent and maintenance compliance from 56 to 80 percent on a daily basis.
- We helped improve the economics of a new 12 Mtpa iron-ore processing plant by rethinking equipment selection and technical design from a value-creation perspective. This reduced capital cost from $500 million to $350 million while increasing production capacity.
- We partnered with a national mining association to develop a “Mining Vision 2030”, setting out the role the industry could play in the country's economy—with a detailed plan to help policymakers and mining leaders realize that potential.