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General Manager of Operations Services at Newmont Asia Pacific Lara Bruhns has said change management will be in increasingly high demand in the coming decade.

Speaking ahead of her presentation at Austmine 2017: Mining’s Innovation Imperative, Ms Bruhns said turning invention into innovation was a specialised skill in itself.

“We need people with pragmatism in process development as well as change management skills to ensure innovations gain acceptance,” Ms Bruhns said.

“There are lots of innovations that can be applied to our processes, but it’s the people who can find a way to successfully get innovations into the company’s systems – both human and technological – that are going to have a place in the mines of the future.”

Ms Bruhns also said Newmont is dedicated to leveraging innovation in ways that enhance its performance in safety, profitability and responsibility.

“Newmont is interested in innovating to create value for the company, not necessarily for the sake of innovation,” Ms Bruhns said.

Ms Bruhns calls it a ‘targeted’ approach to mining innovation.

“It comes from an acknowledgement that Newmont can’t look at everything that’s being invented all the time,” Ms Bruhns said.

“We look at bottlenecks in our processes and lever points to target where innovations can be implemented that will have the most leverage for our business.

“It’s an acknowledgement that having focus matters, and accepting that you will often have more opportunities for innovation than resources to implement them, and you therefore need to prioritise them.”

Ms Bruhns’ presentation, Using Targeted Innovations to Achieve Operational Excellence, is part of Austmine 2017’s The Productive Mine: Striving for Operational Excellence session.

Ms Bruhns said she was impressed by advances in 3D visualisation technology that make it easier to explain complex data, allowing Newmont’s investment arm to make better informed decisions.

“We can take highly detailed information about complex geological structures and visualise them relatively easily, making it much easier to understand for people who don’t necessarily hold advanced degrees in geological sciences,” Ms Bruhns said.

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