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Oil & Gas



Oil & Gas


Major Canadian oil sands mine needed help to increase production by aligning all major functions - planning, operations, and support.


  • Increase production by 65 million tons and reduce cost by $70 million (CAD) annually


  • Gained over 44 million tonnes per year from switch-out and shift transition optimizations.
  • Improved schedule attainment by 30% through the use of short-interval management tools.
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Case Study

Optimize Mine Management & Increase Production


A major Canadian oil sands mine engaged The Highland Group to design and implement a system to increase production effectiveness by aligning all operating functions. The goal was to “orchestrate” mining activities whereby all the elements of planning, operations and support work safely in concert to provide a smooth, even, continuous flow of blended grade ore.

Highland Approach

An analysis of the mine identified gaps and constraints in the operation and enabled the team to prioritize opportunities and create a targeted action plan. Execution was built on the System For Managing and short-interval supervision with required focus in five key areas: effective leadership, planning, equipment utilization, mine infrastructure readiness and staff development.

Actions Taken

  • Applied Lean techniques to reduce waste and increase productivity.
  • Utilized Six Sigma tools to study and optimize equipment utilization and to identify and correct sources of process variability.
  • Improved planning coordination from previously siloed departments.
  • Redesigned the layout of the switch-out area as well as the shift transition process.
  • Conducted leadership training.

Increased tonnage by


generating $168 million in annualized cost savings

Related Information