David O’Rourke

David O’Rourke is the Managing Director of OIP Pty Ltd and he is currently working on Improving Shovel and Excavator Operator Performance at Los Bronces Copper Mine in Chile for Anglo American (8% payload increase achieved to date with Operator Improvement Programme in 10 months). Prior to this a 10% increase in Dragline Performance was achieved at Dawson Coal Mine for Anglo American in 6 months. Previous work includes confidential Joint Venture discussions between BHP and a major JV partner, management of largest Nickel Mine in Australia and review of Nickel Sulphate plant construction. Prior to commencing with OIP Pty Ltd, David worked for over 10 years as General Manager and Site Senior Executive at Four Large Coal Mines in Qld and NSW. During this time David was Director of 6 operational subsidiary companies of a major listed mining company which included leading Major Joint Ventures with Mitsui, Posco, Nippon Steel, Hyundai and Daesung.

David has lead major customer discussions with NSC, KSC, Tohuku, HEPCO, Toyama, CSEnergy, QAL, CAR, MacGen, Kyushu, BHP Mt Arthur. David has lead 13 EBA negotiations with CFMEU, AMWU, and CEPU and has lead community relations with Banana Shire Council, Isaac Shire Council, and Muswellbrook Shire Council.

Prior to this David was Mining Manager, CHPP Manager, and Highwall Mining Superintendent. He has worked for majors such as BHP, AngloAmerican, RioTinto, and Peabody as well as for small companies, and has over 30 years of experience in the Mining Industry.

He is qualified in Mechanical Engineering, GeoScience (Mineral Economics), Surface Operations Management, Mining and Mineral Engineering, and Management (Frontline Leadership). David has statutory qualifications in Site Senior Executive, Supervision, Safety Systems, and Risk Management Systems. David has completed courses in Quality Management, Environmental Auditing Mediation, and Continuous Improvement.


OIP Dragline Improvement Programme for Anglo American Dawson Mine 2020

OIP Implements Dragline Operational Improvement Programme for Anglo American Dawson Mine

OIP Recently completed the implementation of the OIP Dragline Operational Improvement Programme at Anglo American Dawson Mine over 6 months. Improvement was 10% above forecast with cost to Anglo 3% of the profit earned (half of which was at risk if targets were not met). Win Win.

Dragline Improvement Programme

OIP Operational Improvement Programmes are comprehensive and yield massive returns for the client. Call David for more details +61 (0) 428768981.

Example slides from the Operational Improvement Programmes listed below (indicative only).


HR may be involved in some difficult parts of the business but you should always keep them spending the majority of their time on positive culture reinforcement. (click on blue to start video)

A bit of fun from the Callide Mine HR Team – message safety first, maximise low cost mining methods (throw blast), cheapest options considered (2nd hand truck) through an expenditure board, maximising yield, energy boost and productive throughput. The Callide Mine has been at Biloela since 1945 and supplies the coal for 23% of the electricity for QLD via 3 power stations. The mascot name Bil O’Coal (had to be a HR joke)!

Discretionary Effort

Most people have plenty of additional capacity and they decide whether they will utilise this capacity for the company or not. This is discretionary effort.

In a large mine with 1000 employees each making 20 decisions per day the impacts are massive and immediate. 20,000 opportunities each day to increase the value of the organisation or decrease it.

Let me give two examples that I have seen.

Example 1 – Employee withdraws discretionary effort

An employee works 12 hour shifts with 2 half hour breaks. Employee “clocks off” 15 minutes before and after each break as well as when commencing work slowly and wrapping up work 15 minutes before the end of work. There is a loss of 1.5 hours or 13.6% of the 11 hours work time.  For a company making 15% return on investment the investment return for this employee is effectively nothing compared to his co-workers. He has brought down the average of all of the workmates and once they see he is getting additional time off they decided to replicate his behaviour until the behaviour was addressed.

Example 2 – Employee provides discretionary effort

One employee brings his proposal to management to clean up all of the coal in ribs and floor undulations with small excavator and truck that has low utilisation. 130,000 tonnes coal added in one year for minimal additional cost. Value at $100/t – $13m per annum for an investment of say $500,000 including labour and operating costs. (at US$200 per tonne as it is now that case is even more compelling). His workmates see this behaviour and replicate it with options to maximise coal that has varied to plan or been covered with low wall failure. The positive behaviour is contagious.

Many systems have tried to access discretionary effort over the years

  1. Share option schemes
  2. Teamwork models
  3. Communication models
  4. Industrial relations models

Here is one of the best documents that I have seen to encapsulate many of the concepts (part of a presentation by Corporate Executive Board 2004)


If you want a plan to increase your employee’s discretionary effort Call David O’Rourke +61 428768981.

Want to add $50m to your bottom line – Start with the mine plan!

When people ask me what is the best way to make a major impact on a mine my answer is always start with the mine plan. If you know where to look you can identify options that will add value through prudent changes to the configuration, timing and matching of equipment to the mine plan whilst increasing its resilience and providing options.

Have a look at a few days work at a Central Queensland Open Cut Truck Excavator Mine. The target was $50m additional cash and with this plan (and the followup work and correct implementation) it was comfortably achieved.

Truck Excavator Mine H1 2016 Improvement Options