Wesizwe Platinum, a local platinum mining corporation in South Africa with a strong corporate philosophy and sustainable mining practices. The focus of the business is the development of their flagship project – the Bakubung Platinum Mine – in the North West Province. This underground mine is designed to produce 420, 000 koz 4E per year of platinum group metals across platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold.
Bakubung Mine is such a new project that it had no budgeting application in place to assure of seamless financial systems management and control. The company required a system which is capable of handling the operating cost planning model requirements of the mine, while remaining adaptable and flexible enough to scale with its growth, finances and employees. Due to the nature of the project, it also needed to be implemented in a tight time frame so as to ensure the build and production schedules remained in line with costs and development.
Decision Inc. was selected by Wesizwe Platinum as the service provider of choice due to the company’s reputation in crafting robust BPC solutions and its long standing relationship with SAP. In addition, Decision Inc. has developed a feature-rich and scalable mining accelerator built on the SAP BPC infrastructure. The Mine Accelerator has already been implemented in three prior mining environments and has been designed in line with best practice mine planning methodology, assuring clients of both capability and cost-efficiency.
“Decision Inc. came to the mine, did an investigation for us and worked with us to establish precisely what we needed,” says Johann Riekert Financial Advisor at Wesizwe Platinum. “They then developed a solution which met these parameters and requirements, and it came in at a far more cost effective price point than the others.”
Wesizwe Platinum opted for the Mine Accelerator as it did not require a green fields approach, having already proved its worth in implementations across other mining scenarios, and it included the requisite functionality. Decision Inc.’s expertise then allowed for the tailored configuration of content within the software so as to map back to Wesizwe’s compliance requirements.
Says Andries van den Berg, EPM Product Development Manager for Decision Inc. “The Accelerator is cheaper than a full-scale installation at almost 50% less than a SAP BPC implementation from scratch, and time to completion is significantly faster. Decision Inc. finished the first phase within the allotted time frame – six months from start to finish – and this included significant adaptations to the Mine Accelerator and a custom built Management Information System (MIS) to ensure compliance with Wesizwe’s specific practices.”
Throughout the project, Decision Inc. worked closely with Wesizwe Platinum to populate the budgeting system and ensure data was captured and managed perfectly. The Accelerator incorporated systems planning features along with a sales model which allowed for the mine to plan the selling of product to smelters. This also included a MIS to ensure that the client could handle their own income statements, balance statements and cash flows in accordance with their internal systems.
“The teams from Decision Inc. worked really well with us in terms of relationships, everyone was always ready to work and deliver on time. It was a very pleasant experience,” adds Riekert. “The system is working well, using familiar technology to reduce the barrier to entry. It is user friendly and has allowed for us to achieve more seamless budgeting and given us more control over our data in a central location.”
There was a remarkable synergy between both Decision Inc. and the client as both teams worked together to ensure all elements were completed on time. There were occasions when both teams had to work late nights, spending time testing and assessing the system, and yet there remained a superb energy that kept the project positive to the end.
Van den Berg concludes: “The implementation is incorporating a unique blend of Decision Inc.’s mining expertise, a preconfigured Accelerator and customised programming. We are delivering a tailored and targeted solution that solved critical challenges facing the client as it set out to develop its flagship Bakubung Mine.”