Proudfoot recognised by MCA for Rio Tinto mining project in Mongolia

03 May 2018 4 min. read

The annual MCA Awards has celebrated the work of UK-based management consulting firms, handing award nods to sixteen different consultancies at a ceremony in London’s Westminster Bridge Hotel. The event saw operations transformation consultancy Proudfoot highly commended for its role developing a ‘city’ in Mongolia’s Ghobi Desert for British-Australian mining company Rio Tinto.

As the UK management consulting industry continued to expand beyond the £9 billion mark last year, consulting firms in the country enjoyed a bumper 2017. Celebrating the continuous growth of the UK’s management consulting industry, the MCA Awards have marked out a number of consulting firms for commendation thanks to their engagements last year. The Awards, now in their 21st year, have become a benchmark for quality within the consulting industry.

International consulting firm Proudfoot has received plaudits from the Management Consultancies Association (MCA), at the UK industry body’s annual awards ceremony in London. The firm was awarded a Highly Commended position for the Best International Project category in the 2018 MCA Awards.

Mining transformation in Mongolia

The International Project Award is open to all consulting firms worldwide, and Proudfoot was chosen for its work in Mongolia for global mining company Rio Tinto. The firm’s project team, on the ground since February 2016, has been supporting Rio Tinto with the creation of Oyu Tolgoi, the world’s largest underground copper mine, capable of producing the versatile metal for the global market for the next century. One of the issues faced by the team was the project’s sheer scale – developing the ‘city’ with facilities, roads and airports, in order to accommodate a workforce expected to expand by thousands, and reach full capacity in 2021.

Proudfoot recognised by MCA for mining project in Mongolia

Mongolia’s economy has been transformed by new mining projects, with the sector now accounting for 90% of exports and a third of national GDP. In the Gobi Desert, this has seen the formation of a mini city with 3,000 workers, 90% of whom are Mongolian – a sprawling location which Proudfoot was present at from the very beginning.

Despite the remote location, Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar is 550 kilometer away and unpredictable extreme weather, Proudfoot excelled, seeing the project delivered on time and to budget. The consulting firm, which has Asian offices in Hong Kong and Malaysia, was selected above eleven other consultancies for this critical project. During the engagement, the consultancy implemented a management approach to work in conjunction with an integrated planning process (IPP). The designed IPP optimises the allocation of space, time, and materials across more than 20 practices, recognizing any constraints or conflicts on the schedules and allow for quick and weighed resolution.

The location is now, according to Rio Tinto, the safest operation in its underground mining divisions, while leveraging high standards of efficiency and innovative human resourcing techniques. Work schedules at the site are made between 48 hours to a week in advance, compared to the mining industry standard of one day, while a MegaMine 2.0 board game is now employed to train the entire workforce of 3,000+ people, having successfully educated the mine’s leadership of around 120.

Other MCA Award winners

A total of 16 consulting firms were announced as winners at the 2018 MCA Awards. The black-tie event saw prizes handed out to a broad-cross section of the British consulting industry. While the night’s biggest winners were undoubtedly Deloitte and PwC, who picked up 12 nods between them, 14 more consulting firms were celebrated at the Westminster Bridge Hotel, London, at the end of April. These included Simon-Kucher Partners, Coeus Consulting, Jacobs, OEE Consulting, PPL, Thales Cyber & Consulting, Arup, Egremont Group, Carnall Farrar, IBM, GE Healthcare Partners, Proudfoot, Turner & Townsend Suiko, and Atos Consulting, who all won awards, or were highly commended for their efforts throughout 2017.