Speaker Spotlight: Olga Verezub

15 May 2019

As we build up to Iron Ore 2019, we will be interviewing our keynote speakers on some key issues within the Iron Ore industry.

We recently asked Olga Verezub for her views on the industry. Olga has more than 15 years of experience at an international level, across multiple disciplines. She holds a B.Sc. (Hons.), 2000 and M.Sc. (Hons.), 2002, in Mechanical Engineering (Manufacturing) from National Technical University (Ukraine) and a dual Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering/Material Science from BAYATI, Budapest/University of Miskolc, Hungary (2006). Olga joined AMIRA International in 2011 and is currently a Program Manager and Innovation Lead. She applies her technical knowledge, management skills and enthusiasm for innovation in developing high value multidisciplinary collaborative projects for the mining industry.

The importance of collaboration and its value to the Iron Ore Industry? What message would you like to provide to the delegates – what do you hope will be the main message they will take away from your keynote presentation?

The challenges now facing the mining industry are becoming increasingly complex (e.g. spatial resolution geometallurgy, tailings management, mine closure etc), ranging from license to operate issues to declining ore grades, increasing development costs and so on.  Companies do not have all the necessary expertise to address these challenges in-house. In fact, during the recent downturn, reduction in commodity prices and focus on cutting costs and improving efficiency has meant that a lot of internal capacity has been lost.  These were accompanied by significant cuts to R&D funding, and in particular to collaborative R&D. Indeed, there has been a switch from the traditional peer-collaborative model to the one-on-one OEM collaborative model, as companies have shrunk their time horizon for ROI to one to two years or less. The latter model effectively shifts the risk from the companies to the OEMs.

In implementing new digital technologies, companies are largely relying on adapting off-the-shelf solutions. However, many challenges are deep-rooted problems that are common across all sectors of the industry, whether iron ore or base metals, and can only be addressed through sustained multi-company support. Industry’s long terms challenges include transforming the way it does business, achieving the zero-waste mine, converting post-closure into an asset rather than a liability, faster process and project development, and the invisible mine. The only sensible way of tackling many, if not all, of these challenges, is through multi-peer collaboration.

Peer to peer collaboration is not an easy task, and despite an appreciation that the Iron ore business is quite competitive by its nature, there is definitely room for multiparty collaboration within the iron ore industry. A few completed AMIRA projects serve as good examples of this, and many of the solutions from these projects have delivered multi-million-dollar savings to our Members, in addition to capacity building within research institutions around the world.

Key message: AMIRA International is a global broker of collaboration. Created by industry 60 years ago, it serves  the mining community by providing a collaboration model that helps reduce risk/cost, enables the leveraging of funding and other industry knowledge/expertise. AMIRA International provides excellent project management and protection of sensitive information amongst competitors, as well as offering diversity of skills and capability. In addition, AMIRA International provides the framework that enables companies to do something beyond which they could do on their own, as well as access to a greater range of experience and quality research providers.

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