Highlighted: Rosbel Gold Mines N.V. General Manager Suresh Kalathil

News 2017
29 September 2017

My career path

Mining is an exciting field where you can create real synergies between people and technology. I always wanted to drive change and create value for a better tomorrow by leveraging technology and human skills.

I took to mining with a lot of enthusiasm, graduating as a mining engineer from Bangalore University, India and joining Vedanta Resources plc as a management trainee at Hindustan Zinc Limited (HZL), one of the world's largest integrated zinc-lead producers in their Rampura-Agucha open pit mine – today, the world's largest zinc-producing mine.

Being groomed and trained as a six sigma black-belt in a major mining company which is thoroughly professional and highly technical, where people and performance were principal drivers of business, and coupled with my attitude to learn – be hands on and walk the talk – instilled tremendous confidence in me to face challenges, optimize business processes, and evaluate and take risks based on technical knowledge, logical thinking and sound reasoning. The strong foundations of my career to learn, perform and create value were built there.

Since then, there has been no looking back: I have successfully served the last 24 years in open pit and underground operations and projects (green & brownfield) in multicultural environments as Mine and Project Manager in Oman, Operations and Head of Mining Projects in Armenia, Head of Capital development in Zambia, General Operations Manager in Kyrgyzstan and, now, as General Manager at Rosebel Gold Mines (RGM) in Suriname.

I have always embraced challenge which I find highly motivating. Nothing is impossible – success is only limited by your mindset.

Rosebel Gold Mines' contribution to IAMGOLD's growth

RGM's business objectives are fully aligned to IAMGOLD's vision and growth strategy to:

  • Become a 1-million-ounce gold producer by 2020
  • Lower all-in-sustaining costs (AISC) to $900-$950 by 2020
  • Extend lives of mine by adding 1 million ounces of reserves and resources by 2020, net of mining depletion
  • Leverage our peer-leading, organic growth pipeline to extend growth beyond 2020 targets

    The key elements of RGM's business strategy focus on:
  • Empowering people, Zero Harm (socially responsible mining), operational excellence (in core mineral extraction and recovery processes ) and building stakeholder relations to maximize growth
  • Step-change innovation: significant departure from business-as-usual processes, and shift to technology as a critical enabler for substantial shareholder value creation
  • Unleashing value by establishing mine-of-the-future mining practices
  • Structured control and governance to Improve business processes, reduce non-value-added tasks and accelerate effective decision-making to decrease average unit costs
  • Growing partnerships with our employees, government and all stakeholders to support and meet future challenges 

 

With this strong strategic direction, RGM and the Exploration team have been able to implement sustainable growth, efficiency, and productivity and system improvement measures in its operations, translating into:

  • 35% reduction in AISC from USD1350/oz a few years ago to less than USD1,000/oz
  • Increased RGM reserves by 80% & life of mine up to 2028.
  • Addition of Saramacca resources - about 1.5M oz

 

Rosebel: a continuing evolution

Significant gold price volatility, coupled with a demanding business environment and the need to sustain operations under such conditions, are challenges not only for RGM but for the global gold mining industry.

The last three years have been transformational for RGM, as its resiliency to a continued drop in gold prices and its ability to perform and sustain operations were tested in a price- and market-driven environment.

RGM developed and leveraged the operational and financial skills of its strong management team to rebalance and reposition itself for growth with decisive measures ensuring that when growth came, it was from near the highest water mark.

Systems and practices are continuously being reinforced to identify opportunities and create plans to achieve and sustain safe short- and long-term growth, improve productivity and optimize costs.

RGM is spearheading its operational strategy by aggressively implementing various in-house cost optimization and system improvement initiatives. The principal drivers are:

  • Focus on strategic issues/barriers
  • Cost optimization and capacity utilization
  • Equipment and workforce productivities
  • Dynamic scheduling opportunities and throughput strategies for improving plant performance
  • Capacity cascading, debottlenecking
  • Management towards optimum realization
  • Vertical integration & multi-skilling
  • We Tjaring Waka (optimization initiative)  

 

With all these efficiency, productivity and system improvement measures, we have been able to achieve higher hard rock throughput, achieve world-class plant availability and gold recovery, optimize use of reagents, increase mine productivity and reduce unit costs of operation – ultimately resulting in reducing our AISC as mentioned above. RGM has increased its reserves by 80% thus laying the foundations for a very productive future operation.

Rosebel: a place to "decide your future and drive it"

At Rosebel, we instill the confidence in you that "you can do it". This is what sets us apart.

Rosebel has tremendous opportunities and challenges. If you have the zeal to perform and excel, you can count on our support to help you make a difference.

Everyone can see the transformation to operational excellence RGM has undergone in the past few years. That transformation has been driven by people and equipment. We have a young workforce who are being trained, developed and groomed for excellence, and world-class assets, equipment and technology for them to work with.

This is the right formula for laying the foundation of a high-performing business operation on strong business fundamentals and operational values and for delivering performance, optimization and growth in line with RGM's and IAMGOLD's strategy.

Rosebel is a complex site where every member of the team has an opportunity to contribute to maximizing value, optimizing costs and proudly being a part of RGM's success story. This is really exciting as "you decide your future and drive it".