Applying Risk Management to the Mining Industry

Neville WE, ; Parkinson J,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 5
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1986
One of the earliest recorded risk management schemes was implemented by the boatmen of the Yangtze river some 4,000 years ago.. Between them they arranged for shipments to be split up in such a way that a load was divided five ways: if one was lost, then 80% of the shipment got through. Bottomry contracts were in vogue in Babylonian times with similar systems being used in India, in 60OBC and 4th century Greece. One of the first accepted mutual insurance ideas came in 1835 when a mill owner in America negotiated a lower insurance premium in return for installed fire safety measures. Approximately 20 years ago risk management as a philosophy was developed in the U.S.A., the philosophy followed to England and hence to Australia about 10 years ago. The business climate which induced the philosophy of risk management was that of "tight money". The definition of "assets" was then broadened to include earning capacity, skilled personnel and in a negative sense, a corporation's liabilities. In more affluent days losses were comfortably absorbed into the ongoing business expenses, the more prudent managers took out insurance which "covered everything" at a suitable premium. Statistics are available to indicate that a high percentage, (over 60%) of businesses which suffer massive plant damage due to fire, do not restart operations, or in the event of restarting have closed operations within the next 2 to 3 years - in spite of collecting an insurance payout.
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