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Consolidated rallies behind efficiency drive

DICKENS’ character Ebenezer Scrooge was a firm proponent in the theory that those who keep watch over their pennies will also just as closely guard their pounds.

A recent trip courtesy of Consolidated Minerals Limited to its manganese and chromite site left this reporter with the impression it is a philosophy to which the miner subscribes.

Even the drinks tally for the trip came under scrutiny of management charged with overseeing this remote operation.

The managers could be forgiven for splurging, however, after enjoying a 59 per cent increase in first half-year net profit after tax of $7.9 million.

Efforts to keep a lid on any costs also come in the form of strict instructions from Consolidated Minerals general manager of operations Terry Stark to the truck drivers traversing Sylvania Station from the Coobina Chromite mine on their way to Port Hedland. The drivers have been told to not exceed 40 kilometres an hour to avoid hitting any of the cattle that frequent the area.

The company has agreed to pay $600 to the station owner each time one of the cows is hit.

This attention to finances permeates right through the thinking of the organisation.

With manganese and chromite prices in the lap of the gods, the company claims to be continually seeking new ways to increase efficiency in its operations and transport techniques in a bid to improve margins.

But Consolidated has not always been seen as tight-fisted.

Last year, questions were asked when Consolidated funds were used to sponsor race-car driver Natalie Barratt to come to Rally Australia last year.

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