Kimberley Mineral Sands

Kimberley Mineral Sands chooses SAP S/4HANA

"DyFlex came as a very well credentialled company within mining and SAP in Australia…it was an easy choice for us, in fact we never really saw an alternate option to going with anybody else other than DyFlex for the public cloud implementation." - Andrew Peatling, ICT Manager, Kimberley Mineral Sands.

Kimberley Mineral Sands chooses SAP S/4HANA to launch project into operational readiness

A platform for growth

Throughout its history, the Thunderbird Minerals Sands Project has undergone multiple exploration, evaluation, and development phases. Now, as operational readiness nears and the project begins processing its first ore, and on track for first shipment in 2024, Kimberley Mineral Sands embeds the SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud fully integrated ERP to underpin all aspects of the business, meeting needs now and for all future life-of-mine phases.

The business drivers

In its early days, Sheffield Resources engaged SAP Platinum Partner, DyFlex Solutions, to displace the legacy MYOB system and implement SAP Business ByDesign for finance and accounting and basic procurement and project management processes. In 2021, Sheffield Resources formed a joint venture with the Chinese steel company Yansteel and created Kimberley Mineral Sands (KMS) and proceeded with the first stage of the Thunderbird mine construction.

With construction powering ahead and on target to load its first shipment bound for China in early 2024, KMS needed an enterprise resource planning solution to keep up with the operational growth and meet the needs of each function as it came online.

The KMS ICT Manager, Andrew Peatling, says the existing SAP Business ByDesign was fit for purpose in the operation’s early stages. But as KMS started to build more assets during the mine construction stage, there was a need to include other functions such as maintenance, procurement, and human resources. KMS carefully assessed its needs for a flexible and scalable solution versus cost. Many product options and variations were considered during a vendor and software due diligence phase.

Peatling said, “We looked at what we could do by retaining our SAP Business ByDesign with an extension of a third-party application for maintenance and we looked at SAP Business ByDesign with a third-party bolt-in product as an option. And then we looked at full-blown ERP integrated solutions and SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud became one of the key options.”

The solution

Without the decision being influenced by heavy investment in an existing ERP with custom code, APIs, and infrastructure, DyFlex assisted KMS in understanding the S/4HANA Public Cloud. SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud edition is a comprehensive ERP software-as-a-service solution streamlining and integrating key business functions. By implementing SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud essentially from scratch, KMS had the opportunity to standardise existing business processes, adopt best practices, and optimise workflows to enhance efficiency.

"We were a bit blown away with regard to what it could actually do out of the box, and that changed our minds, and DyFlex obviously helped us through that process," said Peatling.

The SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud empowers KMS with a flexible, rapidly deployable solution using standardised processes for modern mining operations. Hosted in a shared cloud environment, it minimises costs by outsourcing infrastructure maintenance, updates, and security to the cloud provider. Its cloud architecture provides agility and scalability, allowing it to accommodate changes in scale, data volume, and processes without significant disruptions to the business. SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud integrates seamlessly with other SAP solutions and third-party applications, giving KMS the flexibility to adapt and integrate with new technologies or tools as they emerge, enabling a holistic business ecosystem.

The outcome

Working collaboratively with KMS to understand the end-to-end business flows, including integrations or interactions needed between modules, DyFlex designed the implementation of SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud to align precisely with current needs and future growth strategies.

SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud edition offers everything KMS needs ‘out-of-the-box’. DyFlex’s extensive mining experience ensured that the SAP standardised processes were applied and assisted KMS to adopt these proven processes, making it easier to scale the ERP system as the business evolves.

“DyFlex are well versed in understanding the product, well versed in our industry and it's been a relatively easy journey,” said Peatling.

Since its initial deployment, KMS has enhanced its procurement capabilities significantly, establishing a robust contract management system. The streamlining of sales and logistics operations has been accomplished effectively in preparation for the inaugural shipments. All operational processes have undergone integration and transformation and finance, accounting and project management continue to function seamlessly.

The adoption of SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud transforms KMS into a digitally advanced mining enterprise, poised for future advancements and innovation.


Kimberley Mineral Sands

Kimberley Mineral Sands Pty Ltd is a 50:50 Joint Venture between Sheffield Resources and Yansteel. The joint venture owns and operates the Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project and adjacent tenements on the Dampier Peninsula. Thunderbird is one of the largest and highest-grade mineral sands deposits in the world and contains valuable heavy minerals including ilmenite, zircon, leucoxene, and rutile, which will be extracted and exported via the Port of Broome.

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