DuPont Sustainable Solutions buys mining consultancy Lodestone

04 March 2020

DuPont Sustainable Solutions has bolstered its ranks with the acquisition of Lodestone Partners, a consultancy dedicated to operational excellence and performance improvement. 

The addition of the Canada-based consulting firm adds a team of internationally operating experienced senior consultants – ‘coaches’ in the eyes of Lodestone Partners – to DuPont Sustainable Solutions in North America. The Switzerland headquartered firm now has more than 900 consultants operating out of 40 global offices.

Founded in 2006, Lodestone Partners is a specialist consultancy dedicated to the mining and natural resources sectors. The firm helps clients – spanning diamond mines, aluminium smelters and nickel refineries to box plants, paper mills and zinc smelters – with cost control, lean and six sigma, safety and risk management, turnaround and maintenance optimisation.

Lodestone Partners is based in Toronto but operates internationally at clients’ operations, including in the United States, Australia, South Africa and Saudi Arabia. “After strategising improvements, our entire focus is on building the skills of client organisations – so their people can lead improvements themselves. That’s why we call ourselves coaches,” said Robin Schleich, former Director of Lodestone Partners.

DuPont Sustainable Solutions buys mining consultancy Lodestone

According to Davide Vassallo, Chief Executive Officer of DuPont Sustainable Solutions, the deal provides the firm with two main benefits. First, “this acquisition significantly expands our ability to help our clients protect their people and improve operations in select industries and geographies.”

Second, by combining Lodestone’s “highly respected operational improvement expertise” with the risk management capabilities of DuPont Sustainable Solutions, the firm is now better equipped to deliver an integrated operations transformation capability.

The bolt-on comes at a time of major change for the mining and resources industry. On top of the unprecedented change faced due to the coronavirus and its mounting impacts on health, economy and society, industry players need to navigate an increasingly complex landscape. Growing competition, volatility in commodity prices, changes in the way permits and licenses to operate are granted, regulatory pressures and heating concerns about sustainability means that companies are expected to raise their bar. 

This is where operations management comes in – streamlined processes and cutting technologies, backed by a supportive culture, are what differentiates the leaders from the rest. DuPont Sustainable Solutions is one of the leaders in the landscape, helping its clients realise operational efficiencies, innovate more rapidly and build workforce capability, while safeguarding the health and safety of employees and assets. 

Schleich, who has assumed the new role of Director of the Operations Excellence practice within DuPont Sustainable Solutions, said that this was one of the main reasons why Lodestone Partners decided to join forces. “DuPont Sustainable Solutions is an acknowledged world leader….. We are excited to contribute an enhanced operations excellence offering to their portfolio of services.”

Last year, senior executives named DuPont Sustainable Solutions the world’s top consulting firm for environment, health and safety services.