Our Story

Ian Runge Mining Economics PortraitIan Runge is an engineer and economist, spending most of his career in the resources industry and related capital intensive industries. The products from these industries are the backbone of the world economy; they provide the essentials for life in all economies and underpin the sophisticated lifestyles enjoyed by the advanced world. Yet the efforts, skills, and technology that go to find, produce, refine, and transport these goods are hardly known (and more often than not, unappreciated) outside these industries themselves.

Ian Runge started his professional career as an engineer focussed on using computers to improve the efficiency of mines and the equipment used within them. He started a company, RPMGlobal Holdings Ltd (prev: Runge Limited) that continues to lead the world in mining technology and (along with other companies in this field) has been instrumental in improving mining efficiencies and reducing costs in ways not conceivable in the pre-computer era. Despite demand for the products of mining continuing to grow, despite mineral deposits getting deeper and more complex, despite the need to exploit lower grade ores, and despite increased environmental and safety imposts, the traded prices of almost all commodities continue to decline. The world is indeed well served by this industry and the practitioners within it.

However companies in these industries habitually underperform from a return-on-investment perspective. This underperformance is not because of, or rarely because of, technical or operational issues. Rather, this underperformance is economics related. It is because of decisions made with a poor understanding of economics, because of business strategies and investment strategies that are inappropriate at the time or for the commodity involved, and because of a lack of understanding of how investments in this field are fundamentally different to investments in most other sectors of the economy.  After 41 years Ian Runge retired from the board of RPMGlobal in mid-2018 to focus on his passion for economics, education, and understanding global business cycles and commodity cycles.  In addition to his private interests, Ian Runge is involved in a number of boards, and holds honorary positions as Adjunct Professor in the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering, and as Industry Fellow in the School of Economics at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

Our aim: to address this economic underperformance in the resources industry and to increase alertness to economics in business generally.

Ian Runge has written dozens of papers, contributed to and written several books, and made presentations throughout the world on industry economics, business strategies, and policies to support rational development of the resources industry and related capital intensive industries. All aimed at addressing this industry economic underperformance. Much of this material is available at no cost via this site.     Ian Runge Bio and List of Papers

Our Services

Ian Runge is available in the following areas:

Business Strategy: Internal company strategic planning sessions, keynote addresses, and board level advice generally from a forward-looking, economic (non-technical) perspective.

Policy: Engagement in Policy Formulation and the impact of various policy settings, particularly as these relate to the resources industry generally, business cycles, and capital intensive enterprise.

Professional Development: Courses in Mining Economics (Standard and Advanced), Fundamentals of Mining and Mining Economics (in preparation), and Business Strategy for Capital Intensive Industry. Courses may be tailored to specific company requirements.  some course content is available on-line.

Presentations and Keynote Addresses at appropriate Industry Events, Seminars, and Conferences.

Ian Runge’s published books: “Mining Economics and Strategy” and “Capital and Uncertainty” are available for purchase via this site.