Plant Performance Review & Optimisation

Approach

The efficient performance of a processing plant is a critical factor in the success of any mining operation. The feed to a plant changes with time, over the life of the mine, and equipment and the overall process may need to be adjusted to maintain optimum performance. This may be a particular piece of equipment or the overall metallurgical performance. In many cases the day to day operating issues take precedence over fine tuning plant performance resulting in wasted resources, increased operating costs and reduced product revenues. SRK can provide the services required to maintain peak plant performance.

SRK look at the problem from all aspect of the process, from the integration with the mining operation, through the entire processing facility including products and waste treatment and storage and including the provision of all utilities and services. Each area can affect overall performance of the process plant.

SRK adopts a hands on approach and would always visit the plant/operation in order to:

  • observe the operating plant and practices;
  • understand the interface issues between the mine – plant – product handling facilities;
  • discuss current operating practice and performance with site personnel, including the plant management, supervisory staff and the operators;
  • collect detailed operating data, both current and historical, including feed, products and waste stream information, utility and services details;
  • collect equipment details sufficient to be able to assess the performance and the potential for improvements;
  • conduct detailed plant and/or equipment surveys;
  • review and assess the metallurgical controls in place;
  • identify any testing requirements;
  • collect operating cost data
  • collect local capital cost information;
  • prepare a detailed evaluation of plant performance and potential improvements or modifications; and
  • identify the capital and operating costs of improvements, together with an evaluation of the benefits, and prepare an overall cost-benefit analysis for management evaluation.

Experience

SRK engineers have a broad base of different operations and processes and are familiar with the normal operating practices used on most metallurgical plant. This, together with the experience employed on normal due diligence and auditing work, SRK is familiar with the evaluation and interpretation of performance and operating data in order to identify potential problems and areas for improvement.

Services

  • Access to a broad base of experienced metallurgical engineers.
  • Site visits and collection of current and historical operating data.
  • Definition and supervision of plant metallurgical surveys for plant performance evaluation (including the collection of process stream mass balance information, metallurgical sampling and analyses and process conditions and equipment settings.
  • Identification of plant bottlenecks.
  • Definition, supervision and evaluation of mineralogical studies and metallurgical testing (on-plant sampling, geo-metallurgical investigations, laboratory testwork and/or plant trials).
  • Assessment, reporting and improvement of equipment/plant utilisation and availability.
  • Equipment optimisation.
  • Review of operating costs and identification of potential savings.
  • Cost benefit analysis of modifications and/or changes.
SRK Sweden