Increase Throughput at a South American Copper Mine

Driver Goal
  • Increase throughput to attain 3,400 tons per day.
  • Develop a System For Managing Planning.
  • Implement basic elements of a System For Managing Maintenance to improve maintenance planning.
  • Create a process to manage contracts in a cost-effective way.
  • Increased throughput by 18% resulting in $22,559,779 of benefits.
  • Implemented a System For Managing Planning that helped direct and prioritize mine operations.
  • Implemented management tools that enabled Maintenance to maintain its equipment availability number with less equipment and more throughput.
  • Implemented a process to manage contracts, including tools to define requirements and follow up on performance.
Unable to meet current production targets at a South American-based copper mine, the management group of this mine launched an initiative to increase throughput, recover lost production, and stay within the annual budget. The group hired new managers and invested capital in the mine but didn’t have a clear understanding of how to achieve and maintain the desired results. VÉA Management Consulting was engaged to help the site management define a plan and develop the tools and systems required to reach the targeted level of performance and sustain such results.
VÉA Management Approach
VÉA Management conducted a Discovery & Design analysis to determine the key issues causing lost production and preventing the operation from achieving its target level of throughput (3,500 tons per day). Data collected confirmed that the goal could be reached but would require a new way of planning and performing the work at all levels within the mine and the processing plant. In fact, the engagement and commitment from management was essential in driving the project toward success. To address the site’s primary challenges, VÉA Management collaborated with the management team to develop a System For Managing Planning to create better daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly work plans. The team also deveoped a training program to ramp up the use of the system and its tools.
Actions Taken
  • Developed a System For Managing Planning, which enabled the production of more accurate work plans.
  • Supported the development of an LOM (life of mine) plan and budget.
  • Defined department organizational charts including roles and responsibilities.
  • Developed department and company performance indicators to effectively follow up on results.
  • Performed observations to update the equipment standards for the Master Schedule.
  • Implemented basic management tools in Maintenance to improve equipment availability.
  • Implemented review meetings to create buy-in to the plan.
  • Transferred knowledge of the new processes and tools to the Continuous Improvement Department.
VÉA Management Consulting
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