Implementation Engineering at a tantalum mine 2017

Case Studies

Implementation Engineering at a tantalum mine 2017

The largest producer of tantalum had gone through an expansion to increase its concentration processing capacity. The next challenge was to understand how to increase output going to the new concentration area. Similarly, the site needed to better understand if the magnetic separation process after concentration would be able to handle the increase in volume coming out of concentration.

An analysis made recommendations to determine the steps necessary for the pit and magnetic separation processes to be in balance with the increased capacity of the concentration process. A project charter estimated the current performance versus the targeted performance. The project objectives identified a path forward to get to target performance.

The next steptook each productivity issue and determined the gap between the current performance and needed performance. A number of unexpected findings were discovered with most centered on the pit loading and hauling operations. A few straightforward improvements to the processes quickly provided the needed volume out of the pit to support the concentration operation.

Activities in this case study include:

  • Analysis
  • Value Stream Map
  • Throughput

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