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Nickel Mining



Nickel Mining


Talc-mining business needed to increase Nickel production in response to changing market conditions.


  • Increase the recovery of nickel in two processing plants.
  • Standardize the way the plants are operated.
  • Generate a minimum of €1.5 million of annualized benefits.


  • Increased overall nickel recovery by 3%.
  • Increased consistency of shift per day performance as a result of standardized systems and processes.
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Case Study

Optimize Business Profitability by Increasing Nickel Output


A world-leading talc-mining business had experienced decreased sales in the last few years as a result of the global recession. Nickel is a bi-product for which price had evolved positively. The current market situation requires that nickel no longer be treated as a bi-product, but rather as a premium one. Furthermore, the company lacked a common set of operating procedures, which led to a high variation of results in the production line and a lack of consistency in performance across different shifts and plants. 

Highland Approach

Highland took a two-pronged approach to optimizing the operation:

  • Develop and implement a Profitability Planning Model (a working tool to balance talc and nickel production).
  • Improve Site Production through a focus on increasing recovery, implementing a System for Managing, and improving operator skills.

The team also conducted a thorough review of plant capacity and line design to check for technical deficiencies.

Actions Taken

The Highland Group partnered with client teams to implement:

  • A planning model that maximizes profit based on the combination of talc and nickel output.
  • A common set of improved Standard Operating Procedures.
  • A “nickel focused” System For Managing.
  • A continuous operator input-based improvement process.
  • A continuous recovery increase process for both talc and nickel.

Increased Recovery by


By improving circuits and standardizing processes

The Highland Group was the catalyst to make a fast operational improvement to our local operations. As a result we evolved from a talc producing company, to a talc and nickel producing business.

Chief Operations Officer

Related Information


Head of Organizational Development

Don is an internationally recognized organizational change and development expert with 33 years of global experience in partnering with results-oriented clients to achieve sustainable behavioral change and targeted bottom-line results in productivity, quality and profitability. He is recognized for fostering high levels of enterprise-wide sustainable performance improvement ownership. Don’s key strengths include his ability to engage stakeholders at all levels, create collaborative environments and work within the culture to achieve leadership, management and employee breakthrough results.

Director of Operations

Mining & Metals

Collin is a senior operations executive with 24 years of experience, including Mining & Metals performance improvement projects that convert strategic intent into deliverable actions. An enthusiastic team leader and player who believes in consensus building and participative decision-making, Collin’s recent work has spanned the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Jamaica, Indonesia, Madagascar, North Africa, West Africa and South Africa.

Project Director

Working Capital

Hamid has over 20 years of experience as a management consultant. He has a wealth of experience in process and operational improvements, corporate strategic planning, development and deployment, global sourcing, supply chain management as well as working capital improvement experience (A/R, A/P, Contract & Vendor Management, Inventory, MRO/Materials & Supplies).

Project Director


Sean is an executive with more than 17 years of experience in operational management, process improvement, cost reduction, revenue enhancement and consulting in multiple industries, including mining. He has participated in several operational engagements in the mining sector worldwide.