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.
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 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.
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
“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