Developing a profitable mining venture is no small matter. It requires enormous initial investments in research, construction, and equipment. But a mineral processing plant does not run itself. Even with the best equipment and good ore quality, optimal results are dependent upon keeping the process running smoothly, avoiding process upsets, maintaining process variables in the desired range, and minimizing breakdowns and downtime. A highly trained workforce is an essential element in a successful, and profitable, start-up.
The knowledge and abilities of plant operators and maintenance personnel can make or break an operation. Trained operators know what to look for during preoperational and routine inspections, allowing maintenance tasks to be planned and unexpected costly breakdowns avoided. Trained operators know what variables exist at different stages in the process and how to make appropriate adjustments in real time. Trained maintenance personnel are well acquainted with the plant equipment, and maintenance planners can schedule work and maintain a spare parts inventory to minimize downtime.
Additionally, new operations that train their workforce just prior to plant commissioning can utilize their operators in the commissioning process. Having been trained and gained field experience through plant commissioning, operators are ready to hit the ground running once feed is introduced. A faster ramp-up means more earnings, more quickly.
The cost of developing a proper training program is a small percentage of the overall engineering, procurement, and construction budget but it constitutes a large percentage of the gains realized from a successful start-up and ramp-up to full production.
Performance Associates International (PAI) has designed and presented custom training programs for operators and maintenance personnel in metallurgical plants around the world for over 35 years. We are proud to have been part of the successful start-ups at Lundin Mining’s Eagle Mine, Vale’s Voisey’s Bay project, and Torex Gold’s El Limon-Guajes project.
Click Download to view the actual vs. projected start-up results from these three metallurgical plants that made use of PAI’s custom-built training programs and on-site training.