Insight

It is important for a process plant to remain as ‘lean’ as possible to achieve a smooth continuous flow of material. Bottlenecks can inhibit flow and prevent a process plant from achieving its maximum throughput capacity. To make progress towards as ‘Lean’ a process as possible bottlenecks must be identified, managed and improved. Neville Dowson, Principal Process Engineer at Engenium, talks about the four step process used to eliminate bottlenecks in plant processing.

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The topic of climate change has become particularly prevalent in recent months and is a key focus within industry and Government as pressure is put upon us to act more ‘sustainably’. But sustainability is not just about climate change. Paul Young addresses ‘sustainability in mining’ and what it means for the mining industry.

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When considering the efficiency of a mining operation businesses often only look at the process plant aspects such as grade, recovery or yield data. But Neville Dowson, our Principal Process Engineer in Perth, believes in order to consider the efficiency of a process plant the position in the ore processing stream should also be considered. In this month's Engenium Insight Neville talks about taking a holistic approach to process plant efficiency that incorporates ore processing, operational costings, labour force, energy usage, logistics and transportation.

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The basis for the design of minerals processing plants has not fundamentally changed in the past 50 years. The design outcome has largely been driven by capital cost and schedule. However, a more holistic approach is needed that takes into account all economic aspects of the asset from inception to closure, also known as the total cost of ownership. Pete Forakis talks about how a more holistic approach to process plant design is necessary.

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Energy is one of the biggest expenses for mining companies, constituting approximately 30% of total cash operating costs. As such, mining companies have always been looking at ways to reduce their power costs. Jason Hislop discusses how renewable energy can help to reduce power costs, through the use of cost effective energy storage – a key enabler for renewable energy technology.

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As renewable energy sources increase their presence in the National Energy Market the demand profile for coal fired power stations will continue to change, with less demand during daylight hours when solar is predominant and more demand in the evenings to the early morning. This shift in demand provides a number of challenges for coal fired power stations. Leon Fabrikanov discusses these challenges and provides some insight into how automation solutions can provide flexibility for existing power plants without the need to outlay significant capital for new equipment.

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If you are starting a new mining or industrial infrastructure project and need to decide which project delivery model to choose our latest Insight piece will help guide you. When embarking on a new project client organisations need to assess their own capabilities, skillset and capacity to manage the project before selecting the right project delivery method. We explain what you need to consider before selecting the right project delivery model and detail each models advantages and disadvantages.

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Nigel Ricketts, our Process Engineering expert and Manager of Studies in Queensland, recently presented a paper at TMS 2019 in Texas on scandium solvent extraction. If you are a process engineer interested in scandium processing techniques, or a mining professional looking at scandium opportunities, this condensed version of the technical paper might be of interest to you.

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Developing strong storytelling skills can assist with implementing change to achieve a desired business or project outcome. The art of delivering sound rhetoric and developing empathy with your audience will help you to persuade them to adopt these changes. Peter Wells addresses the importance of storytelling in change management and how to develop your storytelling skills.

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This month’s Engenium Insight, written by Peter Wells, takes a look at the importance of developing your project management skills and what project management qualifications are right for your project team.

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