Copper Electrowinning Asset Optimization & Production OEE  

The customer is a mid-tier copper mining company with copper assets globally. The company produces 300,000 tons of copper p.a. However, it was looking to further its production growth at one of its underperforming sites in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

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COPPER

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

CHALLENGE

The DRC based Copper operation struggled to deliver its planned production output. This was due to an under-performing copper operation that was primarily constrained by the electrowinning (EW) plant. EW was consistently below target in most measured variables such as; current efficiency, current density, supplied amps, copper supplied, plated, and stripped. With limited information collected and managed via simple excel spread sheets, its production improvement was at a standstill. 

Solution

MPPIglobal launched a structured improvement program supported by the deployment of Production OEE. The technology contains sophisticated built-in logic that delivers insight on production restrictions reporting all losses in terms of production units.  The solution incorporates a combination of integrated information technology and tools for continuous improvement. 

Implementation

The Production OEE project involved a brief scoping period to establish requirements of how to capture improvement data with technology called “functional specification”. Based on these specifications a Production OEE model for electrowinning was developed. The MPPIglobal engineering team configured the model over a 12-week period and deployed the solution complete with training and change management. The information collected by the structured software model formed the foundation for phase 2 of the project, which was the support and project management of the improvement initiatives for a period of a further 12 weeks.  

results

After the initial implementation of the software the Production OEE project delivered an additional 14,000 tonnes of copper on an annualized basis, representing approximately an additional AU$80 million in revenue.