MinAssist has extensive experience in the assessment of mineral processing operations performance. Whether through process audits to define improvement opportunities or due diligence to assess process risk MinAssist has evaluated a large range of circuits.

Process audits should be undertaken routinely in any operation to assess performance. Ideally these audits should be undertaken by an impartial third party to ensure that objective assessments are made. MinAssist is experienced in working in these situations, closely with the operations team to ensure that key issues are identified and presented in a manner that is productive.

Due diligence involves a deep dive into the minerals processing operation and includes assessment of all aspects of the operation. For detailed due diligence it is critical that those undertaking the process have a deep understanding of operational, technical and cultural issues that could affect performance. MinAssist brings a strong balance of these areas from many years both developing and working in minerals processing operations.

Process Audits

Minerals processing operations are constantly evolving, with changes in feed material, fluctuating unit performance and changing operators. It is critical that the effects of this on productivity are routinely assessed through process audits. When undertaken routinely process audits provide a benchmark for process performance and a means for operations to be compared with peers, either within the company’s portfolio or with similar operations.

An effective process audit includes a number of stages:

  • Detailed review of performance data, including the mine plan, metallurgical accounting, production data and unit operation performance.
  • Site visit and/or interviews with site metallurgists and operators to assess process safety, hygiene, culture and general performance.
  • Benchmarking of results against historic performance with presentation of outcomes.
  • Recommendations for continuous improvement opportunities.

Invariably, a process audit will identify opportunities for improvement in operational performance. In MinAssist’s experience these opportunities provide productivity improvements that more than offset the cost of the audit.

The benefits generated from a good process audit include:

  • Improved overall plant productivity;
  • Reduced costs;
  • Opportunities for technology improvements;
  • Improved process sampling;
  • Generation of data based KPI’s;
  • Early identification of poorly performing ore types.

Due Diligence

MinAssist is independent and has a proven history in assessment of investment potential of operations. We can provide unbiased technical due diligence reviews for financial institutions and other firms, where we consider the lending of funds or expansion of existing projects, joint venture, and purchase or royalty arrangements. We are experienced in assessing the technical risk for mineral processing operations, accounting for the relationship between mine plan and process circuit.

We perform due diligence at all stages of the project life cycle, whether to provide a technical risk assessment at the scoping study level, assess the technical risk in moving from feasibility study to development, support acquisition or royalty agreements for an existing operation or support closure procedures.