Phosphate Mine, Mill, Chemical Plant

Case Study

Significant Results from Integrated Operations

The Problem

Company was facing limitations due to production inefficiencies.

Business Challenge

  • Poor compliance to weekly and monthly production plans, missed opportunities for preventive maintenance, and delays in handing over equipment between operations and maintenance.
  • The mine, mill, and chemical plant operated with insufficient regard for each other’s availability and production schedules.
  • Supervisors and managers had little exposure to cost reporting and the financial impacts of their operational decisions.
  • Planning was often driven by sales targets rather than proven capacity in each segment of the process. There was insufficient attention paid to risks, contingencies, and coordination between departments, and many long-term strategic goals were sacrificed to meet short-term targets.

We believe there are no accidental results.

Kalium Team

The Solution

  • Benchmarked Planning: Planners, schedulers, and supervisors were coached to develop production targets based on demonstrated rates. Maintenance targets were modified to reflect the need for higher availability and scheduled downtime that aligned with production requirements. KPIs and plan compliance were tracked and reported in daily and weekly meetings, highlighting the progress of various improvement efforts.
  • Equipment Availability: Workshops were facilitated with front-line maintenance crews to identify and resolve equipment failures and workflow practices. These efforts reduced downtime in the mill and chemical plants and potential process upsets.
  • Shutdown Maintenance: Improved the work order system by implementing a scheduling tool to reduce shutdown periods and overall unscheduled downtime. After-action reviews identified and tracked future improvements to shutdown execution.

RESULTS

  • Operation exceeded budget by +3% vs. -9%
  • Product stockpile volume up 120%
  • Production cost per ton down 17%
  • Emergency work orders reduced by 55%
  • Plant down days shortened by 10%