Stall Mill is in Snow Lake, Northern Manitoba. It is designed to process mineral ore from the Lalor mine in the vicinity. It produces both high-grade Copper and Zinc concentrates. In late 2018, the division leadership (Manitoba business unit) requested A+I to look into and understand day-to-day variations in the Mill to get the best economical return for Stall Mill throughput vs. recovery. After extended data collection, verification, and discussions, it was then decided that Copper recovery was a priority for this initiative and the DMAIC approach was taken, followed by Kaizen to achieve stability in key operating parameters. Through DMAIC methodology, a series of steps were taken along with plant trials based on key critical to quality (CTQ) variables. The initiative was able to achieve approximately 3.5% Cu overall recovery
improvement while maintaining other key variables – overall zinc recovery, Cu grade, Zinc grade - in specifications as agreed. The Kaizen approach further supported DMAIC to put a proper routine to control and act on identified key variables for operations.
We continue to support Hudbay Stall Mill operation improvement through different initiatives; feed blending through XRF technology, Statistical Process Control (SPC) for throughput optimization, and targeting gold recovery in the concentrate as the latest example through stability framework.
"Mineral processing generates a considerable amount of data. The challenge was compiling, understanding and applying what the data is telling us in regards to optimizing plant performance and the quality of the produced concentrates. A+I provided us with the tools, knowledge and experience required to gain a better insight into complex process interactions. We now better understand what the data is telling us, how to apply it and how to monitor it. This has resulted in improved plant performance, such as increasing our copper recovery, and has also identified constraints in the plant which will create future improvement opportunities. I highly recommend A+I."
-Richard Jones, Mineral Processing Technologist