Increased Mill Production through Weekly Crusher Shut Optimisation


Our client’s Australian executive team had embarked on a strategy to broaden business improvement activity across the organisation. The program included a key initiative to stabilise the end-to-end mine to mill process.


Through a series of workshops to assess the current departmental plans and site objectives, the project team ascertained which improvement activities were critical to ensuring the site could meet the current fiscal year budgets.

The processing department identified that a mill throughput increase was a crucial requirement. Through further discussions and observations, the project team determined that an opportunity existed to increase the overall feed to the mill by reducing the duration of the weekly crusher shutdown.

An investigation into the shutdown duration discovered that the process was seen as untouchable, as it was required to enable the engineering department to perform regular inspections related to the cause of previous major mechanical failures. The project team utilised a cross-functional engagement session to gain agreement to challenge the timeframe taken to complete the inspection program without reducing the examination content or frequency.


The project team analysed the inspection process using the Quick Changeover (QCO) methodology with the support of the production crews. This activity identified several opportunities for improvement. These improvements were implemented and formalised into standard procedures resulting in a consistent inspection process that all crews could perform in a significantly reduced duration.


  • 54% improvement in weekly shutdown duration utilising all existing assets(13 to 6 hours)
  • $29m pa increase in revenue through 292kt pa production throughput increase at the mill
  • Several safety concerns eliminated through the standardisation of safer working practices