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Delivering High Production Performance at the Nyrstar Hobart Smelter through Continuous Improvement


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Author J Gnoinski


The Nyrstar Hobart smelter is a large-scale zinc smelter located on the western bank of the Derwent River Estuary in Hobart, Tasmania. The facility uses the roast-leach-electrowin (RLE) process for zinc production. The site has operated for more than 90 years and is one of the world’s largest and most efficient zinc producers. Major capital works and operational improvements have increased the plant’s annual operating capacity from approximately 170 000 t of zinc in 1977 to 274 000 t in 2011. Operational improvements were mainly brought about by improved safety performance and reducing production costs through lower operating and maintenance costs. The paper discusses the methods followed to identify, implement and monitor continuous improvement initiatives by reference to a number of case studies. In particular the paper will highlight critical success factors for mobilising a high level of involvement of the workforce in problem-solving.

Gnoinski, J, 2012. Delivering high production
performance at the Nyrstar Hobart Smelter through continuous improvement, in
Proceedings 11th AusIMM Mill Operators’ Conference, pp 317-320 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).