In 2007, platinum prices were at an all-time high, so Lonmin wanted to maximize efficiency and unlock any hidden capacity in its process. GE previously helped the Lonmin concentrating section to solve some tough challenges, so GE was called in again to help in the smelter area.
The GE software solution helped remove bottlenecks, improve process stability, and increase efficiency. Results were so positive that the solution was expanded to include several other sections in the smelter, and it was further expanded to include monitoring of the control systems.
Following solution implementation, outcomes included:
- 10%+ increase in throughput in the filter and drying section
- 25% decrease in variation in feed into the slag mill
- 45% decrease in variation in cyclone feed pressure