A Continuous Improvement Strategy at Creighton Mine – An Evolution in Change


Mr Paul Roos (Process Superintendent - Vale)

P. Roos, T. Radey, J. PinciveroValue Improvement Team, Creighton MineM. CoelhoCI Specialist, Vale Base Metals, Global Operational DevelopmentWith the end of the mining industry’s longest super cycle, became the beginning of our journey to improve how we managed our mining activities. Workforce demographics shifted to younger, less experienced miners that often needed guidance on how to get back to mining basics. Reduce costs, reduce injuries, reduce cycle time, increase production, increase revenue are constant demands placed upon the operators. Our initial strategy to meet these business needs involved technical problem solving with a focus on process improvement of bottleneck issues. Although these projects yielded significant results, the disruptive change type of project did not always yield sustainable gains. Even though solutions were developed with the involvement of equipment operators, planners and supervisors, training and auditing for the change was the only means of sustaining the change. The ideas and solutions developed for process improvements lacked the connection to the people performing the work. The missing link was failing to design the change with self-evident, self-correcting or built-in controls that not only enabled easier task completion but also provided obvious, visual hints to quickly flag abnormalities in the work environment. This realization prompted a shift from a solely process focus to one of a people focus and defines our evolution in continuous improvement strategy. This presentation shares a few learnings we have experienced while continuously improving our Production Drilling operations.