Working closely with the customer, a Weir Minerals team designs a plan to keep crucial production assets such as this mineral-sands dredge in top shape, reduce overall maintenance costs and improve productivity.

Weir Minerals has successfully implemented a total asset management plan at the Tronox mineral sands mine in Cooljarloo, Western Australia. Under this arrangement, Weir is tasked with managing 20 assets, including slurry pumps at the plant, two floating dredges and a floating concentrator, which processes more than 3,000 metric tons per hour of heavy mineral concentrate.

“The Weir Minerals team worked closely with Tronox to determine what their goals and vision for their mine were. The team then developed a tailored Total Asset Management plan, which aimed to look after the customer’s assets, improve their wear life and keep the mine running,” said Daniel Fleckhammer, Weir Minerals director.

Weir Minerals said the asset management plan has helped Tronox reduce maintenance costs by 10%, unplanned maintenance by 30% and also enabled the company to transition from a six-month to an eight-month shutdown cycle, which will save the mine more than $1 million on maintenance costs each year. This increased reliability is potentially worth more than $1 million annually in additional productivity, according to Weir.

Dave Netherway, maintenance manager, Cooljarloo, said, “Under the Total Asset Management Plan we have with Weir Minerals, we pay on cents per ton based on the throughput through the plant. Weir has skin in the game with the way we operate.”

An on-site Weir Minerals team is poised to perform crucial maintenance and gain vital insights into the customer’s issues. Weir said a clear set of KPIs, developed in conjunction with Tronox, makes it possible to improve both savings and asset reliability.