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Plant Auditing: Valuable (Undervalued) Metallurgical Tool

Plant Auditing: Valuable (Undervalued) Metallurgical Tool

Usually when an audit comes around, the people that are involved in the process mostly do not have the necessary resources available to conduct the audit. It all comes down to the availability of time, budget, and people.

Apart from time, budgetary or capacity constraints, most tend to avoid audits because of the risks that are identified, thus missing the opportunities that arise from these audits.

Metallurgical plant audits are one of those audits that can contribute to the improvement of a plants’ profitability and sustainability.

Why plant auditing?

The plant auditing process was developed to accurately assess the metallurgical performance indicators used in the planning process and to access the metallurgical performance of processing plants.  The plant audit can be seen as a management tool to indicate an operations’ strengths, weaknesses, risks and opportunities that can, and should, be used as a directional guideline to improve plant performance.

These indicators normally form part of the Business Plan process and is vital from a risk management perspective. By identifying the risks, the road to identifying the opportunities becomes much more focused and goal driven.

The basic steps in the plant auditing process

There are some basic steps in a beneficiation plant auditing process, and these are shown in the figure below.  


The value of regular plant audits

Any organization’s ability to not only survive, but to achieve its goals and be sustainably profitable, ultimately depends on its capacity to keep risks under control, to maintain compliance with ongoing regulations and to exercise effective governance.

Regular audits will:

  • Ensure that critical information is retrieved from relevant personnel
  • Identify potential risks to plant performance and business plan assumptions
  • Will identify opportunities for increased throughput or reduce operating costs
  • Identify the improvement opportunities

What can you get from a successful plant audit?

The following outputs can be generated from a successful plant audit:

  • Simulations models for all processing plants (LIMN, MetSim)
  • Risk matrix, quantifying and prioritizing risks to identify improvement projects, to prioritize projects
  • Development of Scenario’s to optimize output
  • Process engineering documentation for processing plants

How can VBKOM help you?

VBKOM understands the importance of regular plant audits and the potential return on investment these audits can have on the sustainability and success of a plant. Our team can assist with or manage plant audits based on each clients' specific objectives, their unique conditions and production profile.

For more information about our services, please contact us.



plant audit process, risk management, simulation, metallurgy, beneficiation, metallurgy engineering, metallurgical plant, metallurgical plant audits


Metallurgical Engineering


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