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Lean Six Sigma in Mining

As per the industry classification benchmark, this industry sector includes the following subsectors –

Coal – Companies engaged in the exploration for or mining of coal.

Diamonds & Gemstones – Companies engaged in the exploration for and production of diamonds and other gemstones.

General Mining – Companies engaged in the exploration, extraction or refining of minerals not defined elsewhere within the Mining sector.

Gold Mining – Prospectors for and extractors or refiners of gold-bearing ores.

Platinum & Precious Metals – Companies engaged in the exploration for and production of platinum, silver and other precious metals not defined elsewhere

Applications in precious metals industry

Gems is a vast industry and there is always an ever increasing demand worldwide for the best quality gems like diamonds, sapphires, topazes, ruby and emerald. All these are amongst the precious gemstones that are the cynosure in the eyes of potential buyers or customers. These gemstones are prized for their beauty and perfection and these are the attributes that are of primary value to their consumers. Lean Six Sigma finds applications in Gems industry by helping in improving these and other attributes that are of value to the customer. Some of the Six Sigma applications in this Industry are:

1. Optimizing the shape of the crystal (diamond) in order to make it reflect light with fire and sparkle.

2. Improving & optimizing the Gems Extraction processes

3. Improving & optimizing the diamond cutting & polishing processes in line with customer needs

4. Designing effective VOC capturing systems and underlying processes to effectively meet the VOC.

Case Study Description

Petroleum coke calcination is a high temperature pyrolysis of Green Petroleum Coke. In this process, Green Petroleum Coke is thermally upgraded to remove associated moisture and Volatile Combustible Matter (VCM) to improve critical physical properties like, Electrical conductivity, Real density and oxidation properties.

In a leading calciner plant, it was found that pressurization of kiln resulted in shut down, six times in one year. This was an annualized loss of 10,000 USD. Through brainstorming, it was found that several factors could be the cause including the following –

X1 – Electric hoist failure

X2 – Hydraulic system failure

X3 – Synchronization fault

X4 – Sudden input of high air load

X5 – Main ID fan in operation while bypass damper is open

X6 – Failure of FGD dampers, Open and Close mismatch

X7 – Failure of bag house bypass damper opening in emergencies

X8 – Slow response time in existing emergency control system actuation.

Statistical analysis and FMEA resulted in the following critical factors.

X1 – Synchronization fault

X2 – Failure of FGD dampers, Open and Close mismatch (Draft imbalance)

X3 – Failure of bag house bypass damper opening in emergencies (Restrictions in flue gas path)

X4 – Slow response time in existing emergency control system actuation

Process changes were made at several places and trials were conducted to find robust solutions. Control plans were made to sustain the solutions. The project led to significant business benefits and just one closure in the next year of operations.

Feedback from participants


The case studies and the course delivery/presentation were really good. This course is worth for all types and levels of Professionals.
– Prashant D. Kulkarni, NDT Coordinator Level-III, ERSAI Caspian Contractor LLC

Knowledge level and method of teaching of the instructor were praiseworthy. Everything was kept brief, concise and practical.
– Hadi Alam, ESSAR.

The facilitator is extremely particular, pays attention to details and regularly tracks how the session is continuing.
– Kainaz Pardiwalla, ESSAR.

Well structured program, gave a good insight and help in developing the interest for the same to pursue it further. The mathematical part and logic behind all the discussions are other interesting parts of the program.
– Kanika Bansal, ESSAR.

The trainer has detailed knowledge and managed the sessions effectively.
– Reza Fakih, ESSAR.

I liked the course documentation and the way of presenting the six sigma concept by the instructor. Good course content and a good course material and a practical way of explaining the things from the business angle.
– Paranjay Yogesh Rindani, ESSAR.

My perception was that there is stark difference between classroom and real world, but this training changed my perception.
– Rahul Munjal, ESSAR.

The course material was lucid and the instructor’s acceptance of pupils with varying levels of understanding was refreshing.
– Animesh Dhar, ESSAR.