Xstrata Copper worker named young achiever of the year

Xstrata Copper's Lucya Yunus has taken home the Young Achiever of the Year award at the national PACE Zenith Awards.

Yunus was recognised for her contribution to the mining industry as a control metallurgist at Xstrata Mount Isa Mines.

In awarding the accolade the Zenith judges said Yunus should be considered a good example for other young workers in the mining industry.

"Lucya has demonstrated initiative in researching and developing a tool that has helped her company significantly reduce costs," they said.

"She has been commended for her problem-solving skills and is considered an excellent role model for her peers and juniors."

To read about the rest of the winners click here.

From PACE Magazine:

As Metallurgist at the Xstrata Mount Isa Mines copper smelter, Lucya Yunus is responsible for technical training and providing support to the operations, maintenance and management of the feed preparation, primary smelting and ESP dust leaching areas of the copper smelter.

Xstrata Copper North Queensland's Mount Isa ISASMELT furnance experienced an accelerated brick wear of 260 mm per year.

At that time, Lucya was working as a graduate metallurgist in the copper smelter project team working on the Slag Slow-Cooling project, which formed the basis of an academic paper presented to the Mine, Mineral and Metallurgical Society.

Lucya assisted the team in the investigation and recommended, trialed and monitored the implementation of a number of initiatives as well as some of her own solutions.

To clearly define and better understand the consumption costs as well as identify areas to reduce costs within the primary smelting operation, Lucya proposed and developed a cost tracking tool which was presented and implemented in February 2012.

This tool has helped indentify critical areas for cost saving, including costs associated with the smelter's oxygen, coal and diesel consumption.

The implementation of Lucya's cost tracking tool in the primary smelting operations has helped Xstrata gain a better understanding of oxygen wastages.

This has resulted in several cost saving initiatives including setting the minimum ISASMELT feed rate of 125 tonnes per hour to maximise oxygen efficiency and the adoption of a new, modified oxygen supply distribution logic to reduce wastage and save approximately $80,000 per month.

Lucya's cost tracking tool is now being further developed for application in the secondary copper smelting operations.

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