Continuous Improvement program saves $34 million at Chirano

In just two years, Chirano went from having no Continuous Improvement (CI) program to having a dedicated CI team that is now part of all departments and embedded in the site’s culture.

The impressive changes led to $34-million in cost savings last year, a year-over-year reduction of $114 per ounce, and Chirano won the 2014 company-wide CI award.

Chirano’s CI success is rooted in the change in how people think about idea generation and innovation for site improvements.

CI brainstorming sessions have been held to identify, prioritize and find innovative ways to save costs and increase efficiencies at the site. Most employees have completed training to learn how to take ideas from a concept to a reality.

“The training has honed our strategic thinking skills. We really encourage finding new ideas and ways to innovate what we already have in place at the site,” said Collins Barnieh, Continuous Improvements Manager. “CI has become so important that it’s now a part of daily meetings.”

Resulting site improvements include inventory reduction initiatives to improve working capital, Forward Pricing Agreements for cost controls and more efficient load and haul practices.

Other improvements such as switching the mill liner from steel to a mixture of steel and rubber called PolyStl™ has increased mill throughput by 4%. This idea won the Gold Medal for the new Technical Excellence and Innovation award.

The CI achievements have been led by Ken Norris, Vice President and General Manager, Gordon Ruttenbur, Operations Manager, and Collins Barnieh, Continuous Improvements Manager and the CI team:

Linda Adiza Zamba, Underground CI Analyst
Mark Amoah-Adjei, Engineering CI Facilitator
Dodai Oduro, Underground CI Facilitator
Nana Serwaa Ampadu-Somua, Engineering CI Analyst
Thompson Afari, CI Superintendent
Alex Antwi, Supply Chain CI Facilitator
Kwasi Oppong Afrifa, Processing CI Facilitator|
Emmanuel Erasmus Anderson, Processing CI Analyst

The Chirano CI team from left to right: Collins Barnieh, Continuous Impreovments Manager, Linda Adiza Zamba, Underground CI Analyst, Mark Amoah-Adjei, Engineering CI Facilitator, Dodai Oduro, Underground CI Facilitator, Nana Serwaa Ampadu-Somua, Engineering CI Analyst, Thompson Afari, CI Superintendent, Alex Antwi, Supply Chain CI Facilitator, Kwasi Oppong Afrifa, Processing CI Facilitator, Emmanuel Erasmus Anderson, Processing CI Analyst

A CI meeting in action