Confidential Client in the Mining Industry

Major modification to a hydrometallurgical process

The project and its challenges

As their traditional sources of zinc concentrate were dwindling, the Client had to make a strategic investment in metallic zinc produced from alternative sources to maintain the efficiency of their commercial operations. The existing plant needed to be modified by adding a hydrometallurgical step at the heart of the transformation process.

Thanks to our experience in operating plants, Seneca is well aware how technical decisions made in modifying industrial facilities can impact operations. With careful planning, our team was able to steer this project to success, from defining the needs to starting up the new production units.

Together with the Client’s technical teams, we provided the following services:

  • Preliminary design studies, plans and specifications
  • Project management
  • Completion strategy in operating plants
  • Contractual strategy
  • Capital appropriation strategy
  • Preparation of capital requests
  • Fluid characterization
  • Preliminary engineering
  • Mechanical and electrical engineering
  • Technical assistance for pilot testing
  • On-site technical assistance.

A client in the mining industry


$20 million


2013 – 2014

The proposed solution

Completion strategy

Seneca established a completion strategy and a contractual strategy allowing the project to be completed in phases. Dividing into phases allowed the Client procure orders of equipment with long delivery times. Construction work and testing were also conducted without any interference to existing commercial operations. The following constraints were taken into account:

  • Long delivery times for special materials and equipment
  • Major outdoor work in short time periods
  • Work coordination between technology developers and engineers
  • Pre-approved budgets required to carry out the project.

Equipment optimization

Our team developed a process that reuses existing infrastructures while integrating new equipment into the circuit to reduce implementation costs. We were able to quadruple the facilities’ potential even though it initially had a limited production capacity.

The results

  • Project delivery on time and under budget
  • Sustainability of the operation thanks to alternative sources of supplies
  • No on-site health and safety incidents, in spite of the dangerous nature of the work and the substances at hand
  • Maintaining operations at all times
  • Reduction in total capital investment vs. initial assessments
  • Possibility of increasing production capacity by installing new reactors.


Thanks to Seneca’s tight cost controls, we saved close to $1 million, which we reinvested in the plant.

One of the Client’s project managers

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