Dickinson Group of Companies has 90 years’ experience in providing specialist furnace and industrial services to the mining, metal smelting, mineral processing, power generation and petrochemical refining industries. 

    Dickinson Metallurgical Advisory Services is a division of Dickinson Group that provides a wide range of consulting services in the base metal pyrometallurgical industry. 

    The specialised range of niche services include:

    Our team of advisors and consultants have extensive years of experience in metals smelting operations, site wide smelter maintenance, projects and offer clients’ world-class and results-driven advice on a wide range of smelter problems and challenges.



    • Reverb Furnace Technology
    • Copper Slag Milling
    • Acid Plant Technology
    • Sampling Optimization 
    • Metal Accounting
    • Smelting Optimization Processes 
    • Smelter Audits 


    • Treating complex concentrates with Ausmelt Technology 
    • Handling furnace off gases with high dust loads – eradicate built-ups in waste heat boilers as well as off gas ducts
    • Handling of dusts with high Arsenic, Lead and other heavy metal contents
    • Optimize concentrate and secondary material throughput rates  with oxygen enrichment 
    • Copper Refining
    • Copper Slag Milling
    • Acid Plant Technology
    • Sampling Optimization 
    • Metal Accounting
    • Smelting Optimization Processes
    • Smelter Audits



    The company possess the capacity, expertise and know-how to conduct metallurgical accounting process including sampling, analysing, and accounting for the metal throughput of metallurgical circuits, providing diagnostic information required for making effective metallurgical decisions. Our technical team of experts can assist clients in improving the existing metallurgical accounting system, or establish a completely new system based on industry best practices and extensive practical experience.

    • Decrease in mine production variability and untracked commodity losses.
    • Better trouble-shooting capabilities for metallurgical process problems or deficiencies.
    • More accurate determination of process efficiency and recovery rates.
    • More informed flowsheet design and modification.
    • Improved information flow to management.


    • Increase in plant efficiency through better diagnostics.
    • Increased ability to accurately check the Mine Call Factors (MCF), when the amount of commodity anticipated by the mine grade control group differs significantly from that accounted for by the mill

    Dickinson’s metallurgical accounting experts start the process with a systematic metallurgical plant audit, which consists of a rigorous examination of all the metallurgical accounting systems to ensure all unit operations are effective and appropriate.

    The end product will be a system that provides all company stakeholders, including management, marketing, and production staff, with accurate data. The company provides an unbiased, third-party perspective of industry best practices as a benchmark of excellence.


    Our highly experienced smelter audit team systematically evaluates the smelter operations, identifying the areas that are not working efficiently, operational bottlenecks and recommend strategic solutions to optimize the plant thereby achieving Overall Equipment Effectiveness.

    The purpose of our audit is on evaluating the current smelter performance and reliability of main equipment in view of the production targets. In order to manage smelter operations there is need to measure the parameters and key performance indicators.

    Our metallurgical advisory experts perform a full smelter audit, covering all the plant’s departments, with a major focus on:

    • Process Performance Improvement
    • Total Effective Equipment Performance
    • Overall Equipment Effectiveness
    • Quality

    Upon completion of the Audit, a report is issued with a step by step action plan, outlining the potential of Overall Equipment Effectiveness achievable if such actions are implemented.


    As part of the company’s initiatives to constantly partner with the industry and provide customised solutions to perennial problems; Dickinson Group of Companies’ Cement Plant Consultancy Division provides a wide range of consulting services to the cement, lime and related manufacturing industries. Clients access our team of experts that has over the years acquired the knowledge and experience necessary to fully understand the important factors that influence process efficiencies and has successfully managed all stages of the cement manufacturing process.

    The company’s cement plant consultancy services may be engaged right from the onset; from the feasibility study and design stage of a plant or as and when technical challenges are faced.


    When engaged at the onset, the team would carefully audit the designed system from an independent, efficiency point of view and highlight any existing issues to both the designers and the plant owners; this allows for more cost effective interventions as modifications tend to cost a lot more after construction.

    In the case of ongoing challenges, our team of experts performs in depth troubleshooting and a comprehensive root cause analysis. The team of experts also performs bottleneck studies by carefully examining and analysing each part of the cement manufacturing process; from quarrying stage through to cement milling stage, while benchmarking with industry best practices and other plants of similar capacity. The outcome is a visual representation that can assist the client in setting achievable goals and a clear roadmap to their achievement with the least expenditure possible.

    Industrial process evaluation, assessments and optimization of:

    • Cement raw mix design, clinker chemistry and cement-gypsum studies
    • Cement plant bottleneck studies
    • Kiln system optimization (including cooler, kiln, calciner and preheater)
    • Combustion systems
    • Comminution systems (crushers, ball mills, roller presses and vertical mills)
    • Cement silo lump formation investigations
    • Ball mill grinding media management
    • Ball mill and vertical mill liners
    • Grinding additive studies
    • Coal mill system safety
    • Particle classifiers
    • Waste gas treatment and filter systems
    • Dryers
    • Cyclones
    • Pneumatic conveying systems
    • Heat exchangers
    • Centrifugal fans
    • Alternative fuel and raw material impact studies
    • Equipment performance and guarantee testing
    • Training sessions on request

    Cement Reference Case Studies

    Filter and Fan Systems:

    • Design specifications for cement mill bag filter upgrade projects.
    • Design specifications for kiln/raw mill system bag filter upgrade projects.
    • Centrifugal fan troubleshooting and upgrade projects. 

    Kiln Systems:

    • Design verification of new plant projects.
    • Cement plant bottleneck studies (capacity review and AFR utilization).
    • Cement kiln fuel dosing system upgrades.
    • Cement kiln calciner upgrades.
    • Cement kiln water usage reduction projects.
    • Cement kiln system NOx emission reduction by implementing primary measures.
    Grinding Systems:
    • Design verification of new milling plant projects.
    • Cement, slag, raw material and coal VRM and ball mill optimization and upgrade projects.
    • Design specifications and modification of mill water injection systems.
    • Cement powder cooler assessments and upgrade projects.
    • Mill liner specifications and supplier adjudication.
    • Separator specifications, adjudication and upgrade projects.

    Project Management:
    • Project scoping & tender adjudication for plant upgrade projects.
    • Commissioning and performance testing of equipment.


    The company’s advisory service assists clients in identifying possible challenges or problems on the various areas of expertise and find a solution or recommend other experienced individuals or companies who can solve the problem. Our metallurgical advisory service approach is cost effective and in many cases the solutions can be easily identified without the need for costly consulting and advisory firms. Our advisory service is synonymous to a screening exercise whereby we can inform the client on the best approach to follow.  

    • Power Generation
    • Slag Milling


    Tel: +27 (0) 16 421-3720
    Fax: +27 (0) 16 422-1038

    10 Smuts Avenue
    P.O. Box 63, Vereeniging
    1930. South Africa

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