Lourdes Valle

FAusIMM(CP)

Lourdes is a world-class metallurgist and process engineer with more than 15 years of experience in end-to-end project cycles from project development, studies, engineering and design, commissioning, ramp-up, optimisation and debottlenecking, and operations of integrated hydrometallurgical plants in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Australia, North and South America. She is highly regarded and well respected by her peers in High Pressure Acid Leaching (HPAL) as a result of her demonstrated experience and comprehensive knowledge.

Lourdes has more than five years of extensive operating experience in hydrometallurgical operations involving complex process chemistries, and some of the most hazardous workplaces involving H2/H2S gas, high acidity, pressure and temperature. Her key achievements include:

  • Significant contributions to the achievement of above nameplate capacity (120 per cent capacity) at Coral Bay Nickel Line 1, a US$180 million facility (Philippines), in under two years after start-up (McNulty Series 1). Coral Bay Nickel is one of the only two ‘economically and technically’ successful HPAL operations in the world to-date.
  • Major contributions in debottlenecking problem critical areas (no or minimal capital cost) and optimising process controls at Ambatovy, a US$8 billion mining processing facility in Madagascar, leading to the successful ramp-up from 75 to >90 per cent capacity within three months, achieving financial completion and LME grade registration (nickel) in under a year.
  • Leading, mentoring and training an indigenous workforce and young engineers in HPAL plants. For more than ten years, she has been involved in studies and engineering of nickel and copper projects worldwide. Lourdes had worked with some of the major engineering companies and clients such as BHP, Glencore, Vale, Sumitomo Metal Mining, Sherritt, Jacobs Engineering, Ausenco and SNC-Lavalin. She is currently a Principal Process Engineer for Technical Functions at BHP Olympic Dam.

Lourdes obtained her Metallurgical Engineering degree at MSU-IIT in the Philippines with cum laude honours.


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