Issue 11, p. 91 (2022)


Implementing proactive quality assurance quality control (QAQC) and quality management (QM) practices at coal testing laboratories

  • J. Kelly  
  • O. Dominguez
Global Principal QAQC, BHP Geoscience Centre of Excellence, L33, 125 St Georges Tce, Perth, WA, 6000, Australia
[email protected]
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 Corresponding Author
Geometallurgist, BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), 480 Queen Street, Brisbane, QLD, 4000, Australia
[email protected]
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Many commercial coal testing laboratories are accredited to ISO 17025 – General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories. There is an expected reliance in the Coal mining industry that the laboratory adheres to all elements of this standard in between successive accreditation audits conducted every 18 months by the independent accreditation body, National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA).

In the absence of proactive QAQC & QM practices monitoring the quality of the information reported by laboratories, potential issues impacting production decisions and reconciliation results are only determined in a reactive manner.

In addition, for mining companies working with several internal and external laboratories across the supply chain, the management of the logistics, practices and information becomes very challenging and time-consuming, impacting the company’s ability to track laboratory results as key inputs in a production and reconciliation perspective.

The absence of proactive QAQC & QM practices results in a sub-optimal/reactive approach in the Coal industry, increasing the risk of short-term unaware production gaps related to quality, increased time required for quality breach investigations, the absence of a holistic approach/monitoring in the value chain, and the financial impact for the business performing under sub-optimal conditions.

This paper aims to show the journey towards the implementation of a new proactive QAQC and QM program, where now the quality of many different laboratories across the supply chain can be monitored and linked with global reconciliation results, as an improvement opportunity to complement the current industry standard ISO 17025 accreditation and Proficiency Round Robin approach.




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