Integrated Extraction Simulator (IES)

A major CRC ORE breakthrough technology was the powerful IES whole-of-mine optimisation simulator.

IES is the next generation of fast, reliable and accurate simulation of the entire mining process - from the mine to the mill.

A cloud-based simulation and optimisation platform, mines use IES to predict and optimise mineral processing performance, engineers use it to compare and cost new flowsheet designs and researchers use it to prototype and refine new equipment models.

Integrating and optimising drilling and blasting, crushing, grinding and flotation, IES provides mine managers with a cloud-based decision support platform that enables production departments to coordinate and optimise system value across all operational metrics.

Individual unit operations typically use individual process simulation and optimisation models which are not designed to interact. This restricts system optimisation.

The Integrated Extraction Simulator (IES) is a major CRC ORE software development designed to overcome this problem and to unlock system value.

IES is web-based cloud supported software designed to integrate existing simulation models through dynamic interaction links. This enables unit operations to be linked together for system optimisation simulations. IES supports Grade Engineering as well as offering next generation capabilities for process optimisation.

The Integrated Extraction Simulator (IES) was developed from the combined research of Cooperative Research Centre for Optimising Resource Extraction (CRC ORE), The Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (JKMRC) and AMIRA, and was available free to CRC ORE 1 Participants (term 2010-2015) and CRC ORE 2 Participants (term 2015-2021) to use in research projects and site-based implementations.


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Benefits: why upgrade to IES

Metallurgical Breakthroughs – new thinking in mining and metallurgical modelling

Integrated mining value chain

IES is the first platform to integrate all mining and mineral processing operations into one contiguous flow sheet environment, starting with drill and blast and stepping through each stage of haul, stockpile, blend and mix prior to crushing, grinding and flotation.

For the first time mining and mineral processing engineers can model the impact of every operation in the flowsheet on overall productivity. IES provides immediate response: change the blast design and seconds later see the impact on grinding throughput in the mill and concentrate recovery in the flotation plant.

IES whole of chain

Multi-component material processing: capture, consolidate, balance, calibrate, optimise

Mining operations have to process multiple material types simultaneously in their operations – so their simulator platform should be able to as well. IES was designed from the ground up as a platform for multi-component modeling and the new generation equipment models are responding to the challenge. Trusted models from years of research have been upgraded to “multi-component” capability and IES offers model developer’s sophisticated tools to facilitate multi-component processing.

New performance metrics: economic and environmental

Users can define expressions that calculate operating cost, power consumption, water usage and even CO2 emissions for each piece of equipment as well as the whole flowsheet. The optimisation function can be used to establish production targets that meet environmental and cost constraints.

Mill performance management

Mill Performance Management (MPM) is a new module of IES that has all the functionality required to capture and process mill surveys in detail from the first stream sample to full flowsheet optimisation.

With MPM, the mill survey team can capture field observations, consolidate observations and laboratory assays into normalised flows and mass balance individual operations or subsets through to the entire flowsheet.

Once the flowsheet has been balanced, MPM facilitates calibration (model fitting) and automatically creates a new flowsheet with the calibrated equipment models.

The calibrated flowsheet can then be used to optimise the operator settings and flows of the mill to get improved operational performance.

Software Breakthroughs – better technology for improved productivity.

Cloud-based service

IES is a cloud-based subscription service - all the user needs is a browser and internet access to start building flowsheets. IES uses Amazon Web Services to provide safe, secure infrastructure with continuous backup and industrial grade data security. The design of IES allows the user to “scale up” and select the level of computing power to apply to mass simulation challenges.

Stand-alone deployment is available for times when where internet access is limited or when users with sensitive data require independent implementations.

Mass simulation capacity

Users can initiate multiple automated simulations from CSV files containing multiple flowsheet model parameters and material properties. The data in each row of the CSV file is mapped to the simulation engine and triggers a simulation.

Users can process entire geomet-enabled block models or mining extraction sequences in order to understand recovery and spot bottlenecks in long term mine plans. IES will map simulation results such as throughput and recovery back into the block model for use in downstream processes such as ultimate pit and optimised mine planning.

Mass simulation can also be used for setting up sensitivity analysis where multiple parameter ranges are tested against controls to understand performance relationships.

Simulation results database

IES stores a record of each simulation performed on every flowsheet for future retrieval, modification and comparison. The database can be exported to a spreadsheet for further analysis and interpretation, including graphical representation for reporting.

Each simulation record contains sufficient data to completely rebuild the graphical flowsheet and all of its input parameters and material properties. The user is in complete control of the flowsheet development process and can easily go back and retrieve old flowsheets in order to create alternative processing options.

Model prototyping and development

IES provides a model-scripting environment that allows mine operators and consultants to modify the standard models to suit site conditions as well as prototype completely new equipment models from scratch.

The user simply drags a special “BlackBox” model icon onto the flowsheet, opens it up and scripts a new piece of equipment with all of the facilities of sophisticated multi-component processing. The BlackBox can then be used together with tried and trusted industry standard models to get the best of both worlds – world’s leading technology modified to local conditions.

IES provides users with a platform to publish new models so other users can access their work or alternatively the user can choose to keep the model private.

Safety and security a priority

Security and safety of the IES user’s information is considered as one of the main priorities. Acumenis, a reputable cyber security company that combines extensive business acumen, technical expertise to equip organisations with reliable defences against current and emerging cyber threats, conducted an external/internal comprehensive penetration test to IES infrastructures.

IES earned a ‘Certificate of Penetration Testing’ that makes IES environment a safe work environment.

Download IES penetration test certificate.

Getting started

IES small 2Familiarisation training – web-based or classroom tutorials:

  • Creating a flowsheet and simulation
  • Balancing, calibration and optimisation of flowsheet development - known circuit with validated data
  • Develop flowsheet and validate results
  • Use survey observations to balance and calibrate flowsheet
  • Use calibrated circuit to define optimal performance

Performance management – use flow sheet to improve performance:

  • Simulations and predictions
  • Operational changes etc.

For more information

In July 2021, global mining explosives and services giant Orica took over as the commercialisation partner for IES and is now responsible for the platform’s growth strategy with plans for global expansion of the technology.

For further information, please contact Nick Beaton (Senior Management – Technology, IES: (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Peter Leckie (Orica’s IES integration Manager: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

IES large screen

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