24 January 2018: Bottlenecks, constraints, call them what you like. Every operation has to deal with the shifting nature of processing pain points as the orebody is progressively mined. Heterogeneity of ore can sometimes be blended to produce a consistent feed to a plant but more often than not operators need to deal with the variability in the feed’s metallurgical properties. So it’s important to know how big an issue the variability in the mine plan is for the processing production plan and in a recent Integrated Extraction Simulator (IES) project, that’s exactly what was investigated.

This article was published in CRC ORE News - January 2018

By Greg Shapland, IES Utilisation Manager

First the CRC ORE team had to integrate data from multiple point solutions: photometric-based particle size distribution analysis system, dispatch system, process control system and conveyor based detectors. The data was imported into IES to simulate every ore block to be mined in 2018 – over 4,500 blocks. The IES exercise used an integrated flowsheet containing blasting and comminution models, mass simulation, automated blast design, throughput maximisation and grind size constraint.

Only IES has all of these features, only IES can run them all simultaneously, and only IES can do it all in 30 minutes. The whole exercise took the CRC ORE team about two days to set up and execute.

To put that in perspective we estimate it would require about a day to simulate one block using the currently available commercial products - or over 10 years for the lot! For that reason, no one attempts to do it. What typically occurs is that they instead make very high-level estimates, which mostly lead to production targets being missed, or value opportunities being lost. Importantly, the project identified opportunities to use higher intensity blasting to increase throughput. One of the project deliverables was a heat map.

IES Heat Map

  • The image shows the ore blocks (colored) to be mined in an upcoming year.
  • The colors of the blocks denote the potential mill throughput uplift to be gained by using Mine-to-Mill.
  • Hot colors show strong amenability to throughput increase, cold colors show low amenability.
  • Hence this type of visualisation is often called a “heat map”.

The heat map is used to understand where and when extra value can be squeezed from the resource:

  • By maximising mill throughputs.
  • While still staying within production constraints.
  • But without incurring material additional costs.

When used in production, the map will enable the site to confidently schedule and achieve higher production targets.

 JKMRC, AMIRA and CRC ORE: Cooperating to fast track P9 value to industry sponsors using the cloud!

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  • 5 April 2018: CRC ORE's Grade Engineering modelling programs have been strengthened over the summer thanks to the work of four motivated students who joined CRC ORE for our inaugural vacation intern program. Alex Perera, James Bamford, and Jacob Rogers joined us from The University of Queensland (UQ). Samantha Maslin joined us from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with the support of Austmine via its women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) initiative. Hear more about their work by clicking on the video below.

    Read More
  • 13 March 2018: CRC ORE mining participants continue collaborating with CRC ORE’s Innovation Delivery Group investigating the next stage of Grade Engineering projects. This year has seen the commencement of three new site utilisation projects all focusing on different Grade Engineering aspects.

    Read More
  • 13 March 2018: A new production trial study has been flagged for Minera San Cristobal (MSC). The focus of the study is to upgrade ~400kt of marginal grade Zn, Pb and Ag ore via Grade Engineering screening and then campaign the upgraded product through the concentrator over several days to quantify concentrator impacts due to Grade Engineering.

    Read More
  • 24 January 2018: Bottlenecks, constraints, call them what you like. Every operation has to deal with the shifting nature of processing pain points as the orebody is progressively mined. Heterogeneity of ore can sometimes be blended to produce a consistent feed to a plant but more often than not operators need to deal with the variability in the feed’s metallurgical properties. So it’s important to know how big an issue the variability in the mine plan is for the processing production plan and in a recent Integrated Extraction Simulator (IES) project, that’s exactly what was investigated.

    Read More
  • 24 January 2018: CRC ORE has been involved in a number of high profile events in recent months. Read more about CRC ORE’s Annual Assembly line up and a successful site-based innovation leadership talk with Sumitomo at IMARC2017. CRC ORE also cooperated with METS Ignited to organise an initial consultation session for the consideration of a new CRC for the mining industry at IMARC. A couple of short courses were held – one on Geometallurgy in Tasmania and the respected Gold Plant Operators Course which was run in Kalgoorlie late last year.

    We are in the process of putting together the schedule for the coming year. Stay tuned for a listing of upcoming events in the next edition.

    Read More

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