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.

This article was published in CRC ORE News - March 2018

By Luke Keeney, General Manager - Implementation

Over the last 12 months, CRC ORE in partnership with MSC have conducted a Phase 1 Grade Engineering study investigating the opportunity for exploiting natural and induced Grade Engineering strategies. A detailed work program was carried out to identified rock types with a high propensity for metal to deport into the fine size fractions. A significant bulk and variability testing program was conducted with results interpolated into the resource block model.

MSC Trial Resource Block Model

Based on the results of the Grade Engineering test work and in collaboration with MSC, it has been identified that if Grade Engineering responses as identified in the Phase 1 study exist at production scale, there is a sizable proportion of low grade waste halo material that may be economic. Site estimates that if this ore can be upgraded, then the opportunity for MSC is ~$1B in value. MSC have requested CRC ORE to develop and manage a Grade Engineering production trial as the next phase of study.

The objectives of the study are:

  • Validate Grade Engineering benefits at MSC through a production trial.
  • Measure the impacts of processing grade engineered material on downstream processes (i.e. concentrator).
  • Quantify the economic benefit to MSC through the application of Grade Engineering to run-of-mine (ROM) ore and mineralised stockpiles.
  • Understand operational requirements to progress Grade Engineering to full scale implementation.
  • Provide technical justification for MSC to implement Grade Engineering into the operation.

CRC ORE in collaboration with METSO conducted a 1-week planning study at MSC to define the scope of the Grade Engineering production trial project. Two opportunities for assessing the Grade Engineering amenability were identified, namely:

  • Test ex-pit ores within the appropriate grade range and rock type
  • Test mineralised stockpile that is currently sub-economic

The following diagrams provide the conceptual work program to be conducted for each trial option.

MSC Conceptual 1

MSC Conceptual 2

To conduct the screening campaign of the ex-pit and mineralised stockpile material, METSO will deploy a Lokotrack ST2.8 unit to MSC (see following image). The unit will operate ~450tph and will operate for ~2-3months on the ex-pit and stockpile material respectively. The Lokotrack is a commercial product supplied by Metso and will be customised to the MSC trial specifications and fitted with Metso flow up system and conveyor scales. The undersize product generated from the screening trial will be campaigned through the concentrator over a 3-5 day period blended with direct ROM ore in a ratio of approximately 25% GE feed and 75% direct ROM.

MSC Metso Lokotrack

Key outcomes from this project will be:

  • Quantification of natural deportment response of marginal ores at production scale.
  • Quantification of natural deportment response of mineralised stockpile at production scale.
  • Quantification of Grade Engineering impacts on Concentrator operation due to Grade Engineering feed being processed.
  • Implementation Plan for MSC to incorporate Grade Engineering into the operation.


For more information about Grade Engineering, please click here.

 

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  • Annual Assembly 2018: Program released & registrations open

    This year's Annual Assembly will be held in Brisbane on 20 November 2018 at Brisbane City Hall. Essential Participants of CRC ORE are also invited to the member-only CRC ORE Implementation Council meeting the following day.

    register now button 2018 

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  • 20 September 2018: A new site project (P5-044) is on track to deliver better options for grade control and accurate metal reconciliation.

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  • 15 September 2018: CRC ORE recently published nine new project snapshots.

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  • 1 September 2018: This month we meet University of Newcastle PdD student, Callan Lowes. Callan is completing important research for CRC ORE’s Program 3: Extract (P3-005) being run through Curtin University. This research is being undertaken as part of the AMIRA P420F Gold project.

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  • 12 June 2018: A new online tool, GE.View, is giving the Western Australian minerals industry the power to assess and rank opportunities for increased productivity via application of Grade Engineering® on a deposit-by-deposit basis from their own or public domain data.

    The development of the innovative tool was led by the Cooperative Research Centre for Optimising Resource Extraction (CRC ORE). It was developed with support from the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia.

    The tool is being made freely available to the industry by CRC ORE as part of its commitment to delivering significant economic opportunities for the Australian minerals industry.

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  • Line-up of key mining events coming up in 2018

    There are a host of mining related events coming up. Following is a list of key events that CRC ORE will be keenly involved with, either in a presenting capacity or supporting as a sponsor. Wherever possible, CRC ORE supports a collaborative approach to events as we have found more penetrative engagement in teaming up with our Participants.

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News - Publications

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News - Grade Engineering

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News - CRC ORE updates

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  • 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.

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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.

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  • 21 November 2017: The photos and presentations from this year's CRC ORE Annual Assembly have been added to our website.

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  • 30 June 2017: Two of CRC ORE’s Board Members have been recognised for excellence in their chosen fields in recent months. Dr Sue Keay has just been named one of Australia’s first Superstars of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). This follows news that Joe Pease has been recognised in two prestigious mining industry awards. Also in recent months, CRC ORE was awarded a high commendation for an “exceptional paper demonstrating excellence” in the CEEC Medal 2017 round.

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  • 30 November 2016: For presentations, photos and the wrap up of the 2016 Assembly, read on.

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  • 15 February 2016: Forward thinkers of the mining industry came together at the start of the year to celebrate the official launch of a second phase for the highly successful CRC ORE.

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  • 2 November 2015: The Directors of CRC ORE are very pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Ben Adair as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Australian mining innovation hub, CRC ORE Limited.

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  • 6 October 2015: The CRC ORE team has moved to CSIRO's Queensland Centre for Advanced Technologies (QCAT) in Pullenvale, Brisbane.

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  • 26 May 2015:  CRC ORE is set to be funded for a second six year term with the Australian Government flagging $34.45 million to support vital ongoing work in improving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the minerals extraction industry.

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