Utilising orebody knowledge to improve comminution circuit design and energy utilisation

Powell, M. S. (2013). Utilising orebody knowledge to improve comminution circuit design and energy utilisation. In: Simon Dominy, Proceedings: The Second AusIMM International Geometallurgy Conference (GeoMet) 2013. GeoMet 2013: The Second AusIMM International Geometallurgy Conference, Brisbane, QLD, Australia, (27-35). 30 September-2 October, 2013.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Powell, M. S.
Title of paper Utilising orebody knowledge to improve comminution circuit design and energy utilisation
Conference name GeoMet 2013: The Second AusIMM International Geometallurgy Conference
Conference location Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Conference dates 30 September-2 October, 2013
Proceedings title Proceedings: The Second AusIMM International Geometallurgy Conference (GeoMet) 2013
Place of Publication Carlton, VIC, Australia
Publisher The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM)
Publication Year 2013
Sub-type Fully published paper
ISBN 9781921522970
9781921522901
9781921522987
Editor Simon Dominy
Start page 27
End page 35
Total pages 9
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
In this paper it is argued that we are entering a new mining era, based on considerably more challenging orebodies as we rapidly expand minerals production by exploiting previously uneconomic deposits. Rapidly increasing production costs cannot be sustained by continually increasing commodity prices, as illustrated by the recent downturn in the industry.

Driven by reduction in grade, requiring the processing of 50 to 100 per cent more ore to recover the same amount of metal, often accompanied by finer grain structure – necessitating a finer product size and more challenging recovery – the productivity of the mining industry is dropping in real terms. The author suggests that tweaking current technologies and relying on economies of scale will not turn the industry around, but rather a switch to considerably more efficient processing is required.

It is imperative to utilise the properties of the orebody, especially in terms of variability, in revolutionising our processing techniques. Our new mantra may be ‘selective mass mining with flexible processing’. This paper explores how this may be implemented using current technology and equipment in order to change the cost profile of the new mining industry. Orebody knowledge, based on the underlying process drivers, rather than proxies, is required. These properties and their variability will need to be propagated into the orebody through utilising the geological data rather than smoothing block averages, which destroys information on variability.

Novel flexible circuit designs are presented that can respond to a wide variability in ore properties and throughput requirements in order to slash processing costs and energy utilisation, while enhancing overall recovery. The success of these circuits will be based on an ability to predict at both design stage and in everyday processing the variable ore properties, which is dependent upon reliable orebody knowledge that caries variability and underlying processing properties.
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Tue, 29 Oct 2013, 23:51:07 EST by Karen Holtham on behalf of Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre