Mine-to-mill optimization, production reliability enhacement and efficient use of resources over the life-of-mine

Author(s) W. Valery, R. Hayashida, R. Valle, E. Tabosa, K. Duffy, L. Pyle
22nd Mining Symposium, held from August 1 to 3, 2023, São Paulo, SP, Brazil


The global mining industry faces surmounting technical and financial challenges, and with a growing push for environmental sustainability, it has become more important than ever for operations to mitigate risks and optimize operations to ensure maximum profitability and productivity over the life-of-mine (LOM). Hatch’s integrated efficiency solutions address difficult challenges to achieve high-end results. Holistic Mine-to-Mill optimization, as opposed to vain attempts to optimize unit operations in isolation, ensures interconnected processes operate at levels which provide the best overall efficiency. An initial comprehensive ore characterization program lays the groundwork for mechanistic drill and blast and comminution models, which provide short-term optimization opportunities for the whole operation. Sustaining the maximized operational efficiency that the Mine-to-Mill methodology delivers requires an appropriate throughput forecast model which predicts plant performance throughout the LOM. Hatch integrates mine planning, geological, and plant feed and equipment specifications into a geometallurgical model which forms the basis of proactive operating strategies. Lower grade deposits particularly can be benefitted by Hatch’s pre-concentration initiatives that promote an efficient use of resources. Removing coarse size waste in early mineral processing stages has the potential to increase production and reduce transport, processing, water, and energy costs. Technologies which provide such benefits to operations include pre-screening, bulk ore sorting, gravity and magnetic separation, and coarse particle flotation. This paper provides an overview of the aforementioned optimization strategies’ methods, potential benefits, challenges and case studies with actual results.