Maximizing profitability with challenging ore bodies and changing market conditions requires smarter, more selective practices, tailored to suit each operation. As higher grade and accessible deposits are depleted, we are left with deeper, lower grade, and more complex ore bodies. Increased operating costs and the need to minimize environmental impacts add to the challenge. Mines need advanced, integrated solutions to operate safely and responsibly while maximizing profitability. Mine-to-process integration and optimization is critical to remaining viable and sustainable over the long-term.
Mine-to-process integration and optimization
Understanding ore body characteristics allows for the optimization of operating strategies, maximizing overall profitability. Blast fragmentation has a significant impact on downstream comminution. Likewise, grind size strongly affects subsequent separation stages. Mine-to-process integration optimizes each stage while considering the impact on the overall operation.
Blast fragmentation and comminution are primarily influenced by rock structure, strength, and breakage characteristics. Beneficiation is influenced by mineralogy, texture, density, grade, liberation, etc. Our experts conduct specialized tests to develop a detailed understanding of these characteristics and how they are distributed throughout the deposit. This allows operating strategies in the mine and plant to be tailored to the ore characteristics.
Drill and blast
Mathematical modeling and simulations are used to tailor blast designs and explosive properties to ore properties, producing a run-of-mine size distribution that optimizes productivity and efficiency. Our expertise also includes initiation timing and vibration monitoring, as well as advice on drilling and charging practices to ensure safe and effective blasts.
Our specialists can evaluate which pre-concentration technologies are most suitable for a specific ore body. The evaluation determines if the upgrade is achievable and considers the financial implications on the overall operation. Our expertise covers high intensity selective mining, pre-screening, sensor-based sorting (either particle or bulk), gravity concentration, coarse particle flotation, and magnetic separation.
Using measured ore characteristics, comprehensive plant surveys, historical operating data, plus our extensive database of over 450 operations globally, we develop site-specific models for any comminution circuit, ranging from primary crushing through to fine and ultrafine grinding. These are used in simulations to optimize existing or alternative circuits without expensive and disruptive experimentation, or to design new comminution circuits in greenfield projects. Using a variety of software tools, we can optimize the design of crusher and mill internal components to improve comminution performance and reduce wear.
Assay-by-size survey data and measured equipment characteristics are used to develop site-specific models to track minerals and elements through the flowsheet. Simulation is used to assess different circuit configurations evaluating the operational and economic viability of flotation, gravity, magnetic separation, or other concentration processes. Simulation provides a powerful tool for optimization of existing operations, expansion options, and greenfield designs.
Geometallurgical modeling, throughput forecasting, and life-of-mine optimization
We integrate ore domains, site-specific models (of blasting, comminution, and separation) with mine planning to develop throughput forecasting and geometallurgical models. These provide an understanding of how ore variability affects mining and processing, and facilitate long-term strategic planning to maximize profitability of the operation.
Continuous support, technology transfer, and training
To ensure that the benefits of mine-to-process integration and optimization are sustained in the long term, we offer implementation strategies, continuous improvement, and training. During commissioning and ramp up we swiftly identify bottlenecks and opportunities for improvement. We can help achieve design capacity and process targets, maximizing revenue from your operation.
An integrated approach from mine-to-process increases production, minimizes costs, and maximizes profitability of your overall operation.
Close collaboration with operations ensures alignment with site objectives, and our training of site personnel allows for successful overall implementation.
In brownfield operations, production with existing equipment is maximized, bottlenecks are rapidly identified, and optimal expansion options are developed.
In greenfield projects, an integrated and more efficient mine and plant design is developed to optimize the project from the outset.
Waste, energy, and water usage are minimized for a more eco-efficient mining process.
Geometallurgical modeling and throughput forecasting allows for long-term strategic planning to maximize profitability over the life-of-mine.