Complete Optimisation from Mine-to-Mill to Maximise Profitability

Author(s): W. Valery, K-A. Duffy, A. Jankovic, E. Tabosa
Gold and Technology, June No. 2, Volume 32, 2016

Abstract

As high grade deposits are depleted, new ore bodies are expected to be of lower grade and more difficult to extract. Furthermore, the industry is facing increasing cost pressures along with issues with the energy supply and limited water resources. In the past, the mining industry has addressed dropping feed grades and higher costs by leveraging economies of scale. The tendency has been to try and apply a “one-size fits all” approach to mining and separation; bigger equipment and standardised processes. The mining practices, crushing and grinding are largely un-selective, treating large tonnages, grinding all the material very finely and letting the downstream separation processes sort it all out. However, this is generally very inefficient. Whilst it is possible to get away with large inefficiencies using economies of scale in times of boom, this is neither responsible, nor viable during downtimes.