March/April 2013

CIM Journal

Excerpts taken from abstracts in CIM Journal, Vol. 4, No. 1. To subscribe, to submit a paper or to be a peer reviewer—www.cim.org

Advances in continuous monitoring of water-cooled tapblocks for pyrometallurgical furnaces

Electric load-haul-dump machines: real alternative for diesels?

Processing history at Vale Canada’s (Inco’s) nickel-copper smelter at Copper Cliff, Ontario: post-1950

Autogenous grinding mills for diamond liberation

Review of rare earth mineral processing technology

A simple solution to assess pore-water pressure in barricades made of waste rock


Advances in continuous monitoring of water-cooled tapblocks for pyrometallurgical furnaces

P. Gebski, A. Sadri, W.L. Ying, Hatch, Sheridan Science and Technology Park, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada; and D. George-Kennedy, C. Nexhip, D. Krippner and R. Kaur, Kennecott Utah Copper Smelter (KUCS), Magna, Utah, USA

ABSTRACT Water-cooled tapblocks are essential components of modern smelting furnaces. Uninterrupted operation of a tapblock is critical for the optimal operation of a furnace. This critical function, together with exposure to extreme conditions, drives the need for an efficient and reliable means for tapblock monitoring. The main objective of tapblock monitoring is to help optimize the life of the tapblocks by better scheduling inner refractory relining and protecting operators by preventing sudden deterioration of the tapblock. A taphole acoustic monitoring (TAM) system was developed to meet the above requirements. This paper describes the principles of the TAM system and selected case studies.

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Electric load-haul-dump machines: real alternative for diesels?

J. Paraszczak, M. Laflamme and K. Fytas, Department of Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Université Laval, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

ABSTRACT Diesel-powered loaders are a pillar of modern underground metal mining. As these mines are getting deeper and hotter and the emission regulations stricter, ventilation costs are soaring, affecting production cost. Also, the cost of diesel fuel is expected to rise. These may make the use of diesel engines more problematic. Electric load-haul-dump machines (LHDs) are an interesting alternative. This paper compares features and performance of diesel and electric, cable-powered LHDs. It overviews equipment offerings, and compares, analyzes and discusses technical parameters, operational problems and cost issues. The paper gives some conclusions about electric LHD applicability and performance, indicates possible applications, and suggests further research work.

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Processing history at Vale Canada’s (Inco’s) nickel-copper smelter at Copper Cliff, Ontario: post-1950

B.R. Conard, Oakville, Ontario, Canada

ABSTRACT It is critical that historical processes and concomitant exposures to specific nickel substances be understood because some diseases linked to inhalation of certain nickel-containing substances have a long latency between first exposure and disease onset, and because nickel substances vary significantly in their toxicological properties. A discussion of the smelting history and related processes at Vale Canada’s (Inco’s) Copper Cliff, Ontario, smelter is integral to the understanding of these processes. The post-1950 processing history, equipment, propensity for aerosol formation, operational procedures, and ventilation controls used by Vale Canada in roasting, smelting, converting, and copper-nickel separation is discussed.

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Autogenous grinding mills for diamond liberation

J.E. Danoczi, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; and S. Harvey, Shore Gold Inc., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

ABSTRACT A diamond processing plant is being designed for the Star–Orion South diamond project in central Saskatchewan. Key to the plant is diamond liberation, which occurs in the comminution section and is the process of breaking up kimberlite rock as gently as possible to minimize diamond damage, particularly in larger, high-value diamonds. Kimberlite from the crater area of a volcanic pipe is generally softer than kimberlite from the diatreme zone. Softer kimberlite, comprising the majority of Star-Orion South deposits, can be readily broken up using abrasion and attrition by autogenous grinding mills, the preferred comminution method for minimizing diamond damage.

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Review of rare earth mineral processing technology

J. Zhang, Saskatchewan Research Council, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; and C. Edwards, AMEC Americas Ltd., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

ABSTRACT The versatility and specificity of rare earth elements (REEs) have led to their use in an ever-increasing variety of applications in new technologies; consequently, demand for REEs has increased significantly. However, separating REEs safely and effectively is a complex and expensive process. This paper presents a review of REE mineral processing technologies, providing an update on current capabilities in REE mineral processing and REE extraction from the major commercially valuable REE-bearing minerals such as bastnaesite, monazite, and xenotime, as well as the ion-absorption type of REE deposits.

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A simple solution to assess pore-water pressure in barricades made of waste rock

L. Li, Department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering, Polytechnique Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

ABSTRACT Stope backfilling is a common operation in many underground mines, which requires a barricade at the base of the stope near the drift entrance to retain the backfill in place. In this paper, the distribution of pore-water pressure in barricades made of waste rock is analyzed. An analytical solution is introduced and applied to estimate the pore-water pressure along the base and full height of the barricade. Results show that the analytical solution generally accurately predicts the distribution of porewater pressure obtained from the numerical calculations, especially in the upstream part of the barricade, where it is most critical.

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