May 2015

CIM Journal & CIM Metallurgical Quarterly

Excerpts taken from abstracts in CIM Journal, Vol. 6, No. 2.
To subscribe, to submit a paper or to be a peer reviewer—www.cim.org

Contributing to community sustainability during mineral exploration: Lessons learned from Mesoamerica

J. M. Ríos and I. Thomson, On Common Ground Consultants Inc., Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

ABSTRACT Without conscious effort and understanding, a number of factors unique to mineral exploration often hinder building sustainability in host communities. These include the episodic and transitory presence of an exploration team in the community and the inherent uncertainty of outcomes—most projects fail from an exploration perspective. Experience in rural communities across Mesoamerica, however, has shown that it is possible to go beyond pragmatic philanthropy and infrastructure improvements to promote positive, sustainable outcomes in communities. Examples are provided of lessons learned and proven practices that improve quality of life and support a strong social license to operate.


 

International law norms of consultation with Indigenous communities: Significance for corporate stakeholders

D. Newman, College of Law, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

ABSTRACTThis paper discusses the author’s work on international law norms of consultation with Indigenous communities and examines unexpected corporate stakeholder impacts on these norms. Customary international law, which governs the area, does not traditionally refer to corporate conduct. This paper surveys several sources on developing international law on consultation obligations; it also discusses the impacts these norms can have on corporate stakeholders in the mining industry. Finally, it asks how interactions of corporate stakeholders in this area can indirectly impact future law and suggests implications for different business models in the mining sector.


 

Noise and vibration: Mine workers’ exposure in Quebec underground mines

M. Laflamme, Université Laval, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; P. Marcotte and J. Boutin, Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; and S. Ouellette and G. LeBlanc, Natural Resources Canada, CanmetMINING, Val-d’Or, Quebec, Canada

ABSTRACTTo characterize noise and vibration sources of different types of mining equipment used in underground mining, the authors performed a study in eight Quebec mines on 28 pieces of equipment. This paper presents the procedure followed to select the equipment to be evaluated and the low-cost acquisition system developed to perform multichannel time-domain data acquisition in harsh environments. It also presents the results obtained for the noise level produced by the equipment and for hand-arm and whole-body vibration exposures.


 

Multivariate data cleaning and reclassification of particle size distribution data for the Joslyn lease

P. Babak, PennWest Exploration, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; P. Henriquel and E. Insalaco, Total E&P Canada Ltd., Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and O. Babak, Cenovus Energy, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

ABSTRACT Detection of outliers is an important primary step in geomodelling. Geological datasets often contain errors due to problems such as measurement device limitations and recording glitches. In this paper, a robust Mahalanobis distance-based approach is successfully applied to particle-size distributions of the Joslyn lease, an oil sands development site near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. Automatic outlier detection and geological review were combined. Outliers from the Mahalanobis distance approach were compared with their respective core photographs to determine if laboratory measurements and facies classification were correct. A checking procedure for laboratory technicians is proposed.

 

Towards a practical stope reconciliation process in large-scale bulk underground stoping operations, Olympic Dam, South Australia

Y. Potvin, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Nedlands, Australia; and D. Grant and G. Mungur, BHP Billiton Olympic Dam, Adelaide, Australia

ABSTRACT This paper deals with the reconciliation of open stope performance at Olympic Dam, South Australia, with a focus on stope stability, recovery, and operational aspects of stope reconciliation in relation to the expected or planned stope design. The observed stope performance is inconsistent with the equivalent linear overbreak sloughing criteria for assessing the performance of large open stopes. The aim is to investigate new stope performance criteria using quantitative (overbreak, underbreak, maximum depth of wall failure) and qualitative (stope productivity, observed fragmentation) information that correlates with the observed stope behaviour, providing a process for improving future stope designs.

 

Le diagramme ternaire Al2O3-Sr-Y : un nouvel outil pour l’exploration de gisements de sulfures massifs volcanogènes

M. Proulx, Géo-Consilium, Val-d’Or, Québec, Canada

ABSTRACT The tertiary diagram Al2O3-Sr-Y is a new tool to explore Archean volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposits. The diagram can be used to discriminate between the volcanic rocks where zinc is the dominant mineralization (Zn+ domain) and the rocks where copper is the dominant mineralization (Cu+ domain), as well as the volcanic rocks that were subjected to hydrothermal chloritization that could have led to the formation of chloritites associated with alteration chimneys (Cl+ domain). These three domains define the zones of geochemical influence, or residual or fossil hydrothermal footprints produced by hydrothermal convection cells generated by magmas. Exploration companies can apply the diagram to determine, at low cost, the potential fertility of the Archean volcanic rocks by using their databases and the results of their field analyses, without any data manipulation. The diagram does not apply to gold-bearing VMS deposits.

 

Modelling heavy-tailed coarse gold deposits with a spatial point process

C. R. Mooney, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Markin/CNRL Natural Resources Engineering Facility, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; W. Board, Pretium Resources Inc., Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; and J. B. Boisvert, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Markin/CNRL Natural Resources Engineering Facility, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

ABSTRACT This paper deals with the reconciliation of open stope performance at Olympic Dam, South Australia, with a focus on stope stability, recovery, and operational aspects of stope reconciliation in relation to the expected or planned stope design. The observed stope performance is inconsistent with the equivalent linear overbreak sloughing criteria for assessing the performance of large open stopes. The aim is to investigate new stope performance criteria using quantitative (overbreak, underbreak, maximum depth of wall failure) and qualitative (stope productivity, observed fragmentation) information that correlates with the observed stope behaviour, providing a process for improving future stope designs.


Canadian Metallurgical Quarterly cover
Excerpts taken from abstracts in CMQ, Vol. 53, No. 1.
To subscribe – 
www.cmq-online.ca

Comparative study on simultaneous leaching of nutrients during bioleaching of heavy metals from sewage sludge using indigenous iron and sulphur oxidising microorganisms

A. Pathak, Mineral Resource Research Division, Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, Daejeon, Korea; P. Singh, Centre for Energy Studies, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Hauz Khas, New Delhi, India; P. Dhama, Ajay Kumar Garg Engineering College, Ghaziabad, India; M. G. Dastidar, Centre for Energy Studies, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Hauz Khas, New Delhi, India; D. J. Kim, Mineral Resource Research Division, Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, Daejeon, Korea; and G. Heyes, CSIRO, Process Science and Engineering, Clayton South, Australia

ABSTRACT The present study investigated the changes in nutrient profile of sewage sludge during bioleaching in a batch mode of operation. The study identified the optimum bioleaching period at which maximum solubilisation of metals is achieved while maintaining the fertilising property of the bioleached sludge. The bioleaching experiments were performed using anaerobically digested sewage sludge by employing indigenous iron and sulphur oxidising microorganisms. The results showed that bioleaching using sulphur oxidising microorganisms is comparatively advantageous due to the higher solubilisation of heavy metals. However, despite its high potential in solubilisation of heavy metals from the sludge, the bioleaching process resulted in the undesirable dissolution/loss of sludge bound nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), thus making the sludge less attractive for land application as a fertiliser. After 16 days of bioleaching about 45% of the nitrogen and 34% of the phosphorus were leached from the sludge using indigenous iron oxidising microorganisms, whereas about 78% of the nitrogen and 56% of the phosphorus were leached using indigenous sulphur oxidising microorganisms. The findings indicated that the fertilising property of the sewage sludge can be maintained by conducting the process for a shorter duration of time (up to 10 days). The optimum bioleaching period was 10 days where about 85%Cu, 71%Ni, 91%Zn and 61%Cr were solubilised from the sludge while the loss of nitrogen and phosphorus was only 56 and 51% respectively, by using sulphur oxidising microorganisms. The heavy metals remaining in the bioleached sludge were mostly in the residual fraction ensuring the safe disposal of bioleached sludge for land application as a fertiliser.


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