Managing Company Risk by Incorporating the Mine Resource Model into the Design and Optimization of Mineral Processing Plants

CIM Vancouver 2002
Chris A. Bennett,
Abstract The variability within an orebody with respect to both plant throughput and metallurgical response typically is a significant problem to address during the design phase of a mine. In addition, for existing operating plants, the variability in throughput and metallurgical response needs to be clearly understood and accounted for if plant performance is to be optimized. MinnovEX Technologies, through a collaborative program with major mining companies, is continuing to develop methodologies and tools to address the issue of variability in ore characteristics (such as ore hardness and flotation response). The comminution component of the program is referred to as CEET, for Comminution Economic Evaluation Tool. The flotation component of the program is referred to as FLEET, for Flotation Economic Evaluation Tool. These tools were designed for the purpose of managing company and bank risk with respect to the design and production planning for comminution and flotation circuits. The tools are used for design and scale-up of these process unit operations and for prediction of throughput, quality of grind, recovery and final concentrate grades throughout the mine resource model. They are used to better quantify the value of each block of ore in the resource model. This paper describes the concepts and approach of the technology, including the importance of linking the mine resource model as an input to the design tools. It also outlines how this technology can be used to refine reserve and resource estimates and how it will be applied to other unit operations in the future.
Keywords: Comminution, Resource Model, Process Models, Production planning, Mine planning, Geostatistics, Flotation, Process design, Risk management, Process optimization
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