Total systems approach to design for underground mine-mill integration

Gold 2003
B. Klein, R. Hall, M. Scoble and M. Morin, University of British Columbia, British Columbia, Vancouver
Abstract This paper examines the design issues associated with the integration of mineral processing within underground mining using a total systems approach. It demonstrates conceptual integrated system design options appropriate to a range of geological scenarios. Particular reference is then given to a case study of stoping in narrow base metal veins. The performance of such integrated systems in terms of productivity, economical and environmental criteria is demonstrated by means of simulation. Particular attention is given to the potential benefits to mine waste management. Processing technologies appear to offer genuine potential benefits, while underground mining methods may need to evolve further to facilitate full integration. This paper is based on industry supported research aimed at developing selective and clean underground mining systems.
Keywords: Total systems, Integrated systems, Underground leaching, Underground mineral processing.

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