Mining Mineral Processing Simultaneous Planning

CIM Montreal 2003
Abstract The mining planning and the mineral processing are almost two unconnected areas. The mining area builds its economical models considering plant like a constant parameter: a constant throughput, an average recovery, an unitary cost. In the other hand, the mineral processing area assumes a mine plan with grades, ore type, work index, estimating the performances in an independent way.

Cut-off grades optimization has been the only mining planning tool at mostly mines. But, higher grades are history, world trend to mine lower grades becoming incomes closer to the cost. This fact in a global low-price market has become Profit, a challenge target to achieve. New technology improvements are indispensable but need time and investment, both, difficult to meet today. New methods using Work Index information allow increasing profits and are low expensive and directly applicable.

A method combining mineral processing and mining planning has been developed. This method incorporates the grinding and flotation performance into the mining economic models optimizing simultaneously the Throughput-Work index-Recovery relations with mining sequence, cut-off strategies, and reserve schedules.

The mineral processing relations are based on statistical analysis using structural equation modeling and no lineal modeling, supporting the results with theoretical models and laboratory tests.

This method uses the latest optimization tools based on genetic and evolutionary algorithms, improving the solution got it by traditional optimization methods.

The final product is a mine-metallurgical plan, which maximizes the net present value achieved by defining throughputs, recoveries, and mine production rates by period. This method change mine limits redefine mine sequences, to achieve grades, work indexes, mine costs and all parameters required to support the net present value compromised. These facts difference this method from all other software’s and method before developed, which base them results on grade tonnage curve, careless about mine spatial constraint and block model information.

This method has been used at Andina Mine Chile, showing 18% of potential increasing on the Net Present Value with minimum investment associated.
Keywords: Planning, Work index, Method, Mineral Processing, Mining
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