“Improving a Mining/Ore Extraction Projects ROI Through Process Control: Systems Integration and Infrastructure Design ”

CIM Edmonton 2004
Abstract No business tool has greater potential to effect change than Process Control. Manufacturing and chemicals have benefited from using this tool for decades.

Businesses ability to evaluate, plan, and react to changing conditions allows them to prosper independent of economic conditions. These survival/performance enhancing skills could never have been applied as successfully without process control. Successful businesses see process control not as a value added option but as an integrated engineered system, designed and built into their business models from day one.

Process control has enormous and profound effects on profitability and sustainability when applied to mineral processing for optimizing recoveries and minimizing waste, however, the mining/ore extraction sector has been slow to adopt integrated process control.

Plant engineers with a fundamental understanding of process control practices can improve the ROI of mining/ore extraction projects. Strategic changes to a mines service infrastructure can translate into immediate improvements in the efficiency of development activities while allowing future production process control initiatives to be implemented easily at significantly lower capital and operating cost.

This paper provides the plant engineer with a clear understanding of practical process control issues and a framework to quickly establish a infrastructure design flexible enough to meet the needs of specific operating departments without compromising production objectives. The common approach of applying process control as a blanket cure all is replaced with a systems engineering approach based on analyzing the mining/ore extraction process from first principles.
Keywords: Process, ROI, Design, Engineering, Efficiency, Underground, Control, Infrastructure, Services, Extraction
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