Integrating mining and mineral processing for advanced mining systems
The integration of mining and mineral processing technologies into new advanced mining systems is considered to offer several benefits, including selective mining, reduction in waste, increased productivity, flexibility, and improved resource utilization. This paper focuses on underground hardrock mining and the integration of pre-concentration technologies into future mining systems as representing realistic, shorter-term integration options. Control of fragmentation to optimize grinding, pre-concentration of ores, in situ leaching, and modular mining/mineral processing systems are possible with existing technology. Current research is directed toward development of integrated underground systems that minimize surface activity and minimize or eliminate surface waste disposal. Results from a simulation model of an integrated underground pre-concentration system are presented.