Multi-scale stochastic modelling of ore textures at the George Fisher mine, Queensland, Australia

Abstract Traditional planning of mines and scheduling of production is largely based upon the modelling of ore grade. It is known, however, that grade is not the only characteristic that can be taken into account to maximize performance at the processing plant and efficiency of tailings disposal. Ore processing plants respond well to feed that is consistent over time and that has known physico-chemical characteristics, which can be used to improve plant design and performance through the management of plant variables. Ore texture complements grade and influences, or is a measure of, mineral liberation properties, ore grindability, concentrate properties, disposal characteristics, and other properties which collectively characterize the metallurgical behaviour of the ore. Furthermore, in an operational sense, even with the most sophisticated plant control system and mining practices, a response lag occurs between the measurement of an ore processing characteristic and the corrective action required. During this lag time, an opportunity exists to maximize the profit of the resource by introducing a predictive ore control strategy.
The technical literature provides substantial information on the link between ore texture and metallurgical behaviour. If the metallurgical properties of ore and the ore’s texture are intimately linked, then the time-dependent variability of ore behaviour in the mill feed is directly related to the space-dependent variability of textures in the orebody. If ore textures can be recognized, measured, and quantified in spatial models, then ore texture models can form the basis for predicting, simulating, and controlling the time-dependent variability of the ore behaviour in the mill feed.
This paper presents an approach to the spatial modelling of ore textures from suitable measurements, thus potentially enabling predictive ore control strategies to be implemented for ore processing. The paper contributes a modelling framework founded upon four factors: definition of ore textures at a practical scale (mesotextures); characterization of spatial continuity of mesotextures; stochastic simulation of mesotextures at a fine scale; and construction of predictive mesotexture models at the required mining scale from the simulated fine-scale textures. For the simulation of ore mesotextures, a new sequential “growth” algorithm extending the so-termed sequential indicator simulation (SIS) is developed. The method mimics a natural process of “informed” growth in a spatial pattern and generates geologically plausible patterns. The figure shows two simulated models of nine mesotextures over an area of 300 by 350 m2, both based on mesotexture data identified in the core of the same drillhole fan in the George Fisher massive sulphide deposit in Queensland, Australia. The simulated model of ore texture in the figure (left) is generated with the sequential “growth” algorithm presented in this paper. The figure (right) is based on the off-the-shelf SIS method mentioned above and was considered by the mine’s geologists as unrealistic for the textures encountered at the mine. Visually, the differences in the two images are clear and due to the ability of the new algorithm to better account for complex, short-scale spatial relations among the mesotexture types.
The above-mentioned new simulation algorithm is shown to be suitable for implementation and excellent in performance, thus potentially assisting with the spatial modelling of ore textures and the implementation of predictive ore characterization and processing strategies.
Keywords: Stochastic spatial simulation, Ore texture, Ore reserves.
Full Access to Technical Paper
PDF version for $20.00
Search
Sort By:  Relevance
Showing results 1 - 6
Text
Summary: Environmental desulphurization is an attractive alternative for the management of acid generating tailings. Sulphide bulk flotation is the most commonly used method to produce desulphurized tailings, as shown from many previous works. This process can reduce the volume of problematic tailings to manage by making a sulphide fraction concentrate. The desulphurized tailings can then be used as construction material for an engineered cover to prevent acid mine drainage.
Results from different...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): D. Bois, M. Benzaazoua, B. Bussière, M. Kongolo, P. Poirier
Keywords: Desulphurized tailings, Acid mine drainage, Dry cover, Water covers, Paste backfill.
Issue: 1087
Volume: 98
Year: 2005
Text
Summary: Over the last few years, a number of research projects to prove out the concept of applying fuel cell technology to underground mining vehicles have been managed by Vehicle Projects LLC for the Fuelcell Propulsion Institute. These have been carried out with the support of mining companies, trade unions, regulatory agencies, equipment manufacturers, research laboratories, technology developers, universities, and consultants.
Hydrogen fuel cell technology is clean and produces only water and...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): M.C. Bétournay, P. Laliberté, R. Lacroix, C. Kocsis, S. Hardcastle, G. Desrivières, P. Mousset-Jones, G. Righettini
Keywords: Fuel cell, Diesel, Costs, Benefits
Issue: 1087
Volume: 98
Year: 2005
Text
Summary: The 20th century saw changes in the mining and metallurgical industry not only technically but also in social and environmental expectations. As projects become larger their visibility raises concerns among communities of interest, and mining companies must adopt a transparent and open approach to assure success. An equally important task is to anticipate the standards that will be required to meet expectations.
Early mines left waste and spoil piles around the surface and the images of...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): D.J. Kemp
Keywords: Sustainable standards, Sustainable development, Environmental awareness, Corporate attitudes, Community attitudes.
Issue: 1087
Volume: 98
Year: 2005
Text
Summary: In 1997, a group of Canadian mining companies met to review the Mine Environment Neutral Drainage (MEND) program and to consider future activities. They concluded that Canadian industry and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) should fund a small secretariat in Ottawa to support technology transfer in Canada, and that it was important for industry to continue the momentum of MEND on an international scale.
The need for the International Network for Acid Prevention (INAP) was strongly endorsed by...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): R. Gallinger, B. Kelley
Keywords: International Network for Acid Prevention,Waste management, Acid drainage.
Issue: 1087
Volume: 98
Year: 2005
Text
Summary: The world’s first hydrogen fuel cell locomotive was successfully demonstrated at the Placer Dome Campbell Mine in Balmertown, Ontario. This demonstration was a success based on the following criteria:

safely demonstrated the operation of a hydrogen-powered fuel cell locomotive in a production situation;
determined the regulatory and operational requirements for future fuel cell mining equipment;
determined technical and soft issues critical for future fuel cell applications; and
determined...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): F.C. Delabbio, D. Eastick, C. Graves, D. Sprott, T. MacKinnon, M.C. Bétournay
Keywords: Fuel cell, Risk management, Regulatory compliance, Campbell Mine.
Issue: 1087
Volume: 98
Year: 2005
Text
Summary: The Las Cristinas deposit in Venezuela contains proven and probable reserves of 12.8 million ounces of gold at a grade of 1.20 g/t. The deposit comprises fully oxidized saprolite (SAPO) overlying a layer of sulphide-enriched saprolite (SAPS) which lies above carbonate- leached bedrock (CLB) and carbonate stable or un-leached bedrock (CSB). Gold occurs at a similar concentration in all lithological units.
Virtually all of the copper originally in SAPO has been leached out and deposited in the...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): J.R. Goode, K.G. Thomas
Keywords: Las Cristinas, Gold, Saprolite, Gravity, Leaching, CIL, Thickening, Rheology, Natural degradation, Cyanide destruction, Plant design.
Issue: 1087
Volume: 98
Year: 2005
Powered by Coveo Enterprise Search