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Indonesian " plant optimisation" Workshop

Indonesian " plant optimisation" Workshop

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In March the author planned a 3-day workshop on plant optimisation for senior metallurgical staff in processing plants. The venue of the workshop was planned for Jakarta in Indonesia, focusing on mining operations in the Pacific Rim. Later, it was planned to roll out similar workshops in Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and Latin America. The benefits to be derived are boundless, and profound. Three interactive spreadsheet calculations on plant optimisation were also incorporated into the program these included 1) Concentrate grade enhancement vs recovery loss, 2) The treatment of low grade resource and 3) Deciding how to split concentrates produced on a polymetallic plant. Participants will feel emboldened, motivated and empowered to spearhead change management. A site-specific course can be arranged for your metallurgical staff to encourage them to think outside of the box, to awaken their dormant innovativeness and assist them in maximising profitability in times of falling metal prices. less
In March the author planned a 3-day workshop on plant optimisation for senior metallurgical staff in processing plants. The venue of the workshop was planned for Jakarta in Indonesia, focusing on mining operations in the Pacific Rim. Later, it was planned to roll out similar workshops in Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and Latin America. The benefits to be derived are boundless, and profound. Three interactive spreadsheet calculations on plant optimisation were also incorporated into the program these included 1) Concentrate grade enhancement vs recovery loss, 2) The treatment of low grade resource and 3) Deciding how to split concentrates produced on a polymetallic plant. Participants will feel emboldened, motivated and empowered to spearhead change management. A site-specific course can be arranged for your metallurgical staff to encourage them to think outside of the box, to awaken their dormant innovativeness and assist them in maximising profitability in times of falling metal prices. less

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Published by: Ramoutar (Ken) Seecharran on Mar 31, 2013
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09/29/2013

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Module 1: THE NEED FOR PLANT OPTIMISATION

• • Need for optimising a mining plant which has been operating successfully? Falling metal prices

Falling metal price, in the wake of global recession

• • • •

Falling feed grades Rising labour cost Escalating power cost Rising metal stockpiles

Rising metal stockpile

• • Maximising cash flow Political uncertainty A copper mine. ignominiously shut down by an African government in 2010 • More stringent environmental measures Acid mist in a copper refinery Module 2: CONVERTING A RESOURCE TO FINISHED PRODUCT • • Prospecting for a metal Planning a mine .

Pomp and pageantry Module 3: PLANT COMMISSIONING • • • Recruiting the right workers Demography of the work force. faster and cheaper than traditional methods • • • • • Testing to design a processing plant Running financial model Metal pricing in a financial model Thorough sensitivity analysis.Computerised planning of a mine. preserving the ecology of the area and livelihood of the people is a prerequisite of responsible mining • Inaugurating the new mine. this will be used as the benchmark to judge the new plant Corporate social responsibility. appeasing the locals Corporate social responsibility. the community must be rewarded A form of aptitude testing .

profitable tonnage. First Quantum’s example on mill balls Production bonus tied to cost savings Attitudinal metamorphosis to accepting product substitution . pre-commissioning checks • • Reaching commercial production Setting up a metallurgical accounting system Module 4: CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT • • • • • • Fixed and variable costs Achieving higher throughput above nameplate design. variable cost. Profitable tonnage Achieving higher recovery above test work design. better quality. cheaper source. getting more metal out of the ore. product substitution.• • • Safety induction Training Commissioning Inside a SAG mill. Use of reagent synergy Continuous measures for cost reduction. buying in bulk. Frontier’s example and the use of microphones.

reagent synergy. is there a trade off? Will it negate the gain discussed in Module 4? Improving weightometers’ accuracy. this has the effect of reducing transportation cost and improving downstream processing recovery.Substituted slurry pump spare from China at ⅓ the cost of the OEM’s • • • Suggestion schemes. Konkola’s example • Conveyor belt weightometer scale . many of which are often overlooked. Luanshya’s example with rubber screens Measures of guaranteeing and sustaining the achievements. ⅓ labour and ⅓ mining chemicals used Improving equipment functionality. knowledge transfer. cost and reliability. Discussing the 21 possible sources of errors. Frontier’s example Improving labour’s competence. Guelb’s example Testing newer and better mining chemicals. In the event or recovery suffering. productivity bonus scheme Publicising the achievements using electronic boards Module 5: PLANT OPTIMISATION TOOLS • • • • • The performance of a processing plant comprises ⅓ equipment. Baluba’s example Enhancing concentrate grade.

0 RECOVERY (%) 81.34 0. Depending on the geographic location.14 GRADE % Cu 0.0 86. Grasberg’s example. Every so often. JK SimMet and HSC7 Module 6: ONGOING CHALLENGES. more money is spent on grinding media .0 71.54 Processing waste rock “low grade resource” to make metal • Such waste can become a valuable resource if: • • • • Metal price improves Plant capacity outstrips mine production Technology improves A spreadsheet on a laptop computer can dictate the tonnage and grade of waste to be treated Module 7: PLANT OPTIMISATION IN THE GRINDING CIRCUIT • Choice of right grinding media.0 0. grinding media can represent 10% of a mine’s operating cost? Such a short sighted move could end up being detrimental to the mine throughput Quality forged mill balls.0 66. endeavouring to reduce operating cost • False economy.• Running plant simulation programs to assess the theoretical capability.0 76. MAXIMISING THE AVAILABLE RESOURCES • Is high grade waste stockpiled separately from low grade waste WASTE ROCK TREATMENT 91. a commercial decision is made to buy the cheapest grinding medium.24 0.44 0.

the idea is shunned. in concentrate enhancement . poor quality balls occupy space in the grinding mill but do not do useful work Accidents can arise from excessive handling and charging of mill balls Sulphide plant recovery is depressed with excessive iron in the pulp Gold plant recovery is depressed with excessive iron in the pulp This module examines the benefits derived in optimising a grinding circuit by using competent grinding media A case study of First Quantum Minerals is used to illustrate this pertinent fact Module 8: CONCENTRATE GRADE vs. we look at the short term gains rather than observing the larger picture.5 93.0 91. This module examines those options in details Good froth Bad froth. because plant recovery at the mine drops. If the economics are worked out.. Concentrate grade enhancement is a classical example Immediately. plant operators could find that it is prudent to go for the concentrate enhancement route.5 22.0 26.0 25.0 92. PLANT RECOVERY OPTIMISATION • • Vary often.• • • • • • Reduced throughput.0 27.5 92. and inevitably shelved Grade vs Recovery % Copper Recovery 94. there are several benefits to be derived. striking the optimum Concentrate Grade (% Cu) • However...0 28.0 23.0 24.0 93.0 Grade/Recovery relationship.

the feeders at the bottom of the stockpile can be adjusted to meet the required size. wastage minimised and measures for continuous reduction implemented Steady feed to SAG mills. eliminating peaks and troughs Regulating the granulometry of the feed to the SAG mill. Morale declines with a dirty plant A real life exercise of a copper plant is studied at depth Module 9: ENERGY UTILISATION AND IMPROVED USAGE • • • • It is vogue today to minimise ones carbon footprint. so savings in filtration cost • A smaller volume of concentrate to handle in the filter plant so less spillage is created. Apart from posing a housekeeping nuisance. Often there is segregation of rock on the coarse ore stockpile. By installing a particle sizer on the feed belt.• • Immediate benefits are: • Lower transport cost to the port • Enhanced downstream processing recovery • A quality concentrate that is in demand • Often. Cash is tied up in the wrong place with spillage. many mines generate their own power. less flotation reagent is used to obtain a higher concentrate grade. energy conservation is an integral part of this Energy is a major cost component. Guelb’s example Feed segregation on a coarse ore stockpile • • Supplementing plant feed with low grade resource Power factor correction . spillage on the floor can be a safety hazard due to slippage potential. Utilisation must be maximised. hence the concomitant savings • A lower volume of concentrate to filter.

crushing is cheaper than milling the ore . shutting down less important equipment to control peaks Making full use of surge capacities to achieve this. minimising energy wastage • • • • Controlling peak demand.Power factor correction. Frontier’s example Making full use of plant automation to achieve this. San Christobal in Bolivia It is cheaper to crush than to mill ore A gyratory crusher.

Copper/Gold/Silver mine in a fragile environment Unique ecosystem that can be destroyed by irresponsible mining THIS COURSE WILL ADDRESS THESE PERTINENT ISSUES .

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