There was a high-energy buzz at CEEC’s Mineral Processing and Innovation Workshop in Brisbane on 27 August 2018 as miners, METS and researchers connected to share solutions to the industry’s energy and productivity challenges.
Speaker insights – Energy, operational improvement and the future
A highlight of the event was the presenters – keynote speakers and panellists – who brought vision, insights and practical experience to the workshop as they discussed how to create change and sustain improvements in energy efficiency. CRC ORE CEO and Managing Director Dr Ben Adair spoke about changing energy and productivity ‘signatures’. He provided site-based, practical examples of how to move down the cost curve.
Energetics Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director Dr Mary Stewart provided insights into the role of hybridisation for energy cost reduction in mining and minerals processing. Dr Stewart advised that energy prices were set to increase by 20% by 2020 and she outlined what needed to be done now to mitigate this impact to the bottom line.
PanAust Senior Advisor Process and Control, Dirk Baas, discussed operational improvements and automation at the Phu Kham copper-gold operation in Laos, while MMG Principal Metallurgist Amy Lamb provided insights into sustaining process improvement.
UQ SMI Director Professor Neville Plint outlined how to create change for responsible resource development. He identified that resistance to change generally occurred when risk mitigation was not well defined. In his experience at Anglo Platinum, he found that breakthroughs came when companies persevered through the point in the innovation cycle when progress was slow.
Keynote speakers at the workshop included Energetics Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director, Dr Mary Stewart, and CRC ORE CEO and Managing Director, Dr Ben Adair.
MMG Principal Metallurgist, Amy Lamb, and PanAust Senior Advisor Process and Control, Dirk Baas, were part of the impressive list of keynote speakers at the workshop.
Panellists tips – implementing cost-saving changes now and next
Led by Ausenco Chief Technology Officer Greg Lane, the panellists explored the challenges and opportunities of energy efficiency. The panel comprised Newmont Senior Technical Advisor Mineral Processing Aidan Giblett, OZ Minerals Manager Processing Carrapateena, Joe Seppelt, Metso Global Consulting and Labs Manager Suzy Lynch-Watson, and UQ SMI Professor of Sustainable Comminution Malcolm Powell. Key comments included:
- Energy costs can represent around half the operating costs of mines, upwards of $100 million per annum for a single operation
- Managing costs requires a clear view on how operations want to run their plants
- For one operation, concentrating on kWh/t of copper produced combined with a cost-based focus on operating efficiency and performance and monetising every item helped to leverage value and deliver very good outcomes
- Running existing equipment well can deliver 10% improvement
- Using the energy curves to benchmark operations can help to identify where to target improvement efforts
- Miners are reluctant to move beyond known technology unless METS provide a strong demonstration of performance, and there is a requirement to take a different approach
- Miners can mitigate risk by building in expansion capability with new technology introduced into the plant in parallel with existing technology
- The role of researchers is to stretch the industry’s thinking and to identify opportunities to dramatically save energy.
Tagged “robust, challenging and open” by participants, this stimulating and highly interactive workshop was an initiative of the CEEC Advanced Energy Curves Project, funded through a partnership between the Queensland Government; METS Ignited, an Australian Government Industry Growth Centre; and CEEC International Ltd.
Participants found the workshop to have a “diversity of presenters, activities and topics”; the discussion to be “broad ranging” and “collaborative”; and that there was a “plenty of experience gathered,” “high level participants” and a “great mix of industry reps and consultants”.
Workshop participants took away practical improvement ideas that they can implement at site, and an understanding of important, industry-changing innovations and advances. Stronger connections were made between miners, METS and researchers.
With an operational focus, miners provided valuable feedback to METS participants about what they need and their preferred methods of engagement. In return, METS participants shared their mineral processing and comminution innovations. They said they found the genuine sharing of information and the introduction to potential networks to be beneficial to their businesses. Researchers provided guidance on how to optimise new technology while minimising risk.
Participants contributed to a ‘Pathways to Improvement’ map, building on initial ideas from Santiago and Melbourne workshops in 2017, for a global perspective of the many options to improve energy efficiency and productivity across the mining value chain.
Dr Grant Ballantyne explained how new enhancements to free global energy curve tools can help benchmark and quantify even more options when applied to real plant and equipment data at sites.
The experiences shared will help expand awareness and accelerate positive change to improve shareholder value and operating costs while lowering mining’s footprint, now and in the future.
CEEC organisers and presenters included Joe Pease (CEEC Chair and Principal Consultant Mineralis), Alison Keogh (CEEC Chief Executive), Greg Lane (CEEC Director and Chief Technical Officer, Ausenco) and Sandy Worden (CEEC Events and Communication Coordinator and SMI PhD scholar), with kind assistance from Suzi Moore, representing CRC ORE.
Sponsors contribute strongly
Sponsors were strongly represented at the workshop, with 15 of CEEC’s sponsors participating:
- Anglo American
- CRC ORE
- PETRA Data Science
- OZ Minerals
- UQ SMI
- Weir Minerals
CEEC CEO Alison Keogh (far right) is pictured with sponsor representatives, Aidan Giblett (Newmont), Penny Stewart (PETRA Data Science), Homie Thanasekaran (Eriez), Kristy-Ann Duffy (Hatch), Jaisen Komnuench (Eriez), Giehard Nebre (Moly-Cop), Greg Lane (Ausenco), Evert Lessing (Weir Minerals), David Williams (FLSmidth), and Dr Ben Adair (CRC ORE), Joe Seppelt (OZ Minerals).
Representatives from CEEC’s Advanced Energy Curves Partners – METS Ignited, an Australian Government Industry Growth Centre, and Queensland Department of State Development Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning – also participated in the workshop.
Mining and METS companies
Workshop participants included miners:
- Anglo American
- Evolution Mining
- Northern Star
- OZ Minerals
- Rio Tinto
And METS companies:
- CRC ORE
- PETRA Data Science
- Process IQ
- Resourceful Paths
- Schneider Electric
- Weir Minerals
Join CEEC and Glencore Technology for the next Mineral Processing and Innovation Workshop at Mount Isa on Wednesday 14 November at Buffs Club. There will be:
- More speakers
- Great in-depth discussions
- Even more operational focus.
Click here to register.
Attendees enjoyed the opportunity to engage, collaborate and network at the CEEC Brisbane workshop. Pictured in the top row are workshop facilitator Phil Bangerter; CEEC CEO Alison Keogh; Amy Lamb (MMG), Dr Ben Adair (CRC ORE), Neville Plint (UQ SMI); Dirk Baas (PanAust) and Greg Lane (Ausenco). Middle row: Some of the workshop participants; Pia Morales (SMI-JKMRC), Clytie Dangar (CRC ORE), Allison Bambrick (DSDMIP), Laurie Reemeyer (Resourceful Paths) and Dr Grant Ballantyne (SMI-JKMRC). Bottom row: Pieter Strobos (Process IQ); David Williams (FLSmidth) share a business card; working on their ‘Pathway to Improvement’ are Giehard Nebre (Moly-Cop), Aidan Giblett (Newmont).