CEEC Medal winners and high commendation awardees bring great insights. For a quick update on recent outstanding work here’s a summary highlighting the best from the last three years – 5 top CEEC Medal Winners and 10 High Commendations - what they shared, why it’s important. Click on CEEC’s articles and weblinks to read their abstracts, and contact authors or download their articles:
2020 - CEEC Medal Winners and High Commendations:
Winners of the 2020 CEEC Medal for Operations Peter Lind, Kevin Murray, Alan Boylston and Isaias Arce shared their work with Newmont and Metso Outotec on the business case and reduced energy and water impact from alternative comminution circuits for a low energy and water area South American orebody.
Winner of the 2020 CEEC Medal for Technical Research Dr Grant Ballantyne published an impressive approach to capturing and quantifying energy consumption of ancillary equipment and energy used to manufacture and transport grinding media.
- A High Commendation for Operations was awarded in 2020 to co-authors from CRC ORE and Sumitomo who shared impressive results from gangue rejection pilot at a Bolivian operation, using Grade Engineering to identify and optimize processing. This highlights the scale of the opportunity for mining leaders to invest in unlocking hidden value for shareholders through productivity step-change while significantly reducing impact on the environment
- A High Commendation for Operations was awarded again in 2020 for the impressive collaboration between JKMRC, Barrick and JKTech on an Advanced Mine-to-Mill optimization at Barrick’s Cortez mine. This shared the opportunity to balance energy use across the milling circuit while boosting production, with an approach focusing on SAG and ball mills linked to blast movement and fragmentation for operation wide optimization. Importantly, the authors also provided insights on how to empower site to sustain long term improvements
- A High Commendation for Technical Research was awarded in 2020 to a team from Molycop and Westgold Resources on SAG mill optimization by measuring inside the mill. This was an innovative first using sensors inside the grinding balls within the mills, enabling high frequency measurement of temperature and impacts inside the mill, exciting early work which could be used to improve the efficiency of mill operation.
2019 – CEEC Medal Winners and High Commendations
Winner of the CEEC Medal for Operations were Kyle Bartholomew, Rob McIvor and Omar Arafat from Metcom Technologies, Grand Rapids, Minnesota, US for their publication “A guide to maximising ball mill circuit classification system efficiency (CSE), for operators and equipment designers”. A succinct, clear, systematic approach to practical operational improvements that not only helps inform operations of the efficiencies that can be achieved, but also demonstrates the economic case for change. They provide a useful methodology to measure and improve classification efficiency in a grinding circuit, highlighting its importance to improve efficiency and productivity. They shared a case study with an almost 25% increase in generation of new -25 micron material following an increase in ball mill re-circulating load and optimising cyclone performance.
Winner of the 2019 CEEC Medal for Technical Research were Laureate Professor Graeme Jameson AO and Dr Cagri Emer from the Centre for Multiphase Processes, University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia for their publication Coarse chalcopyrite recovery in a universal froth flotation machine. We’re now seeing uptake of advanced coarse flotation as an important industry development that can significantly improve comminution energy usage. In this case, authors document a novel flotation device, the NovaCell with a fluidised bed for coarse particle collection and a high shear aeration zone for ultra-fines separation. The researchers’ case study showed the device resulted in a 40% reduction in comminution energy and a 12% reduction in overall site operating cost. Industry is seeing leading changes in flotation approaches that can significantly improve comminution efficiency and productivity. This paper provides a compelling case for the reduction of operating and capital costs by removing coarse size waste in the comminution circuit.
- A High Commendation for Technical Research was awarded in 2019 to Hamid Manouchehri, who published “How Far the Crushing Performance Can be Pushed? Cone Crusher vs Vertical Shaft Impactor (VSI)”. Manouchehri presented an adept comparison of the conventional cone crusher and the VSI in a fine crushing duty, and third and fourth stage crushing duty. His trials conducted at pilot scale and at laboratory showed the VSI produced more fines, and in some cases product of higher porosity, reducing downstream power consumption
- A High Commendation for Operations was also awarded in 2019 by Principal Author Prof Malcolm Powell with a team on the Barrick Cortez Mine “Advanced mine to mill application at the Barrick Cortez Mine”. This was an outstanding paper building on the commonly applied mine-to-mill optimisation where grade deportment and dilution, as well as blast movement during high intensity blasting, is considered and evaluated
- A High Commendation for Operations was also awarded in 2019 to Berge Simonian, for his work sharing “Mount Milligan Mine Performance Update”, an excellent paper detailing the optimisation and debottlenecking of a relatively new mineral processing circuit. Efficiency gains achieved through modification to secondary crushing screening, SAG mill lifter design and ball mill charge optimisation enabled the circuit to operate at throughput beyond design.
2018 – CEEC Medal Winners and High Commendations
Winners of the CEEC Medal for Operations were awarded to a team collaboration between Karara Mining Limited and Nippon Eirich to implement grinding circuit process improvements at Karara Mine in Western Australia. Site staff at Karara Mine, located in the mid-west region of Western Australia, faced the challenge of needing to exceed plant throughput in addition to tackling increases in ore hardness.The winning authors documented how they converted the TowerMills to bottom feed for improved grinding efficiency, allowing increased throughput at high ore hardness. With a systematic approach to identifying and implementing circuit changes around the TowerMill and hydrocyclone installation, the team solved the site’s challenge and achieved significant energy and productivity gains, up to 50 percent reduction in specific energy of the fine grinding circuit. They demonstrated the value of operational optimisation and showed a methodical approach to improving energy and process efficiency. They showed how operational improvements in part of the circuit can reduce overall comminution energy use, and demonstrated that big improvements can be successfully incorporated into existing mines with live production needs.
- A High Commendation for Operations was also awarded in 2018 ‘Cave fragmentation in a cave-to-mill context at the New Afton mine Part II: Implications to mill performance, mining technology’, by Stefan Nadolski, Christopher O‘Hara, Bern Klein, Davide Elmo and Craig J. R. Hart. Underground mining approaches can reduce footprint, not only with less surface expression but also by focusing on drawing out only the material needed. The novel approach outlined in this paper helps industry identify and implement energy, cost and value benefits using a new cave-to-mill optimisation approach. In the future, we anticipate industry will take up more underground methods, including block cave
- A High Commendation for Operations was awarded in 2018 to ‘Ball mill classification system optimization through functional performance modelling’, by Robert McIvor, Kyle Bartholomew, Omar Arafat and Jim Finch. The important contribution to comminution efficiency detailed a step-by-step approach to optimise ball mill circuits, and illustrated the benefits of different equipment selections. With a ball mill classification and ball mill circuit optimisation approach, the Metcom simulation package is a tool that supports the mining industry to consider how to improve pump and cyclone performance
- A High Commendation for Operations was awarded in 2018 to ‘Shifting the comminution workload from secondary to regrind stage: An energy efficient approach’, by Sam Palaniandy, Hidemasa Ishikawa and Mohsen Yahyaei. Thecollaborative work demonstrated benefits of coarsening SAG mill circuit product size then bulk gangue rejection using flotation, an alternative approach to process low-grade, competent and finely disseminated ore bodies with significant savings in operational expenditure. Nippon Eirich in collaboration with the Sustainable Minerals Institute JKMRC demonstrated that there are benefits in gangue rejection earlier in the circuit, after initial stages of grinding, showing by inserting a new coarse stage, opex costs and efficiency benefits are possible. The new circuit couples liberated gangue mineral rejection with energy efficient stirred mill technology
- A High Commendation for Technical Research was awarded 2018 to Dr Grant Ballantyne for ‘Introducing variable electricity cost into the comminution energy curves’. Bringing a new global energy costs map and parallel energy curves tool enhancement, Ballantyne opened up the potential for miners and METS to compare and consider potential benefits of investing in different mineral assets and energy efficiency improvements, based on energy pricing scenarios.