Technical Review and Evaluation of Ore Sorting Technology Incorporating Results from Four Properties
B Hilscher (1), P Nayak (1) and N Yoon (1)
49th Annual Canadian Minerals Processors Conference Proceedings, Ottawa, Canada, 2017.
The mining industry is currently facing challenges with declining feed grades and is struggling to find solutions to improve the project’s economic value. By means of pre-concentration, ore sorting aims to separate the barren material from the valuable ore to reduce energy consumption and tailing generation, while increasing the feed grade, concentrate grade, mill recovery, and revenue. In addition, ore sorting allows the modification of deposit geometallurgy in order to allow the creation of an optimal mill feed.
This paper evaluates the applicability and challenges of ore sorting by utilizing the results from four different mines, and reviews them in detail. The mines include two underground and two open pit mines that are base metal and precious metal operations. In order to understand the applicability of ore sorting in these operations, initial rock-by-rock test results and different types of assays (atomic adsorption [AA], inductively coupled plasma [ICP], and fire assay) are utilized. Using the assay results, the grade recovery curves for ore sorting are generated and they are further improved by using and developing an ore sorting algorithm, which is discussed in this paper. The application and evaluation of ore sorting in greenfield and brownfield properties will also be discussed.
The state of the art ore sorting technologies for both rock-by-rock and bulk sorting are reviewed in this paper. The future technologies on the horizon, including different combinations of sensors, are explained. The sorting technologies include, X-ray transmission (XRT), X-ray flourescence (XRF), colour, infrared, electromagnetic, and laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS).
(1) Sacre-Davey Engineering - Mining Division, 315 Mountain Hwy, North Vancouver, BC Canada
Hilscher B, Nayak P and Yoon N. Technical Review and Evaluation of Ore Sorting Technology Incorporating Results from Four Properties, in Muinonen J, Cameron R and Zinck J (Editors) 49th Annual Canadian Minerals Processors Conference Proceedings, pp 99-112, Ottawa, Canada, 2017, Office of the Secretary of the Canadian Mineral Processors, a Technical Society of The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM).
CEEC thanks the CIM and the Canadian Minerals Processors Society (CMP). Proceedings can be purchased from CMP's website for $10 here.