Keeney, La Rosa, Walters, Rutter, Scott
Presented at the Preconcentration Digital Conference November 2020
Bulk ore sorting technologies, whether surfaced based or penetrative, have seen an increased uptake by the mining industry for preconcentration application. As with all technologies, going through the technology validation process is key to de-risking the operationalisation of the technologies and to demonstrate and confirm predicted value propositions. The ability to laboratory calibrate cross-belt bulk sensors is standard practise for sensor vendors, however transitioning the technology from laboratory to real-world application is a non-trivial process.
The industry has taken two main approaches to trialling and validating bulk sensing technologies in operational environments, namely: Construct an off-line pilot facility at scale, or Install bulk sensing systems on production conveyors. Each of these two approaches have significant advantages and disadvantages and require different experimental design programs and analysis methodologies.
Consideration of material movement, heterogeneity degradation, logistical requirements, and financial investment all factor into which approach is most suitable for an evaluation scenario. CRC ORE in partnership with mining companies, have conducted several bulk sensor pilot trials utilising different sensor technologies employing each of the two main approaches outlined above. This paper describes the challenges faced, learnings obtained and outlines a position on how to transition bulk sensing technologies from the laboratory into the operating environment. The case studies presented cover a range of commodity types in both open pit and underground operations.
L Keeney1, D La Rosa2, P Walters3, J Rutter4 and M Scott5
Special thanks are due to the CRC ORE Mining Essential Participants who conducted the sampling and analysis of the various pre-concentration evaluation Case Studies. This work was conducted under the auspices of the Australian Government Cooperative Research (CRC) Program. CRC ORE is part of this Program, which is made possible through the investment and ongoing support of the Australian Government.
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