New methodology to improve productivity of mining operations

ABSTRACT: Metso Minerals Process Technology and Innovation (PTI) have been working with operations around the world to increase their efficiency through "Mine-to-Mill" or Process Integration and Optimisation (PIO) methodology. These projects have delivered significant improvements in mine efficiency, mill throughput and reduced operating costs at mines around the world. The PIO methodology involves rock characterisation, site auditing, data collection, modelling/simulation and implementation of integrated operating and control strategies on site. This results in significant benefits to the operations – for example, increases in concentrator throughput of 5 to 20 percent have been measured at some operations. Typically, a PIO project starts with a site visit to perform blasting and process audits, collect high quality data including measurements of run-of-mine fragmentation and survey data around all crushing and grinding circuits. These measurements are combined with rock characterisation and the definition of strength and structure domains to model the complete production chain by developing site-specific models of the blast fragmentation, crushing, grinding and flotation processes.

This proven methodology has applications ranging from greenfield projects to operations with AG/SAG or conventional crushing and grinding circuits. Process improvements can be higher mining productivity, higher mill throughput, decreased overall operating costs and higher flotation or leach recovery. This paper presents a recent application of PIO methodology and emphasises the potential for increased productivity without capital spending.


Thanks to Metso PTI for generous permission to share this paper.