The Integrated Extraction Simulator (IES) is the result of a substantial commitment by CRC ORE to produce a next-generation mining simulator that integrates all mining and mineral processing activities starting from drill & blast and proceeding through the entire mining value chain to the end of the concentration process.
IES overcomes a number of challenges that have previously made fast, reliable and accurate simulation of mineral processing challenging and time consuming:
• Integration: IES is an integrated simulator that assists the user to combine the entire mining value chain into one contiguous environment: starting with drill and blast and stepping through each stage of load, haul, stockpile, blend and mix prior to crushing, grinding and finally flotation and / or leaching.
• Multi-Component Material Processing: IES enables the user to combine multiple rock types in the ore stream and process these through all types of simulation models, including those not designed for multi-component use.
• Processing Power Scalability: IES is deployed as a cloud-based subscription service that enables the user to use a web browser to access the service to set up simulation runs and then define how much computing power they want to “throw” at the simulation engine. Design problems can be simulated quickly and then analysed at a more contemplative pace without the need to pay for performance.
• Model Development and Sharing: IES is designed for a wide range of users and usage scenarios: mining companies, mineral processing consultants and researchers. Regardless of their skill levels, all users will have the ability to develop models and use them privately or share them with others in the IES community.
• Mill Performance Management: Mine and mill operators have the ability to capture all of the fundamental stream flow and equipment performance data of a full mill survey and provide the tools to perform reconciliation (mass balancing), calibration and optimisation.
As a fully integrated system, IES enables the optimisation of the entire mining value chain to functions which are derivatives of the mining and milling process. Users can define expressions that calculate operating cost per tonne, power consumption or even CO2emissions, enabling the optimisation to be performed directly with multiple objective functions. With the development of IES, mining industry engineers will have the toolset to consider changes in the design, layout and operation of processing and extraction systems so the environmental footprints are minimised and the productivity of net metal maximised. The simulator provides full reporting of energy, water and emissions for every step and stream of the flowsheet.
Advancing the concepts established with the Anglo Platinum Sustainability and Extraction Efficiency Simulator (SEE) prototype, the simulator incorporates the outcomes of over 50 years of JKMRC and AMIRA research, combining existing industry standard simulation models with models from diverse research and development sources.
IES provides a model development environment that is the heart of its strength. This allows the user to access models built by the best researchers and developers in the industry and combine them with internal proprietary models that have been tested in the field, calibrated and shown to be reliable.
IES also forms the integration point for the CRC ORE research portfolio, and is a key tool in the effective implantation of Grade Engineering.
IES will be commercialised in 2015, making it possible for sponsors of AMIRA and CRC ORE to access the software for their own use at modest pricing.
The Integrated Extraction Simulator will provide a single software platform to be used daily by mine planners around the world to understand the long, medium and short term effects of mining and processing ore, and will transform the way in which mineral resources are evaluated and extracted.