Wraith, Resta, Welmans
Presented at the AusIMM Mill Operators Conference June 2021
Bluestone Mines Tasmania JV, Tasmania Tin Operations recognised value in mining at or near to 1Mt/a. However, the Renison Tin concentrator is restricted at 750kt/a. The solution chosen was to upgrade the Ore through XRT Ore Sorting via the removal of waste material within the Crushing Circuit.
In 2018 a three-stage crushing circuit coupled with two XRT ore sorters were installed. The ore sorting circuit contains a triple deck dry screen for initial classification, a wet screen for secondary classification and feed preparation, two XRT ore sorters targeting different size fractions, and an EM sorter to separate waste into Non-Acid Forming (NAF) and Potentially Acid Forming (PAF) waste.
Challenges such as processing multiple ore sources and variable operating conditions require agile planning and clear operating strategies. Tools utilised to achieve this are:plant surveys including mass balances and process modelling, monitoring of particle size delivered to the ROM and fed to the crushing circuit, ROM pad management and blending based on grade, particle size distribution and amenability to XRT sorting.
This paper will explore these tools in conjunction with good Mine to Mill and Geo-metallurgy practices in order to overcome challenging conditions and deliver value and process successfully at 1Mt/a rates
The authors wish to thank and acknowledge Bluestone Mines Tasmania Joint Venture for permission to publish this paper. We also wish to thank the Processing and Maintenance staff at Renison for their input and efforts throughout the optimisation program. Special thanks to Scott Gleeson (Shift Supervisor) for operational insights, Steve Robinson (Group Project Manager) for historical project notes and Johan Welmansand Justen Resta(Processing ManagerandGroup Metallurgist) for theirsupport during plant trials and subsequent operational strategy development, communication and execution
B Wraith1, J Resta2 and J Welmans3
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