Opportunity area

Increasing productivity & recovery

Maximising the recovery potential of ore is a vital success metric for the beneficiation process, and indeed for the whole value chain. In order to achieve this, a new generation of technologies is helping to optimise ore throughput, connecting processes in new and highly beneficial ways. From digitally modelling the milling process, using advanced analytics for flotation, or managing sophisticated smart sensor systems, these innovations are an increasingly central component for efficient and productive beneficiation.

Contents

Flotation and smelting optimisation

This dynamic recommendation engine increases metal recovery rates by suggesting optimised parameters for smelting and flotation. Developed by one of the world’s largest mining companies, the solution is driven by highly advanced, self-learning algorithms that have been trained using over a million data points. An initial six-month programme provided a rigorous test for the 40 algorithms developed to run the technology.

3%

Reduction in production losses

95%

Acceptance rate of recommendations achieved

Regulating ionic composition of flotation water

Water quality is a major factor in achieving efficient flotation. Developed specifically to improve flotation process in ore-dressing plants, this system regulates the quality of recycled water used in flotation.It automatically monitors ionic composition and releases reagents enabling to reach increased recoveries of the valuable metals. As an additional benefit, it reduces harmful magnesium and calcium anions so that less maintenance is required for pipes and plumbing due to less overgrowing with insoluble carbonates.

~10

Months required for implementation

Strategic reporting and planning tool

This centralised data system provides a dashboard overview of key metrics around production, productivity and security. It aggregates a range of data from diverse sources such as mine planning, programming, fleet management and inventory management to create adjustable reconciliation models that provide an all-important, single source of truth. This means less time reviewing data and improved strategic decision-making that leads to increased production. Furthermore, the system also provides effective, efficient and reliable reporting, helping management to better understand the relationship between good mining practices and recovery levels in the mill.

2-4%

Increase in mine production

Sensors to monitor plant equipment

This system is designed for full-scale process automation, covering all processes throughout the plant in order to optimise production output throughout the whole value chain. Using sensors installed in the machinery, it collects and aggregates data into a central information hub, then uses machine learning models to calculate optimal process parameters. It then automatically adjusts its functionality metrics to control variability and thus achieve optimal production results.

4%

Increase in plant productivity16%

Gamma wave analysis for ore sorting

Designed to improve efficiency in sorting processes, this technology accurately identifies the level of precious metals in unsorted ore. As the ore passes through the plant, it travels through conveyor belts and loading blades fitted with sensors. These sensors expose the ore to neutrons emitted from radioactive isotopes, and then measure gamma rays to determine the concentration of each element. The methodology, which is called Prompt Gamma Neutron Activation, detects and measurs Cu, Au, Ag and Fe, among other elements.

$25m-35m

Estimated economic impact per year

SAG mill optimisation modelling

This digital model of the SAG mill uses advanced data analytics and the latest machine learning techniques to optimise its operating parameters, such as grinding ball charge, mill load and feeder strategy, and throughput. The solution enables process specialists to model different parameters to adjust for varying types of ore without disrupting production, enhancing operational efficiency at every stage of the milling process. This in turn helps optimise the metal extraction rate further down the value chain.

~6%

Increase in bottleneck throughput ~4%

Smart tagging for ore batches

This technology allows operators to track different types of ore as they move through the production process, in order to prepare for the best beneficiation environment. As varying types of soft and hard ore have vastly different yields, it is vital to tag them in the mine and track them through their journey to the mill. Using smart tagging radio wave technology, different types of ore can be tracked and monitored throughout the production process, from mine through crushing and up to mill. This process is complemented by simulation models designed to increase the yield of the SAG mill.

Our team has decades of collective experience, spanning all areas of industrial operations.

Dr Nick Mayhew

Chief Commercial Officer

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