Engineering & Mining Journal

NOV 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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72 E&MJ • NOVEMBER 2018 www.e-mj.com PROCESSING SOLUTIONS Detour Gold, operator of one of the largest gold-producing mines in Canada, was re- cently recognized by Emerson for its plant reliability efforts at the Detour Lake mine in Ontario. Emerson presented its annual Reliability Program of the Year award to the Toronto-based producer at the 2018 Emerson Global Users Exchange in San Antonio, Texas, noting that Detour Lake has leveraged its reliability strategies to deliver total availability for 2017-2018 that is 22% above the corporate target. Emerson explained that to begin work- ing toward Detour Gold's corporate vision of 92% uptime for the mine, the team de- veloped a reliability recognition program shared across the organization. The pro- gram focuses on predictive and proactive maintenance throughout the plant with key focus in three key areas: lubrication, vibration and conveyor health. To support these strategies, Detour Gold expanded its reliability team from one team mem- ber to 12 in just fi ve years. "The reliability department is recog- nized as a value added to the process plant and Detour Gold Corp.," said Donald Pre- vost, reliability specialist for Detour Gold. "Overall cost avoidances realized not only cover all the costs of operating the de- partment, they can further be leveraged to pursue other reliability initiatives." The reliability team performs predic- tive maintenance on all applicable equip- ment and includes post-maintenance testing using predictive technologies to verify top-quality maintenance. As a re- sult, schedule compliance has increased by 12%, and overall unscheduled work, a critical marker for the effi ciency of reli- ability programs, has decreased by 16%. The reliability team developed a com- prehensive lubrication program, installed critical online vibration monitoring equip- ment with Emerson's AMS 6500 Machin- ery Health Monitor, AMS 2140 Machin- ery Health Analyzer, and AMS Machinery Health Manager, and developed a system for properly training technicians to mon- itor and maintain 2.4 miles of conveyor belt that are critical to operations. Emerson said its Reliability Program of the Year was established in 1989 to recognize companies and reliability teams that work to deliver the best reliability and maintenance practices globally. ALTA 2018 Looks at Hydromet Processes and Problems A panel discussion focusing on hydrome- tallurgical processing technology, held during the recent ALTA 2018 technical conference in Perth, Australia, highlighted major hydromet-related trends and issues of concern to plant operators. The vari- ous topics covered in the discussion were summarized by Alan Taylor, metallurgical consultant and managing director of ALTA Metallurgical Services, which sponsored the conference that attracted 377 dele- gates from 29 countries. (Taylor's full con- ference report is available within his Met- Bytes blog at www.altamet.com.au.) According to the panel, which includ- ed participants from Teck Resources, Curtin and Murdoch universities, Mondo Minerals, Mintek, MRB Consulting, SNC Lavalin and ALTA Metallurgical, these are some of the primary challenges and op- portunities facing the industry: • There is a trend toward heap leaching of low-grade sulphide and transition ores, with the focus now on chalcopyrite heap leaching, which is on the verge of commercialization with semi-commer- cial operations already under way. Devel- opments include the use of saline leach conditions to overcome the passivation layer issue and alkaline glycine leaching for its ability to reduce solution impuri- ties and to co-extract copper and gold. • Developments in the hydromet process- ing of chalcopyrite concentrates include: o the fi rst commercial copper applica- tion of the Albion Process in Zambia; o the FLSmidth ROL Process demon- stration facility in Peru; and o the Morenci copper pressure-ox plant is in operation. • Further development of hydromet pro- cesses to recover iron as a byproduct is desirable to increase the productive us- age of resources, reduce waste disposal, and increase revenue. • A variety of factors is pushing the in- dustry to eliminate traditional wet tail- ings dams and maximize process solu- tion recycling by dewatering tailings us- ing paste thickeners and pressure fi lters. The resulting accumulation of impuri- ties can cause process and product purity problems, which lead to the need to purify tailings recycle solution and/or bleed streams using technologies such as reverse osmosis and nanofi ltration. • The high cost of transport to China is a signifi cant factor in the choice of battery metal products such as nickel and cobalt sulphates, which have high water con- tent, and mixed hydroxide (MHP), which Canadian Mine Earns Plant Reliability Program Award The Detour Lake mine, shown here, formulates a plant maintenance program that ultimately increases maintenance schedule compliance by 12% while cutting overall unscheduled work by 16%.

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