Engineering & Mining Journal

DEC 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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Page 62 of 115

STOCKPILE MANAGEMENT DECEMBER 2018 • E&MJ 61 5-Deck Stack Sizer ® Multi-Deck Dry Sizer For more than 60 years, Derrick ® Corporation has been leading the industry in the design and manufacture of high-frequency vibratory screening machines and patented screen surfaces. With a pioneering spirit driving innovative solutions, the organization is continuously in the forefront advancing the field of fine particle separation technology. Known worldwide for their high-capacity and superior separation efficiency, Derrick products are used successfully around the world. Its advanced technology allows processors to screen a wide variety of wet or dry fine materials in the range of 6.2 mm to 38 μm. mining, stockpile management and sort- ing of ore, we will realize significant in- creases in productivity," he concluded. Producers interested in exploiting dig- ital opportunities for improved stockpile management can choose from a dozen or so comprehensive mine scheduling software solutions from major vendors — Hexagon, Deswick, RPMGlobal, Data- mine, to name just a few — that include either integral or optional stockpile mod- ules; or more-specialized software pack- ages and services that focus on ore track- ing and blending, such as solutions from equipment manufacturers Metso (GeoM- etso) or FLSmidth (QCX/BlendExpert– Pile). More generalized decision-support software also can be used to solve stock- pile-related problems. Australia-based software developer Optika Solutions re- cently provided an example. Optika was engaged by a large min- ing company to essentially answer two basic ore blending questions while the company's process flowsheet was still in its design phase: How to achieve the best approach to blending, and will the selected blending recipe allow the com- pany to meet its production targets? Of main interest was the potential benefit of establishing a coarse ore stockpile. According to Optika, its Akumen an- alytics platform proved to be the right tool for this problem through its inbuilt scenario management and execution fea- tures. Akumen's Asset Library was used as a single source of truth for all asset-re- lated data, helping to identify and resolve conflicts in process configurations. Based on the final overall model devel- oped by the platform, it was shown that a coarse ore stockpile between crushing and the plant would be beneficial from several aspects such as keeping the grade of the plant feed within the target range more than 95% of the time and enabling the mine to meet operational targets on throughput and utilization, since it de- couples crushing and ore processing. Speeding It Up Effective stockpile management depends on accurate, timely updates of pile vol- ume and content. Accuracy and speed of completion are necessary to make volume surveys useful, and until recently these two criteria were often mutually exclusive or extremely cash- and resource-intensive. However, the emergence of stockpile eval- uation using sensor-equipped UAVs, mobile and stationary LiDAR equipment, satellite photogrammetry and even smartphone apps has mostly eliminated the traditional practice of assigning a survey crew to walk the site and climb stockpiles in order to measure them — thus reducing the obvious risk factor, dramatically speeding up data collection and analysis, and avoiding the occasional need to shut down operations while crews were taking measurements. The latest generation of sensor-equipped UAVs, for example, can provide single-digit centimeter-scale survey accuracy, while the convenience and low cost of drone opera- tion allows producers to conduct stockpile surveys far more frequently and eliminate outside-party involvement in collection and analysis of what might be considered sen- sitive information. The availability of drones suitable for industrial use and the rising interest from industrial customers in drone surveying and inspection has spawned a large number of UAV-related enterprises ca- tering to resource and infrastructure indus- try customers. How many of these fledgling companies will survive the rough air of the turbulent UAV services marketplace remains

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