Presentation on theme: "We Need Discontinuous Improvements in Mineral Liberation Energy Efficiency Noko Phala CEEC Short Talk June 2012."— Presentation transcript:
We Need Discontinuous Improvements in Mineral Liberation Energy Efficiency Noko Phala CEEC Short Talk June 2012
We face several sustainability challenges …. Environmental and social responsibilities – reputational risks Skills availability and retention Employee safety – conditions (e.g. seismicity) and practices Inflationary cost pressures – energy price, mining inputs, wages There is scope for technology and innovation to steer the tankers = + $/t Hard ores (energy cost) High consumables demand and costs inflation Low grades Refractory ores Margin contraction Oz Rec/t
..and this has in turn led to a broad technology development spectrum
The most common grinding method – tumbling mill – is inherently energy inefficient. Whilst continuous optimization is necessary, we believe the sustainability challenges require radical breakthroughs in energy utilization Tromans (2008) analysis: Considering energy of resultant surface The base energy requirement is a grinding method independent analysis; The challenge to obtaining it is overcoming the kinetic barriers;
Discontinuous improvements in energy utilization – encouraging directions Pre-upgrading Pre-treatment Electric pulses Ultrasound Microwaves …etc ? $/t cost savings directly related to % waste rejection Sensor-based sorting : exploration of other attributes ? Ore dilution can be ~ 200 % in a deep level mine Is a HPGR just an efficient crusher ? VRM for finish grinding ? VSI potential? Explore other mechanisms … New Comminution Mechanisms $/t energy saving related to degree of ore softening Complete elimination of a tumbling mill should be the goal Just how close to the thermodynamic limit can we get ? Are we aggressive enough in pushing ideas through the development systems?
Destruction of a solid – define optimal breakage mechanism, then design a fitting device…we feel like we are stuck with optimising existing devices Multiple Impacts on Multiple Particles Misdirected impacts (misses), mismatched energies Compression of Multiple Particles Directed energy application, mismatched energies Step-wise Compression of a Particle and its Daughters Individually Directed energy application, energy matching Shocking of Multiple Particles Directed energy application, mismatched energies Step-wise Shocking of a Particle and its Daughters Individually Directed energy application, energy matching Decreasing energy consumption ? Step-wise Tension to a Particle and its Daughters Individually As above or better ? What about shear and torsion ?
Going Forward The nature of the sustainability challenges we face make an innovative mindset a business imperative - wild ideas are becoming normal part of project trade-offs; From policy and industry “statements” to radical approaches and executable industry roadmaps: how do we become more aggressive in pursuit of the goals ? Being more open, and reaching out more to fields outside ours for solutions to our problems;
Open innovation – Creativity on demand, access the global brainpower