The Coalition for Eco Efficient Comminution (CEEC) has announced the recipients of its 2021 CEEC Medal, which recognises outstanding published research and field work that contributes to making mineral processing more eco-efficient.
For the past decade the global not-for-profit organisation has been championing greater sustainability in mining, with a strong focus on communicating knowledge, technology and approaches that reduce energy usage in the high-intensity breaking, crushing and grinding processes.
CEEC Chair, Mike Battersby, said the 2021 CEEC Medal award received 14 high-quality submissions from researchers, operators and suppliers around the world, with entries judged by a Medal Evaluation Panel of four CEEC Directors.
“CEEC congratulates each of the award recipients for their outstanding work,” he said. “Their contributions have the potential to reduce environmental impact and unlock hidden value for shareholders, not just in their own operations, but industry-wide.”
The award recipients are:
- 2021 CEEC Medal – Technical Research
Marcos Bueno, Janne Torvela, Rajiv Chandramohan, Tábatha Chávez Matus, Toni Liedes and Malcolm Powell for their paper titled ‘The Double Wheel Breakage Test’. This was published in Minerals Engineering, Volume 168, July 2021.
The authors collaborated from across the world, comprising Finland’s Marcos Bueno, Geopyörä and the University of Oulu’s Janne Torvela and Toni Liedes, Intelligent Machines and Systems, and Tábatha Chávez Matus, Oulu Mining School; Rajiv Chandramohan from Ausenco, Canada; and Malcolm Powell, Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre, The University of Queensland, Australia.
The winning paper shares the development of a prototype breakage testing device, Geopyörä, and shows breakage calibration results that indicate its potential to improve geometallurgical ore testing.
Medal Evaluation Panel Spokesperson and CEEC Director, Greg Lane, said the paper proposes a “genuinely better way to do something we already do”.
“This paper is a credit to the authors because it presents an opportunity to cost effectively increase our understanding of the ore breakage characteristics across an ore body and change the way we design plants,” he said.
“In presenting a detailed and complete description of a new testing device, this research offers huge potential to increase the scale of testing and number of comminution tests conducted for projects. This should allow for improved design outcomes, a reduction in project risk and better throughput (revenue) forecasting.”
- 2021 CEEC Medal – Operations
Ben Wraith, Justin Resta and Johan Welmans from Bluestone Mines Tasmania Joint Venture, Australia for their paper ‘Recent improvements in ore sorting at the Renison Tin Concentrator – target 1 Mt/a’. This was presented at the AusIMM Mill Operators’ Conference in Brisbane, Australia in June 2021.
Renison is the largest tin producer in Australia, and the paper documents how the site overcame challenging conditions and increased processing rates by upgrading its ore through X-ray Transmission (XRT) ore sorting and other mine to mill and geometallurgy practices.
Lane said the well written paper provided a valuable insight into the application of ore sorting in an operating plant, describing the reason for installation, the issues, and the cost impacts.
“The efficiency gains from coarse ore rejection prior to fine grinding are significant,” he said. “This insightful publication documents Renison’s experience with ore sorting and shares the value that coarse ore rejection added to the business.”
The CEEC Medal Evaluation Panel also awarded two High Commendations:
- 2021 CEEC Medal High Commendation – Technical Research
‘SAG mill energy and wear insights derived from measuring inside the Mill’, authored by Dr Paul Shelley and Eugene Davies from Molycop, Global; Jacques Olivier, Western Australian School of Mines, Curtin University; and Mark Atta Danso, Westgold Resources, Australia. This paper was presented at the online Comminution ’21 conference.
It was the second year running that Dr Shelley’s research on SAG mill optimisation has received a High Commendation in this category. The judges noted: “It is good to see work progressing on understanding the efficiency gains that can be achieved by understanding what happens inside a mill.
“By getting real measurements from the heart of the breakage process, the paper shows how researchers, operators and suppliers can systematically investigate methods and materials to improve milling efficiency.”
- 2021 CEEC Medal High Commendation – Operations
‘Throughput improvements at the Capstone Pinto Valley Operation’, a video presentation delivered at the online Comminution ‘21 conference.
The work was authored by Umut Erol and Curtis Wettstein from Capstone Mining Corporation’s Pinto Valley copper mine in Arizona, USA, and Adrian Dance, SRK Consulting, Canada.
The judging panel said the well-presented, clear and concise presentation provided evidence of how increased fragmentation affected project efficiency and operating costs.
“The work outlines how projects can make material value improvements through diligent and well-planned work focused on optimising comminution efficiency to improve plant capacity and reduce operating costs,” the judges said.
Battersby said the CEEC Medal, now in its 10th year, would not be possible without the support of CEEC’s industry sponsors who help fund the organisation’s work in accelerating more eco-efficient mineral processing.
“Special thanks to our valued sponsors and to everyone who nominated for the award,” he said. “Abstracts from the successful papers can be viewed on the CEEC website, along with other freely available resources that catalyse industry uptake of more efficient comminution practices.”
He also paid tribute to CEEC Director, Zeljka Pokrajcic, for her stellar work in chairing the CEEC Medal Evaluation Panel for the past 10 years, before handing over the reins to Greg Lane.
Nominations for the 2022 CEEC Medal are now open, with submissions closing on 31 October 2022. Details on how to apply can be found here