Tag Archives: CEEC

Weir-backed report highlights decarbonisation opportunities in mineral processing

An independent report, commissioned by the Weir Group, has highlighted the global mining industry’s energy usage, illuminating where energy is consumed and linking it with opportunities and pathways for sector-wide decarbonisation.

The report analyses mine energy use from over 40 published studies, centred on five commodities – copper, gold, iron ore, nickel and lithium. For these five metals, it finds comminution – the crushing and grinding of rocks – alone accounts for 25% of final energy consumption at an ‘average’ mine site. Extended across all hard-rock mining, this is equivalent to up to 1% of total final energy consumption globally.

The report reconfirms comminution as a key target for energy and emissions reduction efforts.

These findings align with the mission of the Coalition for Energy Efficient Comminution (CEEC), a global initiative to accelerate eco-efficient minerals, with a focus on energy-efficient comminution. It also extends on previous CEEC messaging, indicating up to 3% of global electrical energy is used in comminution when considering all mined commodities, quarrying and cement production.

In addition to optimising comminution, the report also highlights other energy and emissions reduction opportunities such as the redesign of grinding circuits at greenfield sites, improved drill and blast approaches, pre-concentration, and the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve decision making.

The report emphasises the mining industry’s crucial role in supporting the transition to net zero emissions, needed to limit global temperatures in line with the Paris Agreement, CEEC says. This includes more efficient and sustainable technologies if the industry is to meet the challenge of decarbonisation.

“Despite the scale of the challenge, the report underlines that small improvements in existing mines can lead to large savings in both energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,” CEEC said.

Report author, Marc Allen, states a 5% incremental improvement in energy efficiency across comminution could result in greenhouse gas emission reductions of more than 30 Mt of CO2e.

Allen said: “A relatively modest 5% improvement in comminution across the industry may result in emissions reductions close to the total emissions for New Zealand (35 Mt CO2e).

“A more robust energy audit process and implementation of low-cost opportunities across a mine and process plant may result in total energy savings of up to 10-15% and overall emissions reductions of over 200 Mt of CO2e per annum, depending on the source of electricity.

“Large-scale introduction of renewable energy provides the potential to reduce emissions significantly in the industry – hundreds of millions of tonnes of greenhouse gas savings when there is widespread adoption of renewable energy and energy storage.”

CEEC CEO, Alison Keogh, commended Weir for commissioning this timely work, and all industry leaders taking proactive steps to reduce mining’s footprint. She said outstanding CEEC Medal winning work and 700 published advances have already shared good options for miners to consider, thanks to CEEC sponsors, volunteers and authors.

She urged industry to collaborate to accelerate decarbonisation steps.

“More open knowledge sharing helps speed installations of renewables and energy-efficient approaches across all of industry,” Keogh said. “Benefits also include increased productivity, shareholder value, and financing as companies demonstrate performance towards net zero emissions sooner.”

She cited three key collaboration actions vital to success: (1) sharing best practices, to ensure existing mines and processing plants are better informed and take actions earlier to become more energy and water efficient; (2) sharing new technologies, designs and innovations; and (3) supporting test work and pilots of novel technology on sites and at increasing scales.

Keogh called for greater industry dialogue, noting: “This report highlights both a challenge and an opportunity to revitalise cross-industry discussion and actions on decarbonisation and ESG solutions. Weir is one of many visionary CEEC sponsors supporting public good initiatives like CEEC; we invite industry leaders to actively contribute and collaborate through mining-vendor-research partnerships and share knowledge, site case studies and net zero plans via independent organisations such as CEEC.

“Together, we can accelerate improved energy, emissions and water footprint across industry faster.”

Weir Group Chief Executive, Jon Stanton, commented: “Mining needs to become more sustainable and efficient if it is to provide essential resources the world needs for decarbonisation while reducing its own environmental impact. This report is an important contribution to that debate which we hope will spark thoughtful conversations around the world on the way forward.”

Centerra Gold joins CEEC’s quest for eco-efficient comminution

Centerra Gold has become the latest miner to join the Coalition of Energy Efficient Comminution (CEEC) as a new sponsor.

Centerra, which follows in the footsteps of Hudbay Minerals in backing the not-for-profit organisation, is a Canada-based gold mining and exploration company with assets in Canada, the Kyrgyz Republic and Turkey. It is one of the largest Western-based gold producers in central Asia, and its Mount Milligan mine (pictured) is the first, large new operation in British Columbia in a generation.

The company’s vision is to build a team-based culture of excellence that responsibly delivers sustainable value and growth, according to CEEC.

CEEC CEO, Alison Keogh, said: “We are thrilled with Centerra’s decision to become a CEEC sponsor. Our sponsors work collaboratively to accelerate energy-efficient, productive mining processes. That’s vital for our industry and communities as we reduce impact, tackle costs and improve shareholder value.

“As a CEEC sponsor, Centerra helps CEEC provide industry with information and tools from experts and grow the network of committed professionals working to accelerate eco-efficient comminution and maximise the potential of their mineral resources and assets.”

Centerra Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Daniel Desjardins, praised CEEC for its contributions towards environmental, social and governance (ESG) actions in the field and welcomed the opportunity to share information to advance business goals.

“Centerra’s financial and operational objectives are underpinned by a fundamental commitment to ethical and sustainable practices,” Desjardins said. “Our values are strongly aligned to CEEC’s mission for eco-efficient comminution; environmental, social and governance factors are our foremost priorities as we strive to continually improve the management of our operations.

“CEEC offers a pathway to share best practice and innovation in the international mining sector. We look forward to collaborating with like-minded organisations on shared challenges such as energy and water use.”

Centerra produced 783,308 oz of gold and 3,220 t of copper in 2019, making it one of the leading gold and copper producers based out of Canada.

The company’s major assets include the Kumtor Mine in the Kyrgyz Republic, which has produced more than 12.6 Moz of gold between 1997 and the end of 2019, and the long life, low-cost gold/copper Mount Milligan Mine, in British Columbia, Canada. The third operating mine, the Öksüt Gold Mine, in central Anatolia, Turkey, poured gold for the first time on January 31, 2020, after just 22 months of construction.

Hudbay invests in comminution energy efficiency research with CEEC sponsorship

The Coalition for Energy Efficient Comminution (CEEC) has announced new sponsorship from base and precious metals mining company, Hudbay Minerals Inc.

Hudbay, a diversified mining company producing copper, zinc, gold and silver, owns three polymetallic mines, four ore concentrators and a zinc production facility in Canada and Peru (Constancia, pictured), as well as copper projects in the US. Its vision is to be a responsible, top-tier operator of long-life, low-cost mines in the Americas, CEEC says.

CEEC CEO, Alison Keogh, said that with growing global demand for minerals such as copper to support the shift towards low-carbon technologies, the need for lower footprint mineral processing was becoming even more critical.

“Rock crushing and grinding can typically account for more than half of a mine’s energy consumption,” she said. “By working together as an industry to understand and optimise comminution challenges, we have the opportunity to improve efficiency and environmental outcomes.

“We’re delighted that Hudbay has joined our list of visionary sponsors, each committed to collaborating with CEEC’s global network of miners, suppliers and researchers to advance efficient, cost-effective, lower footprint mining.”

Peter Amelunxen, Hudbay Vice President of Technical Services, said increasing performance and delivering sustainable value involves a combination of operational know-how and technical sophistication.

“We recognise that collaboration with CEEC is a positive step in our commitment to continuous improvement.”

Amelunxen said Hudbay was particularly interested in “adding a metric to our success” by contributing to the CEEC Energy Curves database. This free tool allows users to benchmark the energy efficiency of sites and visually assess potential energy and cost benefits through various operational scenarios.

“We’ve always approached what we do in terms of improving cost and energy efficiencies,” he said. “However, we’re most excited about using the Energy Curves to quantify, pound for pound, the energy reduction piece.

“This will help inform our decisions around targeted enhancements to existing sites and plan best practice operations in future mines. The bottom line is that this tool will enable us to demonstrate how we are improving environmental management while also improving returns for shareholders.”

David Clarry, Hudbay Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility, said data sharing through the CEEC Energy Curves, and broader initiatives such as participation in the CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project), were important for the industry.

“By being transparent and sharing knowledge, we can learn from each other and find novel approaches for achieving environmental benefits in a cost-effective way,” Clarry said. “Tapping into all the resources that CEEC offers gives us cutting-edge learnings so we can continue to pursue economically viable opportunities to improve energy efficiencies, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and better manage climate-related risks.”

Keogh said with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting many businesses around the world, Hudbay’s sponsorship during this time was commendable.

“As a lean, virtual not-for-profit, we thank all our sponsors for their continued support during this period of uncertainty,” she said. “This ongoing commitment will help CEEC and the industry to weather the storm and come out stronger and more sustainable on the other side.”

CEEC Medal recipients recognised for pushing lower footprint mineral processing

Two standout research and field work contributions that have the potential to improve environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance across industry have been awarded the highly respected CEEC Medal for 2020.

Attracting a record 23 high-quality nominations from across the globe, the shortlisted Operations and Technical Research papers showcased exciting site improvements and innovative ideas for future technologies, according to the Coalition for Energy Efficient Comminution (CEEC).

Now in its ninth year, the CEEC Medal recognises the best published papers that raise awareness of comminution research findings, alternative comminution strategies and installed outcomes.

CEEC Director and Medal Evaluation Committee Chair, Dr Zeljka Pokrajcic, said this year’s nominations reflected industry trends to install renewables, consider embodied energy and emissions, and the continued embracing of technologies such as pre-concentration and coarse flotation.

“It’s rewarding to see how industry leaders and experts are collaborating to forge improvements that make good business sense and proactively improve efficiency,” Dr Pokrajcic said.

The 2020 recipients are:

Operations

Peter Lind and Kevin Murray of Newmont and Alan Boylston and Isaias Arce of Metso Outotec, (formerly Metso), for their paper titled, ‘Reducing Energy and Water Consumption through Alternative Comminution Circuits’. This was presented at the 7th SAG Conference in Vancouver, Canada, in 2019.

Technical Research

Dr Grant Ballantyne (pictured), for his paper titled, ‘Quantifying the Additional Energy Consumed by Ancillary Equipment and Embodied in Grinding Media in Comminution Circuits’. This was also presented at the 7th SAG Conference in Vancouver.

Dr Pokrajcic said the winning Operations paper from Newmont/Metso Outotec documents a successful miner/vendor collaboration on how to assess the comminution circuit options in a low energy and water environment.

The paper considers a typical case of a low grade, bulk tonnage copper-gold orebody in an arid climate (Chile, South America) with significant energy costs. It brings together important solutions – including energy-efficient comminution, ancillary equipment, preconcentration and flotation – and presents compelling economic comparisons.

CEEC CEO, Alison Keogh, said of the paper: “This global knowledge sharing offers real value for decision-making across the globe. The paper’s practical, systematic technology approach, which incorporates all-important financial analysis, has the potential to accelerate industry’s progress to deliver lower footprint minerals.”

The paper’s co-authors, Lind and Boylston, explained that the work was the result of collaboration between many innovative thinkers, with ideas and approaches built over many years.

“We wanted to make a difference, to bring technologies together to show that you can save energy, save water and save money as well. This was a group effort, not only by our extended teams at Newmont and Metso Outotec, but also involving Steinert and Scantech in working through how to apply technologies,” they said.

The CEEC Medal Evaluation Committee praised the winning Technical Research paper from Dr Ballantyne as being “an impressive approach to capturing and quantifying energy consumption of ancillary equipment and energy used to manufacture and transport grinding media”.

The paper shares insights on embodied energy using data collected from sites and presents results on the CEEC Energy Curves.

“The research presents a broader approach that considers the impacts of not just energy used in particle breakage but also embodied energy in the manufacture and transport of grinding media, and energy used in the operation of ancillary equipment such as conveyors and pumps,” Dr Pokrajcic said.

“Bringing this spotlight to embodied energy has strategic value. Many companies are including investigation of supply chain in their procurement decisions.”

Dr Ballantyne, previously a Senior Research Fellow at the Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (JKMRC), and now with Ausenco, noted that his work started in 2012, building on earlier concepts shared by industry at a CEEC workshop in Australia. These concepts were developed further following industry input at the 2015 SAG Conference in Canada.

“I also acknowledge the inspiration and collaboration of Chris Greet (Magotteaux), Evert Lessing (formerly Weir, now Metso Outotec), Malcolm Powell (formerly The University of Queensland) and Greg Lane (Ausenco) for contributing expert input and data to the work,” Dr Ballantyne said.

“New research ideas and collaboration with industry are key to industry innovation,” he said. “Support and mentoring from these suppliers as well as experts from Ausenco and The University of Queensland ensured these new ideas could be published for industry to progress thinking.”

In addition to the two CEEC Medals awarded in 2020, three publications received High Commendations.

High Commendations – Operations

Ben Adair, Luke Keeney, and Michael Scott from CRC ORE, and David King from Minera San Cristóbal operations, for their paper titled ‘Gangue rejection in practice – the implementation of Grade Engineering® at the Minera San Cristóbal Site’. This was presented at Physical Separation 2019, in Cornwall, United Kingdom.

This paper shares the prediction and outcomes of a Grade Engineering pilot at Sumitomo’s Minera San Cristóbal operations in Bolivia. The work identifies ore amenability and levers to optimise up-front rejection of gangue before processing.

Keogh said: “This approach highlights the scale of the opportunity for mining leaders to invest in unlocking hidden value for shareholders through productivity step-change while significantly reducing impact on the environment.”

High Commendations – Operations (continued)

Malcolm Powell, Ceren Bozbay, Sarma Kanchibotla, Benjamin Bonfils, Anand Musunuri, Vladimir Jokovic, Marko Hilden, Jace Young and Emrah Yalcin, for their article titled ‘Advanced Mine-to-Mill Used to Unlock SABC Capacity at the Barrick Cortez Mine’. This was presented at the 7th SAG Conference in Vancouver.

This work was a collaboration between three organisations: JKMRC at The University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute, Barrick’s Cortez mine and JK Tech. It shares an advanced mine-to-mill approach that unlocks improved SABC production capacity at Barrick’s Cortez mine in Nevada, USA.

Dr Pokrajcic said the article was an excellent review of the dynamic between SAG and ball mills, illustrating how mine-to-mill, with the consideration of blast movement as well as fragmentation, and operation-wide optimisation could empower sites to identify and sustain long-term improvements.

“It highlights the opportunity of operationalising cooperative ore blend control to balance energy use across the milling circuit, reducing specific energy consumption while benefitting from increased production,” she said.

High Commendation – Technical Research

Paul Shelley and Ignacio Molina (Molycop) and Dimitrios Patsikatheodorou (Westgold Resources), for their paper titled ‘SAG mill optimisation insights by measuring inside the mill’. This was presented at the Procemin-Geomet Conference in Santiago, Chile, in 2019.

In a first for industry, this innovative approach aims to collect data from sensors inside the grinding balls within grinding mills, CEEC said. It brings potential application for high frequency measurement of temperature and impacts inside the mill.

Dr Pokrajcic said: “If this early work can be successfully commercialised and scaled up, it could bring new insights that link to operational and energy efficiency improvements.”

Keogh said nominations for the 2021 CEEC Medal were now open, and she encouraged the submission of relevant, ground-breaking articles from online events and industry presentations.

“Because of disruptions to physical events, we have extended the closing date for submissions to October 30, 2021.”

Details of the application process for the 2021 CEEC Medal can be found here.

Thermo Fisher Scientific joins CEEC communication hub

The addition of new industry sponsors is enabling the Coalition for Energy Efficient Comminution (CEEC) to gain greater traction in leading change and driving the uptake of more energy and water efficient, lower impact mineral processing, it says.

CEEC said this after recruiting Thermo Fisher Scientific, a world leader in supplying solutions for efficient and sustainable mining, as a sponsor of the global not-for-profit communication hub.

Employing more than 75,000 people globally, Thermo Fisher Scientific operates through four segments: Life Sciences Solutions, Analytical Instruments, Specialty Diagnostics, and Laboratory Products and Services. The company provides weighing, monitoring and sampling systems and applications expertise to help optimise process control, production monitoring and automation in mining and bulk material handling.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Field Marketing Manager, Scott Ferguson, said the company’s mission “to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer” was very much in alignment with CEEC’s vision for more efficient, lower footprint mining.

Following extensive analysis of client needs, and a solid investment in research and development, Thermo Fisher is expanding its suite of sorting and pre-concentration products for the minerals sector, according to CEEC.

In response to renewed interest in pre-concentration processes, Thermo Fisher Scientific has launched its cross belt analyser, CB Omni Fusion, using prompt gamma neutron activation analysis into bulk ore sorting applications.

The company also released a new particle size analyser (PSM-500) in June 2020 – specifically designed for comminution circuits.

“The ability to measure product out of the grinding circuit in real time can have very large benefits,” Ferguson said. “By optimising grinding control systems, operators can maximise throughput, use energy more effectively and achieve greater recovery.

“This analyser draws upon proven technology and incorporates an interactive user interface and improved reliability,” he said.

Thermo Fisher Scientific has been supplying slurry samplers, in-stream analysers and cross belt analysers for more than 40 years, CEEC explained.

CEEC CEO, Alison Keogh, said Thermo Fisher Scientific was a welcome addition to its list of valued sponsors from around the globe.

“We’re proud to partner with companies that provide solutions for efficient and sustainable mining,” Keogh said. “These relationships open the door to wider awareness and adoption of new technologies and processes that positively impact the industry.

“This support from Thermo Fisher Scientific, in conjunction with our other sponsors, helps CEEC continue its important global work of providing free and impartial online resources and low cost events that highlight best practice and emerging advances in profitable, eco-efficient mineral processing.”

Newcrest Mining focuses on comminution improvements with CEEC membership

Newcrest Mining has become the latest member of the not-for-profit Coalition for Energy Efficient Comminution (CEEC).

Headquartered in Melbourne, Newcrest Mining has gold and copper operations in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Canada.

Newcrest Head of Technology and Innovation, Andrew Logan, said the sponsorship of CEEC was a natural fit, as sustainability, technology and innovation, and operating performance were key areas of focus for business transformation.

“We are always seeking ways of adding value to the business, while managing our impacts in a responsible way,” Logan said. “In collaborating with CEEC, we are looking forward to knowledge sharing that can help improve our existing circuits, upskill our people and deliver on our commitments towards more profitable, energy efficient mining.”

Newcrest Head of Metallurgy, John O’Callaghan, said understanding and balancing the energy equation in existing and future operations was critical to success.

“Benchmarking using CEEC’s Energy Curves is very important to us from both a management and operational perspective,” O’Callaghan said. “It’s critical to know where our operations sit compared with each other and with our competitors, especially given the energy intensive nature of comminution.

“The more organisations that get involved in Energy Curves, the more useful and relevant the data becomes, so I’d encourage other miners and their suppliers and partners to contribute to the database.”

CEEC said: “Newcrest joins a growing network of supporters who see the value of knowledge sharing through CEEC to help address common industry challenges. The company has already contributed data to Energy Curves.”

CEEC CEO, Alison Keogh, said she looked forward to collaborating more closely with Newcrest and was excited about the potential flow-on effects to industry that their sponsorship could bring.

“Collaborating with sponsors such as Newcrest and others allows CEEC to be a catalyst for kick-starting more innovative and sustainable approaches to mining and mineral processing,” Keogh said.

“Ultimately, the shared goal of CEEC, our sponsors and everyone who accesses our free and independent resources is to bring benefit to industry, the environment and the communities in which we operate.”

CEEC welcomes University of Adelaide’s IMER as newest sponsor

A new sponsorship partnership between the Coalition for Energy Efficient Comminution (CEEC) and the University of Adelaide’s Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources (IMER) will, CEEC says, enhance greater opportunities for innovation in the resources sector.

IMER operates at the international forefront of the mineral, energy and resource sectors, with 200 of the world’s experts working with business and government on industry-led, challenge-based projects, according to CEEC.

Welcoming the sponsorship agreement, CEEC CEO, Alison Keogh, said both organisations valued the role of innovation in sustainable mining.

“IMER is a leading research and development institute that aims to meet global mining and energy challenges with multidisciplinary solutions, advancing our progress towards modern energy systems,” she said. “CEEC’s mission is to share mining practices that improve energy efficiency, reduce costs, enhance shareholder value and help businesses achieve sustainability targets.

“A collaboration with IMER offers the opportunity to share insights from research across disciplines with potential to revolutionise the mineral and energy resources sector.”

IMER Manager, Dr Chris Matthews, said CEEC had actively contributed to accelerating innovation in the mining sector with a collaborative project stemming from a CEEC workshop.

“After involvement in CEEC’s workshop, we forged new collaborations, including an exciting industry partnership which plans to trial the use of solar thermal energy to enhance comminution,” Dr Matthews said.

“Comminution reduces solid materials to a smaller average particle size, by crushing, grinding, cutting, vibrating, or other processes. Solar thermal heat can weaken rocks, reducing the need for fossil fuel-derived mechanical energy traditionally used to crush and grind rocks, making it a more environmentally sustainable alternative.

“IMER has developed a process where heat is provided by concentrated solar thermal, which data has shown could reduce comminution energy by up to 50%. The potential to improve energy efficiency in this project is just one example of the alignment between IMER’s research on low cost, low emissions energy and CEEC’s vision.”

Interim Director of IMER, Professor Michael Goodsite, said IMER aims to progress society towards modern energy systems required for decarbonisation and the transition to a net-zero emissions energy future.

“Innovation in the processing and comminution of the raw materials required for renewable electricity generation and transmission will help us achieve better outcomes for Australia and our world. I look forward to seeing continued value-adding outcomes from this important collaboration,” he said.

Keogh said IMER had already contributed important insights to industry, with experts sharing potential transformational opportunities using solar beam-down technologies for a range of industrial processes. She said potential ground-breaking technologies were the focus of the International Forum on Zero Carbon High Temperature Minerals Processing, which was held in Adelaide, South Australia, from March 16-18.

“IMER’s sponsorship support enhances CEEC’s work to share exciting new innovation relevant to mineral processing and comminution,” she said. “We are a not-for-profit group, entirely funded by sponsorship from the minerals industry. We have a strong network and a focus on sharing energy-efficient, lower-footprint comminution and processing practices. Sponsorship from IMER and others helps CEEC connect leading thinkers through our global network and workshops, to promote best practice and innovation.”

CEEC gets behind mining industry water use initiatives

The Coalition for Energy Efficient Comminution (CEEC) is looking to build on the industry success it has had with its free Energy Curves tool with the development of a global Water Curves tool.

In its efforts to develop this, around 40 leaders from the mining, METS, research and support services world came together in Vancouver, Canada, this month for “a groundbreaking workshop” to do exactly this.

Jointly organised by Canada Mining and Innovation Council and CEEC, with facilitation by KPMG, the project definition workshop at Teck Resources’ Vancouver headquarters explored many important questions, such as: what the industry requires from Water Curves, what metrics are required to benchmark water use, how information could be gathered and assessed, and how the project could be funded, CEEC said.

“The Water Curves approach builds on the success of CEEC’s trusted free Energy Curves tool, which has been used since 2015 to assess and map operational energy efficiency improvements and options,” the organisation said.

Workshop speakers included CMIC CEO, Carl Weatherell; CEEC CEO, Alison Keogh; CEEC Director, Simon Hille, Newmont Goldcorp Group Executive Global Projects, and, Metso VP Product RTD (Mining and Aggregates, Minerals Consumables).

The workshop was timed to follow the SAG Conference, in Vancouver, which brought together all those engaged in the field of autogenous, semi-autogenous and HPGR grinding in the industrial and metalliferous mineral industries and took place on September 22-26 at the Marriott Parq Vancouver.

It also follows closely on the heels of ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service saying in a report that scarcity costs associated with securing reliable sources of water represents “an elevated risk”.

Moody’s Senior Vice President, Carol Cowan, said: “Many countries, including Peru, Chile, Australia, South Africa and Mongolia, have large mining operations exposed to decreasing water availability. In the next 20 years, all of these countries will be in the high to extremely high ratio of water withdrawals to supply, which will make it difficult for companies to secure reliable sources.”

Flotation and grinding circuit classification rise to the top in CEEC awards

The Coalition for Energy Efficient Comminution (CEEC) has announced the recipients of its 2019 CEEC Medals, which are granted annually to authors of outstanding papers presenting “innovative approaches to enhancing energy efficiency in comminution and mineral processing”.

Dr Zeljka Pokrajcic, CEEC Medal Evaluation Committee Chair, announced that the CEEC Medal for Technical Research was awarded to Laureate Professor, Graeme Jameson AO, and Dr Cagri Emer from the Centre for Multiphase Processes, University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, for their publication, ‘Coarse chalcopyrite recovery in a universal froth flotation machine.

The CEEC Medal for Operations was awarded to Kyle Bartholomew, Rob McIvor and Omar Arafat from Metcom Technologies, Grand Rapids, Minnesota, USA, for their publication, ‘A guide to maximising ball mill circuit classification system efficiency (CSE), for operators and equipment designers.’

Dr Pokrajcic said: “The Evaluation Committee closely considered a number of high quality nominations from leading global industry experts before shortlisting two research papers and three operations papers.”

Jameson and Emer’s (pictured) CEEC Medal winning paper was published in Minerals Engineering (134, 118-133) in January and documents a flotation device, the NovaCell. The NovaCell features a fluidised bed for coarse particle collection and a high shear aeration zone for ultra-fines separation, CEEC said. The researchers’ case study showed the device resulted in a 40% reduction in comminution energy and a 12% reduction in overall site operating cost.

Dr Pokrajcic said the entry was a clear standout in the Technical Research category, presenting high quality research that was well supported by strong technical information and cost analysis.

“The paper presents a new dual-zone flotation device for both coarse and fine particle separation. It reinforces important developments that are supporting industry’s move to coarse particle flotation at scale,” Dr Pokrajcic said.

“This work shows leadership in flotation approaches that can significantly improve comminution efficiency and productivity. It also provides a compelling case for the reduction of operating and capital costs by removing coarse size waste in the comminution circuit.”

The winning Operations Medal paper by Bartholomew, McIvor and Arafat was presented at the 14th AusIMM Mill Operators’ Conference, in Brisbane, in August 2018.

Dr Pokrajcic said the paper provided a “useful methodology for measuring and improving classification efficiency in a grinding circuit”, highlighting the importance of classification in comminution circuits to improve efficiency and productivity.

The paper’s case study measured an almost 25% increase in the generation of new -25 micron material following an increase in ball mill re-circulating load and optimising cyclone performance, according to CEEC.

“The three authors from Metcom Technologies are highly regarded contributors to the field of comminution efficiency, last year publishing (along with Jim Finch) a paper on ball mill classification system optimisation that was Highly Commended by the CEEC Medal judges,” CEEC said.

Dr Pokrajcic said: “This year’s exceptional CEEC Medal winning paper by Bartholomew, McIvor and Arafat provides a succinct, clear, systematic approach to practical operational improvements that not only helps inform operations of the efficiencies that can be achieved, but also demonstrates the economic case for change.”

The 2019 CEEC Medal Evaluation Committee also selected three papers for High Commendation. The recipient in the Technical Research category was Hamid Manouchehri for his paper, ‘How Far the Crushing Performance Can be Pushed? Cone Crusher vs Vertical Shaft Impactor (VSI)’. This paper was presented at Comminution ‘18, in Cape Town, South Africa.

CEEC said: “Manouchehri’s paper presented an adept comparison of the conventional cone crusher and the VSI in a fine crushing duty, and third and fourth stage crushing duty.”

The judges added: “His trials conducted at pilot scale and at laboratory showed the VSI produced more fines, and in some cases product of higher porosity, reducing downstream power consumption.”

In the Operations category, Malcolm Powell, Sarma Kanchibotla, Vladimir Jokovic, Marko Hilden, Benjamin Bonfils, Anand Musunuri, Pamela Moyo, Sam Yu, Jace Young, Paul Yaroshak, Emrah Yalcin and Barun Gorain were awarded High Commendation for their paper, ‘Advanced mine to mill application at the Barrick Cortez Mine.’ This paper was presented at the 14th AusIMM Mill Operators’ Conference.

The CEEC Medal Evaluation judges commented that this was an “outstanding paper” building on the commonly applied mine-to-mill optimisation where grade deportment and dilution, as well as blast movement during high intensity blasting, is considered and evaluated.

Also winning a High Commendation in this category was Berge Simonian for a paper titled, ‘Mount Milligan Mine Performance Update.’ Presented in January at the 51st Annual Canadian Mineral Processors Operators Conference in Alberta, Canada, CEEC said the paper detailed the optimisation and debottlenecking of a relatively new mineral processing circuit.

“Efficiency gains achieved through modification to secondary crushing screening, SAG mill lifter design and ball mill charge optimisation enabled the circuit to operate at throughput beyond design,” the judges said.

CEEC CEO, Alison Keogh, praised the CEEC Medal recipients and Highly Commended authors, saying their outstanding contributions help inspire and foster industry uptake of eco-efficient comminution and processing.

Keogh said: “The CEEC Board thanks the successful authors and each of the nominees for their important research efforts and case studies. These publications, shared widely via CEEC’s global network, provide tangible value by helping operators, researchers and METS companies take steps to operate more efficiently while reducing their energy usage, footprint and costs.”

To view the abstracts and to find out more about the CEEC Medal visit www.ceecthefuture.org/ceec-medal

CEEC’s latest workshop to examine new gen energy options for miners

With more and more mining sector interest in energy efficiency and uptake of renewables, the global not-for-profit communication hub for energy efficient mineral processing, CEEC, says it is running a series of workshops to share the latest developments in this field.

The next one-day Mineral Processing and Innovation Workshop on Energy Curves, Productivity and New Gen Energy, will be held at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide on June 19.

This event is due to kick off with a keynote address from OZ Minerals CEO and MD, Andrew Cole, who will share his vision for steering smart energy and productivity for sustainable mining, processing and communities.

Marc Allen, CEEC Director and Technical Director at engeco, said there was a worldwide trend towards new-generation energy options such as solar, battery-electric power and hydrogen – not only in the sector but for global power generation to combat climate change.

“The paradox is that these low carbon technologies are minerals intensive, and metals such as copper, nickel, lithium and cobalt will be required in greater volumes to make this transition possible,” Allen said.

“The shift towards a decarbonised energy future has significant ramifications for the global mining industry, particularly given the energy intensive nature of comminution and mining, coupled with the remoteness of most mineral deposits.”

Allen said renewable energy sources with low carbon energy backup options and/or energy storage were becoming more and more common in mines, with one leading example being the solar project at Degrussa Copper-Gold Mine in Western Australia.

Sandfire Resources’ Degrussa Solar project, commissioned in 2016, is reported to be the world’s largest integrated off-grid solar and battery storage facility. It supplies about 20% of the mine’s annual power requirements and has reduced emissions by close to 12,000 t/y of carbon dioxide, according to CEEC.

“South Australia is also leading the way with adopting new-gen energy. BHP is trialling zero-emission light electric vehicles at its Olympic Dam mine and has plans to progressively replace diesel fuel with lithium-ion batteries,” Allen said.

Canada’s first all-electric mine (Borden) is also on the cards, being constructed by CEEC sponsors Newmont-Goldcorp, Sandvik and MacLean Engineering.

Allen said: “Newmont-Goldcorp’s target is to increase energy efficiency by 15% over five years and source 5% of its energy from renewables. It’s pleasing to see that other major mining companies are fast following suit, introducing bold targets to shrink their carbon and energy footprint.”

Another standout country is Chile, with reports of nine companies, including copper miners Codelco and Antofagasta Minerals, introducing renewable energy such as wind and solar power.

In addition to transitioning to clean energy technologies, mining operations are striving to improve the energy efficiency of comminution. In Australia, alone, copper and gold mines’ comminution processes consume 1.3% of national electricity production, as well as being key constraints to site productivity, value and mining footprint.

Speakers and panellists at the CEEC Mineral Processing and Innovation Workshop in Adelaide on June 19 will share the latest technologies and methodologies being employed to boost energy efficiency, value and productivity in processing plants and mine sites, according to CEEC.

Keynote speaker Cole will be joined by leading mining, METS and research experts from across Australia, including Energy Curve researcher Dr Cathy Evans, Senior Research Fellow, University of Queensland Sustainable Minerals Institute; Professor Stephen Grano, Executive Director, Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources, University of Adelaide; and Professor Bill Skinner, Research Leader, Future Industries Institute, University of South Australia.

With data science and AI also being key drivers for improving operational efficiency and dispatch of electrical energy, workshop participants will hear from PETRA Data Science’s Managing Director, Dr Penny Stewart, and Technical Director, Dr Zeljka Pokrajcic.

Innovative METS leaders, including Greg Lane, Ausenco; Sandy Gray, Gekko Systems; and Bear Rock Solutions’ Dr Ted Bearman and Adjunct Professor Rob Dunne, will present practical advances in comminution technology.

Insights into South Australia mining and mineral processing innovations will be provided by Joe Seppelt, OZ Minerals Processing Manager at the Carrapateena copper-gold project, north of Port Augusta, and Enzo Artone, BHP Area Manager, Mill and Process Minerals, BFX Project, Olympic Dam.

To register or find out more about the workshop, which will be held at the National Wine Centre, click here.