Tag Archives: digital twin

Goldcorp narrows down finalists for #DisruptMining PDAC showdown

Goldcorp has announced the three finalists selected to pitch to a panel of judges at the #DisruptMining 2019 live finale taking place around the PDAC event in Toronto, next month.

The trio includes companies looking at a new drilling approach that can unlock the value in narrow vein deposits; a unique way of training artificial intelligence (AI) to autonomously operate a mineral processing facility; and an Internet of Things application that increases the intelligence of belt conveyors used to transport material at mine sites, according to Goldcorp.

Todd White, Goldcorp Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Operations, said: “#DisruptMining continues to represent the best of innovation in the mining industry. These finalists demonstrate break-through thinking and help build digital momentum in mining. The industry needs to help accelerate the development of these kinds of technologies.”

After a technical review by a group from the University of British Columbia, shortlisted submissions were reviewed by senior Goldcorp representatives to determine semi-finalists and finalists for #DisruptMining, Goldcorp said. The three finalists pitching their disruptive technology to the panel of judges are:

  • Anaconda Mining, a TSX-listed gold mining company operating in Atlantic Canada, has developed an innovative, two-stage drilling method that enables economic mining of narrow-vein deposits, according to Goldcorp. The technology, known as Sustainable Mining by Drilling (SMD), was developed in collaboration with Memorial University of Newfoundland. Goldcorp said: “SMD has the potential to unlock value in existing deposits that were previously thought to be uneconomic to mine using traditional underground or surface mining methods. The developers also expect this technology could extend the life of current operations by allowing safe excavation to occur beyond the limits of current designs”;
  • ANDRITZ, a leading supplier of machines and automation solutions worldwide, has developed a unique and continuous way of training artificial intelligence to operate a mineral processing facility using ANDRITZ’s digital twin, Goldcorp said. “The AI is trained to respond to a variety of situations, making it capable of adapting to changing inputs and improving upset recovery time,” Goldcorp said. The trained AI’s ability to quickly process information and recommend data-driven solutions will allow for the improvement of the operation, such as start-up and shutdown, and assist operators to achieve plant-wide optimisation, and;
  • Voith Turbo, a division of Voith GmbH & Co KGaA, whose IoT application BeltGenius (pictured) creates a digital twin of belt conveyors which provides real-time insight into the behaviour of the operation. “Resulting from a constant learning system, this information is used to identify potential risks and inefficiencies, allowing for greater uptime, more efficient energy use, predictive maintenance and optimisation of weight and speed,” Goldcorp said. With BeltGenius, mine sites can operate their belt conveyors with greater control and consistency, increasing their savings on repairs and material transportation costs while reducing the environmental impact of traditional haul trucks.

Deciding the fate of the three finalists will be Ian Telfer, Chair of Goldcorp; Katie Valentine, Partner at KPMG Australia and Global Head of Mining Consulting; Sue Paish, CEO of Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster; Jacob Yeung, University of British Columbia student and #DisruptMining UBC Captain; and returning #DisruptMining judge Wal van Lierop, President & CEO, Chrysalix Venture Capital.

Co-hosted by KPMG, the #DisruptMining live finale will take place on Sunday, March 3, 2019 at the Rebel Entertainment Complex in Toronto during the PDAC convention. Each finalist will present a short pitch video followed by a Q&A with the judges, in front of a live audience of nearly 600 people, demonstrating how their concept or technology has the potential to #DisruptMining.

In addition to finalists, six semi-finalists will showcase their technologies at the #DisruptMining Innovation Expo. The Expo will take place on Sunday March 3, 2019, at the Rebel Entertainment Complex in Toronto.

 

Rio to consolidate technology developments with Koodaideri iron ore mine

Rio Tinto says it will develop its most technologically advanced mine following the full approval of a $2.6 billion investment in the Koodaideri iron ore mine in Western Australia.

Koodaideri will deliver a new production hub for Rio Tinto’s iron ore business in the Pilbara, incorporating a processing plant and infrastructure including a 166 km rail line connecting the mine to the existing network.

Construction on Koodaideri Phase 1 will start next year with first production expected in late 2021. Once complete, the mine will have an annual capacity of 43 Mt, underpinning production of the company’s flagship iron ore product, Pilbara Blend.

Koodaideri Phase 1 will help sustain Rio Tinto’s existing production capacity by replacing depletion elsewhere in the system, Rio says.

“The project will increase the higher-value lump component of the Pilbara Blend, subject to market conditions, from the current average of about 35% to around 38%. It is expected to deliver an internal rate of return of 20% and capital intensity of around $60/t of annual capacity, highly competitive for a new mine considering the additional infrastructure of rail spur, airport, camp and road access required,” the company said.

The operation has been designed to use an increased level of automation and digitisation, helping to deliver a safer and more productive mine, which is expected to be Rio Tinto’s lowest cost contributor to its industry benchmark Pilbara Blend product.

“Through the use of digital assets, advanced data analytics and automation, Rio Tinto expects to significantly enhance the operation and maintenance of this new mine,” Rio says.

Rio Tinto CEO J-S Jacques said: “Koodaideri is a gamechanger for Rio Tinto. It will be the most technologically advanced mine we have ever built and sets a new benchmark for the industry in terms of the adoption of automation and the use of data to enhance safety and productivity.

“As we pursue our value over volume approach, targeted high-quality investments such as Koodaideri will ensure we continue to deliver value for our shareholders and Australians.”

The investment is underpinned by an orebody of high-quality Brockman ore more than 20 km long and 3 km wide. This contains some 269 Mt of proven reserves and 329 Mt of probable reserves.

In addition to mine infrastructure, an airport, mine support facilities and accommodation for employees will be built. Throughout the construction period Rio Tinto expects to employ over 2,000 people with 600 permanent roles created once the mine is operational.

Since completion of the prefeasibility study in 2016, additional capital has been included for productivity enhancements to increase capacity to 43 Mt, from the 40 Mt base case. The project scope was also broadened to incorporate significant safety improvements and the development of additional infrastructure such as an airport and site access roads. Cost inflation for labour and materials also contributed to the capital increase.

A $44 million prefeasibility study into Koodaideri Phase 2 has also been approved. The expansion could increase annual capacity from the Koodaideri production hub to 70 Mt and beyond. A final investment decision is subject to study outcomes and Rio Tinto’s value over volume approach, Rio said.

Koodaideri will feature technology already in use across Rio Tinto, such as autonomous trucks, trains and drills, and implement systems connecting all components of the mining value chain for the first time.

“The development will consolidate everything Rio Tinto has learned from its studies into finding advanced ways to extract minerals while reducing environmental impacts and improving safety, known as the Mine of the FutureTM programme,” the company said.

Koodaideri has more than 70 innovations in scope including:

  • A digital replica of the processing plant, accessible in real time by workers in the field;
  • Fully-integrated mine automation and simulation systems;
  • Advanced automation including an automated workshop, and;
  • Numerous data analytics capabilities and control loops to optimise production and reduce downtime.

Koodaideri is some 35 km northwest of Rio’s Yandicoogina mine, and about 110 km from the town of Newman in the Pilbara region. The development remains subject to final Western Australian government approval.

IM found out more about the Koodaideri development recently, carrying out a Q&A with Matthew Holcz, Managing Director of Planning Integration and Assets of Rio’s iron ore division. This article was featured in the November issue of IM.