Thiess says it is taking another step to be at the forefront of sustainable mining with a technology trial involving Plotlogic’s OreSense solution at the Anthill copper project in Central Queensland, Australia.
With the promise of reduced environmental impact, improved safety and increased productivity the OreSense technology scans rock to distinguish high-grade resources from waste, Thiess explains. The technology provides real-time information, eliminating the need for a week or more waiting for testing results.
The technology is also expected to create environmental benefits through lower fuel usage and machinery consumables and a more optimised heap leaching process, according to Thiess.
Group Executive Growth & Strategy, Abdul Jarrah, said the trial aligned with Thiess’ commitment to use technology to drive sustainable improvements for our clients.
“Investing in technology such as OreSense further enhances our inhouse capability and allows us to offer our clients greater value across the safety, cost, productivity and environmental spectrum,” Jarrah said. “Importantly, our focus on innovation will support our clients to achieve their environmental goals as Thiess continues to establish itself as a leader in sustainable mining practices.”
Group Manager, Geology and Geotechnical, Donna Sheehy, said applications for the technology were far-reaching.
“The machine takes around three minutes to scan a wall or mine face area of 15 m by 50 m – if the trial proves successful there is potential to scan dig faces and stockpiles to determine grade,” she said.
“From machine learning we can use OreSense to give us real time assay – saving lengthy lab processing wait times.
“This allows us to increase the average grade of material fed to the heap leaching process which means we haul less waste, reducing our use of fuel and machinery consumables.”
The trial, set to begin at the Anthill copper project, owned by Austral Resources, on April 27, will run for around four weeks.
Austral says CSA Global completed an updated mining study in April 2021 on Anthill resulting in a JORC 2012 compliant ore reserve of 5.1 Mt grading 0.94% Cu containing 47,700 t of copper. This study outlined that ore will be mined from two pits over a 40-month period. Total recovered copper from the heap leach process will be 40,400 t over a 44-month period.