During a Technical Session at the SME MineXchange Conference and Expo, in Phoenix, Arizona, today, a speaker from Freeport-McMoRan highlighted the value case for using MineSense’s X-ray Fluorescence-based ShovelSense® system at its Chino copper mine in New Mexico, USA.
In a presentation titled, ‘ShovelSense Bulk Ore Sorting Use Cases and Value at Freeport-McMoRan Chino Mine, New Mexico, USA,’ Maurice Sunkpal, Senior Ore Control, Freeport-McMoRan, showcased how the company’s use of ShovelSense had resulted in multiple benefits.
The company has been employing ShovelSense alongside other solutions such as Orica’s OREPro™ 3D as part of a five-year, ore control focused strategy at Chino. Chino is a highly heterogeneous copper porphyry skarn deposit where ore control is especially challenging due to the natural variability of the deposit, sparse blasthole sampling and blast movement, causing inevitable ore loss and dilution.
Chino has retrofitted its main production Komatsu P&H4100 electric rope shovel with ShovelSense to predict grades at the mine face for the purpose of bulk ore sorting, diverting mis-classified trucks to their correct destination.
Sunkpal was able to showcase the difference in the waste and ore definitions from a standard block model and that of one based on XRF data from ShovelSense (see below). This data – and the resultant diversions – in the mining of high contrast ore-waste contacts resulted in more than 10% truck diversions, yielding significant economic benefits by reducing dilution and ore loss, he said.
He also said the integraion of ShovelSense was enhancing the self-audit capabilities of ore control tools at the mine via real-time tracking of the ore control process. He added that this process had identified opportunities for further process optimisation.
Further, Chino has seen a reduction in variance from mine to mill with ShovelSense, while allowing the company to carry out selective mining with increased accuracy and confidence.