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Grinding and Flotation Optimization Using Operational Intelligence
In recent years, metal-producing companies have increased their investment in automation and technological innovation, embracing new opportunities to enable transformational change. Transformation to a digital plant can fundamentally revolutionize how industrial complexes operate.
The abundant and growing quantity of real-time data and events collected in the grinding and flotation circuits in a mineral processing plant can be used to solve operational issues and optimize plant performance. A grade recovery model is used to identify the best operating conditions in real time. The strategy for increasing the value of instrumentation in current plants is reviewed.
An optimal Gaudin size distribution model provides augmented information from traditional sensors to find the optimal grind cut size to reduce metal losses in the flotation circuits. In the same time, sensors in flotation circuits enable an estimate of the recovery and determination of the optimal froth depth and aeration using an air hold up flotation model. A strategy of classifying data for on-line generation of insights to using operational intelligence tools is described. The implementation of a recovery/grind strategy with industrial examples in non-ferrous mineral processing is presented.
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Collaboration at the Enterprise using Real Time Data Analysis: From Data to Action
Intelligent System (IS) technologies are receiving much attention in a wide range of process engineering applications from plant operations to enterprise-wide competence centers. Application of rapidly changing technologies has become a serious challenge to both management and technical teams. Data, captured from diverse real time devices, manufacturing assets and transactional systems, can be aggregated into information and structured by context for it use.
Transforming real-time data into information requires special algorithms and filtering techniques. This real time information enhances the collaboration between working groups (Operations, Maintenance, Process Engineering and Management). Simple access to operational data with analytical tools enables then the personnel to identify root cause, avoid costly constraints and try new ideas.
This paper describes the data hierarchy required to supporting analytical performance improvement. Typical applications are energy and water management, conditioned based maintenance, quality monitoring, statistical process control, multivariate analysis, data reconciliation and process debottlenecking. Integrated information is shared via the Web which fuels innovation towards continuous improvement at the local and enterprise level.
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Metallurgy Analytics: Transforming Plant Data Into Actionable Insights
The advent of digital revolution has now enabled us with numerous tools that could be leveraged to transform our operational data into actionable insights. Key opportunities with digitization include better visualization, transparency, integrated planning and execution for value-chain optimization, that results in smarter production, intelligent response to changes in ore, process and equipment conditions, reduce energy and waste along with prevention of asset breakdown, safety and environmental issues.
It is important to realize that these digital tools have limited value, from a metallurgical operational context, if we cannot bring-in the appropriate domain expertise along with getting the basics right. The focus within Barrick is to ensure that there is adequate depth of different disciplines built into our platforms along with breadth to integrate other disciplines such as geology and mining for an effective Mine-to-Mill integration.
A gold recovery improvement strategy based on optimal Gaudin size distribution, leaching performance monitoring and guidance via feed grade maps is discussed. Simultaneous identification of process and equipment constraints enable finding the best overall conditions for Gold recovery. This paper discusses the methodology, findings, and challenges in the ongoing journey of implementing a Metallurgy Analytics platform that evolves from being retrospectively descriptive to anticipatively prescriptive.
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Dynamic Model-Based Flotation Performance Monitoring
Froth flotation is widely used for the separation of particulate materials in the world. It is a complex process whose operational behavior in process plants is difficult to predict. This model uniquely linked the particle/bubble interactions and water transport phenomena to the flotation cell hydrodynamics.
The model was designed as a dynamic framework to analyze and develop process optimization strategies. The dynamic flotation model has several manipulated variables (such as feed flow rate, % solids, aeration, wash water flow rate, frother flow rate, specific power energy (impeller speed/delta pressure), cell geometry and tails flow rate) and evaluates the dynamic effects of these variables on grade and recovery.
The capabilities of the model predictive capabilities can be used for online sensing of the flotation performance and early identification of faults. Such an implementation of the current process analysis tools and a simplified model are presented, to demonstrate how this new environment can be used to interactively experiment with flotation parameters. New developments in mineralogical characterization, real time information management systems and data validation simplify the implementation of flotation technologies for mine to mill grade recovery optimization. With recent developments in software programming, dynamic simulation enables then process engineers to develop process alternatives interactively.
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Grade Recovery Optimization Using Data Unification and Real Time Gross Error Detection
The efficient operation of any modern metallurgical facility depends on the accurate measurement and estimation of flow rates, inventories, and composition of their intermediate and final products. All of this information is subject to both statistical errors and gross errors, which can lead to poor estimation of efficiency, yields and specific energy consumption.
The detection and the elimination of these errors require not only plant data, but also product transactions and the operational events. Once the gross errors have been eliminated, it is possible to estimate validated performance indicators, such as grade recovery or yields.
This paper describes the methodology to implement a unification and gross error detection system using the available infrastructure of both information and data reconciliation system. It covers the different infrastructure layers, from the data collection layer to the data validation and reconciliation layer.
In addition, the impact of these methodologies on the decision-making process is presented.
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Extended Semiautogenous Milling: Smooth Operations and Extended Availability at C.M. Doña Ines DE Collahuasi Scm, Chile
Comminution circuits represent one of the largest operating costs in mineral processing. The current state-of-the-art plant information systems enable the use of a wide range of supervision techniques. The use of a real-time plant information system has derived major economic benefits. Semiautogenous milling operations are supervised in real time for any substandard or abnormal conditions. Furthermore, the use of advanced statistical technologies allows for an increased potential of plant performance.
The use of semiautogenous milling operations have been made easier, and major economic benefits can be obtained, by extending mill operating time and reducing maintenance costs.
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Measuring, Managing, and Maximizing Refinery Performance
Implementing continuous quality improvement is a confluence of total quality management, people empowerment, performance indicators and information engineering. Supporting information technologies allow a refiner to narrow the gap between management objectives and the process control level. Dynamic performance monitoring benefits come from production cost savings, improved communications and enhanced decision making. A refinery workgroup information flow model helps automate continuous improvement of processes, performance and the organization.
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Real Time Information Management Infrastructure – Collaboration at Mine-Mill for Asset Optimization
Recent advances in industrial automation require a new approach to get plants reducing their start up times and adapting to the varying ore types.
Integration of many subsystems is a requirement for improved operational management in metallurgical complexes operations. For example, drastic changes in ore type at the mine require a proactive evaluation for the optimal crushing requirements for improved leaching of the ore.
The access to the internet and faster networks are assisting in providing high visibility of the operations. Then, gathering the information for real time analysis and presentations on the web is changing the way that we operate and collaborate. The implementation of competences centers is now feasible to collaborate at the enterprise level.
This paper will detail some innovative ways of organizing the information for improved overall performance. The integration of the information enables the calculation of indices to track in details the operations and equipment availability. Examples in the mineral processing will be presented and another on a metallurgical mass balance is proposed. The major benefits are increased overall process equipment effectiveness, reduction of organic losses and improved energy and quality management of the cathodes.
The use of the portal for collaboration in the large metallurgical complexes will also be discussed.
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Measuring, Managing and Maximizing Performance in Petroleum Refineries
The implementation of continuous quality improvement is the confluence of a quality management, people empowerment, the use of performance indicators and information engineering.
The supporting information technologies allow a refiner to narrow the gap between management business objectives and the process control level. Dynamic performance monitoring benefits come from production cost savings, improved communications and enhanced decision making.
A refinery workgroup information flow model is presented to help automate continuous improvement of processes, performance and the organization.
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Operational Decision Support for low grade Mineral Processing Plants
Ores are becoming extremely variable with mineralogy and hardness disturbing the integrated crushing, grinding, flotation, and thickening processes. The current grinding and flotation sensors provide large amounts of data for process optimization. To augment the operational knowledge for proactive actions for improving the performance of the grinding and flotation circuits, we need to add the right process knowledge context and operational modes.
Using the latest tools and cloud computing enables the creation of new workflows and collaboration between mining, concentrator plants, and the enterprise, including services providers. Machine learning pervades our culture in a multitude of ways, from medical diagnosis and data management to speech synthesis and search engines.
Today, subject matter experts (SMEs) can increase productivity by developing predictive models to classify the operating conditions owing to large variations in ores, catching the hidden production, energy, and water losses by ore type and unmeasured disturbances.
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