The Energy Cost Per Ton of Blasting is Far Less Than the Cost Per Ton of Crushing

Director of Mining Software Solutions, Steven Putt, will discuss how to measure crushing and grinding efficiency at ISEE in Denver​ on January 29th, 2020.

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Why focus on fragmentation? Because it is the first time the mine has a chance to make big rocks into little rocks. It can be cheaper than crushing and grinding and more efficient if you find the perfect spot between over blasting and under blasting.

A continuous measurement of how well your blasting did and how it behaved at the mill will uncover a quick path to the most profitable fragmentation. We define 'profitable fragmentation' as a reduction in costs (less explosives during blasting and less energy used during comminution) and a simultaneous increase in production (more throughput during processing). 

MinePortal utilizes the primary crusher as a location-based proxy for blast fragmentation and an indicator of crusher circuit efficiency, which supports the following: 

  1. Optimized ore blending
  2. Further increased mill throughput
  3. Supercharged mine to mill optimization efforts

The primary crusher is a great indication of how the rest of the mill will behave. Once the material you’ve just blasted goes through, MinePortal will show if the crusher responded poorly or favorably. With this analysis you can make a change in your operations, fast. You can change your blasting based on the drilling that happened this morning or you can change your blend plan based on how the crusher responded with the material you dug yesterday. And that’s how you start to do better with what you have.

The first stage of mine to mill involves location-based  information about the orebody. MinePortal integrates these datasets, including geology, drill  and blast, ore control, haulage, and the primary crusher. 

Since mine to mill optimization relies on the ability to monitor how a specific block of ore impacts the mill, DataCloud uses the primary crusher as a proxy for rock hardness, fragmentation size, and overall mill performance.  Quantifying the material’s impact on the primary crusher requires a complex, data intensive analysis of the crushing power consumed by each truck load of material.

Below: Primary Crusher Amps (Black Line) and Truck Dump Tons (Red Line)

Collecting comprehensive knowledge of the rock, including initial geologic conditions and energy applied during drilling, blasting, and crushing, allows operations to build a data-driven mine to mill optimization model. Each truck loaded with a known Blastability and Powder Factor is then quantified for its “Crushability” (black line below).

MinePortal gives everyone seamless access to all location-based information related to the mine to mill process. With a simple browser login, backed by Microsoft Azure, this single source of truth to your geology is available fast, easy, and securely. This improves collaboration by allowing each operation to work with others towards a common goal and to track progress as a team. Engineering time that is currently spent on data manipulation can now be focused on analysis and optimization.

Hear more about this from our Director of Mining Software Solutions, Steven Putt at ISEE in Denver at 10:30am on Wednesday Jan 29th. 

Thor Kallestad

Chairman of the Board, DataCloud

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