The Application Of Multi-Parametric Block Models To The Mining Process

Bye, A.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2007
The development of 3D multi-parametric models facilitate the provision of resource information well in advance of the mining face. Using the model, one can evaluate mining areas not only for grade and tonnage predictions but also for predictions of rock mass quality. Blast design and milling requirements can be derived from the rock mass quality predictions. This information can be used for overall mine planning and evaluation, costing, production optimization and slope design. This allows the full range of mining activities and costs to be interconnected, thereby lowering costs and improving efficiencies through the application of the multi-parametric model. Feasibility studies for new projects require an expected budget expenditure estimate to within 5% of actual costs. This level of accuracy is expected by mining companies and investors but cannot be achieved without a sound knowledge of the rock mass variability. By developing a 3D multi-parametric model as part of the feasibility study and using the same geological model exploration boreholes, a significantly better understanding of the rock mass conditions can be obtained. This rock mass information can be used for equipment selection, economic pit layouts, processing plant design, underground mining layouts and support requirements, to name but a few design parameters that depend on rock mass conditions. The initiative at Anglo Platinums, Potgietersrust Platinum Ltd.?s (PPRust) operation, has delivered significant results showing improvements across the mine to mill value chain. These include increased loading rates, reduced electricity and crushing consumables, as well as higher plant throughput. The ore reserve model has gained international acceptance as an invaluable tool for a mining operation. Certainly most financial organizations will not invest in a mining project that does not have an ore reserve model. There is the potential for multi-parametric models to be recognized as vital tools in the mining process, as is the case with ore reserve models.
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