Dilution Control at Outokumpu Mines

Pitkajarvi J,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1996
Waste rock dilution causes mill feed grade to be lower than mineral resource grade. In nickel mines relative grade decrease (dilution) may be tens of per cent because of irregular ore boundaries and weak wall rocks. Five per cent dilution costs millions of dollars annually in medium size underground mine. In Outokumpu Group selective bench and fill stoping, cable bolting/shotcrete-skin support and fast ore boundary definition (OMS-logg in-hole logging or sludge sampling) are the key tools in dilution control. Commitment of the whole organisation to keep dilution low is also needed. Dilution sources and effects are discussed with examples of the dilution control methods applied in Outokumpu mines.
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