Metal Allocation and Grade Control at Kambalda NIckel Mines

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1990
The nickel operations at Kambalda consist of mining thin massive to disseminated Ni sulphide orebodies from 10 individual mines of variable grade.Daily sampling involves visual estimation of the grade of working faces based on geological parameters. This system of grade estimation is used as a guide for daily grade control only.Nickel metal allocation is based on an external sampling system. As all ore sources are blended at the primary crusher, only one calculated mill head grade is available. Therefore all sources are sampled prior to crushing. This system historically consisted of mechanically grab sampling ore from trucks as they passed over a weighbridge on arrival at the concentrator. Currently the system involves diverting one out of every ten trucks to its mine sample stockpile, which is crushed through the primary, secondary and tertiary crushing system fortnightly. The individual mine grades are re-combined to create a total sample grade. This is reconciled against the calculated mill head grade. The reconciliation factor is applied uniformly to all individual mine sample grades to calculate mill reconciled mine grades.
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