Grade Control - A Continuing Exercise in Quality Management

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 25
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1992
(Quality can be defined as that which is acceptable to the market and can be supplied with a predictable degree of uniformity and dependability at a low cost. The market for any mining product is downstream processing, whether it be an alumina refinery, a gold processing plant or a flotation plant. The cost of that downstream process is partly dependent on uniformity of its feed material both in physical and chemical terms. With more operations adopting procedures which require quality assurances in line with International Standards, from their raw material suppliers, miners must look to their grade control processes to provide uniformity and predicability.This is not a new concept. The mining industry has constantly been working with ahighly variable raw material supplied by Mother Nature, from whom we cannot demand quality assurances. Through the processes of exploration, resource and reserve definition, long and short term mine planning and day to day grade control an end product has been supplied which consistently meets our customers requirements, in an economic fashion. When any of these processes fail, then penalties are incurred which can range from increased mineral processing costs to loss of markets and in the ultimate case, failure of a mining operation.
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