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MEI Online: Comminution: Latest News: May 21st 2014


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:: Roadmap to Help Mining Companies Seize Large Energy Savings Opportunities


Many mineral processing plants are being designed and operated at less than optimal energy efficiency. This is happening at a time of rising energy and processing costs, declining ore grades, stakeholder concerns about energy and carbon footprints and ongoing pressure to maintain profits year-on-year.

Yet many mines do not fully appreciate the benefits of improved energy efficiency, nor is there strong awareness of the relative ease with which some efficiency measures may be introduced.

Roadmap to lower energy costs

Comminution is the most energy intensive activity on most mine sites. It describes the way newly mined ore is crushed or ground into a product of the required size for processing.

Recognising that action was needed to help minerals processing operations seize the opportunity to improve comminution energy efficiency, 37 international mineral industry experts collaborated to produce a roadmap outlining the major focus areas needed to develop a siteís energy efficiency strategy.

The roadmap describes the benefits of comminution energy efficiency, the obstacles to achieving better outcomes and, most importantly, provides direction on how to improve performance.

If you are a senior decision maker at a minerals processing operation, the roadmap for eco-efficient comminution provides a template for developing a strategy for comminution energy efficiency at any mine site.

The roadmap is clear, easy to read and outlines the benefits that can be gained. Interested readers can access the roadmap, an Infographic and explanatory video via the CEEC website at www.ceecthefuture.org/resource-center/ceec-roadmap/

Four key elements in a comminution energy efficiency strategy

  • Measuring performance and producing benchmarks that allow energy efficiency performance to be quantified and evaluated.
  • Adopting best practice in technology.
  • Identifying and implementing appropriate business drivers and KPIs.
  • Communicating the benefits, motivating, engaging and training.

Using the roadmap to develop a strategy, reductions in comminution energy consumption of 15-30% can be achieved in the short term (eg current operations or brownfield development), 50% within 10 years, and possibly more over the longer term.

Improving comminution energy efficiency provides a wide range of benefits

  • Immediate OPEX benefit through energy cost savings, leading to increased profitability.
  • Enhanced ability to manage more complex, lower grade or difficult ores thereby expanding potential ore resources.
  • Reduced carbon emissions, energy footprint and potential for reduced water usage.
  • Better community relations from reduced energy and water footprint, enhancing the license to operate.
  • Improved security of energy supply.
  • Reduced generation of fine waste.
  • Lower exposure to increased energy costs or reduced security of supply.

To discuss the unique collaborative effort behind the development of the Roadmap, the four stages and how they are applied to delivering improved energy efficient comminution in mining, please contact CEECís Executive Officer Sarah Boucaut at admin@ceecthefuture.org.




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