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MAXAM Foundation

MAXAM Foundation - MAXAM Chair - Blasting solutions - Energy Optimization of Mining Operations

Global mining faces unprecedented challenges to the long-term sustainability of its operations. In addition to the socio-environmental challenge, trends such as decreasing mineralogical concentrations or changes in metal prices, among others, mean mining operations based on innovative, sustainable solutions are now a necessity.

This requires low-impact technologies which can minimize cost savings while increasing productivity. In this context, a key as-pect of sustainability in all mining projects is the ability to optimize the use of available resources. It is here that optimizing energy consumption and controlling total costs play a key role in ensuring a sustainable project. 

Blasting as an optimization strategy

One of the most important requirements in optimizing mining processes, or parts of them, is the ability to predict or model the phenomena involved. This task requires in-depth knowledge of the processes that make up each stage of the mining operation, as well as identifying and then setting the parameters for the inter-dependencies between the different unit operations in the min-ing process.

When developing a high-energy blasting strategy, the quality and degree of fragmentation obtained and its influence on subsequent operations will be key to optimizing the energy required in the next stages of the mining project. The fragmentation and format of the material piles generated by the blasts are sized in order to maximize the performance of the crusher and maintain optimum load cycles, thus minimizing the strain placed on the crushers when reducing non-fragmented material to the required size.

 Stages in a mining process

Integrating the process

All efforts to optimize results must form part of a continuous improvement process in which all parties involved work together. It is therefore necessary to apply graduable models or tools that can predict, in the design stage, the potential impact of a blast on subsequent unit operations, thus ensuring op-timal configuration of energy consumption once the actual results have been compared and calibrated in each cycle. Cost distribution vs. specific consumption with localized optimum cost. Possible adverse effects such as ejected material or vibrations must be taken into account when implementing optimized blasting. Moreover, the commi-nution equipment configuration (rotation speed of grinding mills, concentra-tion of water, solids, etc.) must always remain the same, in order to ensure that actual productivity and consumption readings are compatible with the prediction criteria in the optimization model used. However, the implicit and explicit limitations of the predictive models must be taken into account when deploying the optimization program. Be sure to contact MAXAM if you would like to add value to your mining project by optimizing energy consumption.

Blasting solutions. March 2018


Last update 2021.06.21
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