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Earlier collaboration by the JKMRC with Highland Valley Copper in British Columbia resulted in modified mining practices which increased mill throughput resulting in increased profitability of $15 million/y.
The Mine to Mill concept was inspired by former JKMRC director professor Don McKee, who realised in the early 1990s that significant economic benefits could accrue from optimising the fragmentation of rock or coal from the mine to the requirements of the concentrator or preparation plant.
Papers presented included JKMRC's recent work in block caving conducted as part of a joint international caving study with US-based ITASCA Consulting Group.
Noranda has joined the three-year International Caving Study that has been jointly developed by the JKMRC and Itasca Consulting Group.
Along with IWRI's involvement, the development of the system has become a three-way venture, where CSIRO's expertise in flotation chemistry has merged with the JKMRC's experience in minerals engineering.
In accepting the award from Australian Federal Treasurer, The Hon Peter Costello MP, JKMRC Centre Director, Professor Tim Napier-Munn paid tribute to the many people involved in its success -- the postgraduate students, research staff, AMIRA and the JKMRC's research collaborators, the University of Cape Town in South Africa and McGill University in Canada.
Research and development is now underway at both Mintek and JKMRC aimed at further control enhancements of underbed air-pulsed jigs so that a wider range of materials can be separated.
Smart control was achieved with JKMRC's JigScan controller, installed for the first time 10 years ago in a coal jig to obtain a 2% improvement in recovery when washing 1- 50 mm coal.
Developed by JKMRC research engineers Dr Geoff Lyman and Andrew Jonkers, Jigscan is a complete control system for jigging operations, with various options to choose from including basic valve timing, water level control under the jig, pulsation control and gate control.
According to the JKMRC, Jigscan is flexible enough to allow for a combination of functions to meet preparation plant requirements, with the ability to retrofit any air pulsated jigs.
As part of its ongoing work, the JKMRC is currently developing a blast fragmentation model which will take into account the compressive/shear mechanism of blast fragmentation, and will be able to predict the entire fragment distribution curve more accurately, irrespective of the mechanical properties of the rock matrix.
Making the technology accessible has meant offering a wide range of short courses built around the company's software products and JKMRC methodology.
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