Global Environmental Benefits of Sensor-Based Ore Sorting Technologies

Ore Sorting


Brent, Hilscher

As demand for raw minerals is increasing, the amount of high value ore deposits is decreasing. This results in the mining industry facing increased environmental challenges when dealing with raw material processing. The major challenges of these reduced grade, high throughput operations include increased energy consumption, water utilization, waste pile footprints, tailing dam capacities, fine material handling, and potentially acid generating material. As a result of implementing appropriate sensor-based ore sorting techniques on either material feed or standing piles, many of these issues can be diminished for a variety of mining operations. Sensor-based sorting already has multiple applications with potential to be applied in different stages along the process flow diagram. It is primarily used for material diversion, reprocessing of waste dumps, purifying concentrates, and waste elimination. There are two focuses in this paper; the first is to highlight the reprocessing of waste dumps and stockpiles to reduce environmental damage from acid rock drainage and metal leaching. The second is to highlight how implementing ore sorting prior to grinding in a milling circuit will reduce resource consumption in the form of water, energy, and  emissions in addition to lowering biodiversity impact and increasing the quality of waste being stored.CO2e
Keywords: CIMBC22