Orebody Intelligence for Improved Mining Efficiency
Subsurface measurements provide critical insight into orebody properties. However, the common mining industry practice of using a single value for each property to represent the multiple million kilograms of rock in a typical grade block is insufficient given the complexity of real-world geology. Improved orebody intelligence allows more efficient extraction and processing with associated improvement in mine economics. The recently announced Digital Solutions business within Orica brings a new generation of sensors and digital capabilities to the mining industry. Wireline-conveyed measurements such as downhole imaging, borehole magnetic resonance and elemental spectroscopy are complemented by while-drilling measurements such as rock hardness and natural gamma ray. Blast design packages leverage this information to inform explosive loading and predict fragmentation and ore movement outcomes. By acquiring subsequent surface measurements of actual blast movement and fragment size, a feedback loop is created allowing continuous improvement in extraction operations. A digital twin of the comminution circuit can subsequently use the fragment size distribution and physical properties of the feedstock to predict mill performance. Monitoring actual mill performance provides a second feedback loop through which mill performance can be optimized either by changing upstream parameters such as fragment size, or stockpile blending, or by changing the operating characteristics of the mill itself. Acquiring a statistically meaningful representation of the orebody before extraction is key to improving the recovery process.
Roger has over 35 years' experience in geotechnical measurements, holds 18 patents and has authored more than 30 papers and two books on geotechnical technologies and solutions. Holding a B. Eng. from Melbourne University, Australia, he spent 29 years with Schlumberger gaining experience in field measurement acquisition, wireline and LWD engineering, operations management, client petrophysical support in 9 countries, and roles as global Petrophysics Domain Head and Measurements Advisor to Executive management. Now working for Orica, Roger is focused on the application of subsurface measurements to improving mining operations