Paradyn’s BlendOpt value-chain mathematical optimisation solution has proven to be instrumental in optimising from copper mine to mill, by providing optimised stockpiles, reduced feed variability, and higher concentrate recovery.
What is BlendOpt?
BlendOpt is a software package that provides control over planned outcomes and better decision-making support at all stages of the commodity cycle. It features integrated mining supply chain management and integrated mining business silos. BlendOpt can simultaneously optimise transportation, routing, stockpiling, and processing decisions while achieving the business rules, contracts, and financial drivers.
The Excel spreadsheet drawbacks
A company was doing its ROM stockpiling, reclaiming, and mill feed blending schedules using excel spreadsheets.
To maintain constant mill feed production the operation was using mill feed with significant Cu:S variability. Plant operations need to be regularly adjusted to accommodate Cu:S fluctuation. However, using Excel, there was limited ROM stockpile capacity. ROM was stockpiled by stope with in-situ Cu:S between 0.1 and 0.5. There were also rusher and crushed ore bin capacities, varying quality of materials, and unexpected variations in relevant impurities to be factored in.
Consequently, the company experienced reductions in recovery and copper product grade, resulting in increased costs and reduced revenues during transition to new steady state operating conditions.
Site technical services, A&I, and geologist teams believed changing their stockpile definitions and blending strategy might alleviate the issue. However, optimising these decisions was complex, manual, and time intensive process.
The BlendOpt advantage
By using BlendOpt, the customer was able to investigate how changes to ROM stockpile definitions, combined with optimisation of reclaim across time, impacted Cu and Cu:S mill feed quality and stability. BlendOpt allowed the client to rapidly test different scenarios by leveraging the power of cloud computing to optimise blending holistically over the optimisation period instead of on a day-by-day basis.
BlendOpt was able to identify an operation specific combination of Cu, Cu:S, and MgO stockpile definitions that enabled optimised feed control with reductions in Cu:S variability from 0.4 to 0.03 in the mill feed, resulting in higher recovery and copper concentrate grade.
This was a significant change from the company’s previous stockpiling strategy of allocating material by stopes, an imperfect method for blend control.
The recommended changes were quickly implemented at site, allowing the company to optimise value quickly with minimal upfront investment.
Content: Paradyn Systems Pty. Ltd.