Mining and Minerals Engineering

CSMM434 - Process Mineralogy and Geometallurgy (2020)

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MODULE TITLEProcess Mineralogy and Geometallurgy CREDIT VALUE15
MODULE CODECSMM434 MODULE CONVENERProf Hylke J Glass (Coordinator)
DURATION: TERM 1 2 3
DURATION: WEEKS 0 5 0
Number of Students Taking Module (anticipated) 5
DESCRIPTION - summary of the module content

The module provides an in-depth introduction to geometallurgy, an evolving discipline whose significance is increasingly recognised by practitioners. Geometallurgy is an over-arching subject which aims to enhance characterisation of a resource to support more efficient and effective extraction.

The student is familiarised with modelling of the spatial distribution of properties to define an in situ resource. Relevant properties are those which impact the feasibility and viability of extracting the ore. A prominent characteristic is the chemical composition with, as headline, the grade of constituent commodities. The chemical composition is routinely measured in sections of drillcore and translated into block volumes. Techniques for orebody definition through interpretation of drillcore data will be discussed and their application is demonstrated with computer tutorials and exercises.

It is widely accepted that grade alone, and its spatial distribution, does not fully determine the extraction potential of ore. Local variation in mineralogy and texture can influence the ore throughput time and metallurgical recovery in the processing plant, as well as the generation of residual products. The module introduces analytical techniques and their role in generating data for creating a geometallurgically-enhanced block model of the resource. Practical experience with mineralogy testwork is gained through a group laboratory project.

Challenges and solutions associated with interpretation of sparsely-measured, non-grade properties are highlighted. Identification of geometallurgical ore types is explored through a detailed discussion of clustering techniques, whose application is illustrated through computer tutorials. For individual ore types, the expected process response is predicted through regression models. The module features a discussion of regression modelling, highlighting the importance of selecting appropriate variables.

Factors such as the sequence of block extraction, blending practices, and the dynamic process response to feedstock variability will influence the correlation between geological properties, throughput, and metallurgical recovery. An appreciation of practical aspects of application of geometallurgy and resource modelling is developed through a series of commodity-specific case studies.

AIMS - intentions of the module

To foster understanding of:

1. geometallurgy as a discipline to de-risk a project, optimise extraction, deliver resource efficiency, and contribute to sustainable development. 

2. resource modelling as a fundamental operation.

3. system modelling for integrating resource modelling, extraction, and mineral processing.

4. analytical techniques for measurement of geochemical, mineralogical, and geometallurgical properties.

5. laboratory testwork underpinning geometallurgy.

 

INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES (ILOs) (see assessment section below for how ILOs will be assessed)

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

 

Module Specific Skills and Knowledge

1. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the main geochemical analytical techniques, including most recent innovations, and their application to minerals processing;

2. Describe the principles of process mineralogy and how analytical techniques can be used to support and enhance physical test work.
 
3. Describe the principles of geometallurgy and explain its importance in reducing risk, summarise the latest innovations and trends in geometallurgy.
 
4. Explain the types of deposits which most benefit from a geometallurgical approach and describe how such an approach is developed into working practice.
 
5. Demonstrate knowledge of sampling, data handling and quality control techniques.

 

Discipline Specific Skills and Knowledge

6. Select and use appropriate computer based tools for analysis, design and communication of designs.

7. Select and use laboratory and field instrumentation appropriately and correctly.
 
8. Work safely in laboratory, workshop environments etc., and promote safe practice.

 

Personal and Key Transferable / Employment Skills and Knowledge

9. Obtain and process information from a wide range of sources, which may be conflicting, analyse it critically and apply this information in engineering applications.

10. Communicate effectively and persuasively using the full range of currently available methods.
 
11. Learn independently, plan and manage self-study time and tasks; accessing additional resources to provide sufficient independent study in support of the syllabus.
 
12. Work in a team, which may be multi-disciplinary.

 

SYLLABUS PLAN - summary of the structure and academic content of the module

The module is designed to create understanding of resource modelling by introducing:

  • circular economy principles
  • resource classification and reporting
  • stages of mine development
  • creation of a block model
  • compositing and declustering
  • descriptive statistics
  • classic estimation techniques
  • variography
  • kriging estimation
  • simulation

The module develops a focus on geometallurgy by covering:

  • resource stewardship as a guiding principle
  • techniques for geochemical and mineralogical analysis
  • resource modelling with geometallurgical properties
  • grouping of geometallurgical variables
  • regression linking geology and metallurgy
  • material handling
  • process modelling
  • product optimisation
  • sustainable development
  • case studies of selected commodities

The module provides a laboratory experience to build an appreciation of geometallurgical test work. Students will undertake a problem-based process mineralogy investigation, including designing a test programme, interpreting analytical data and completing experiments.


Health and safety engagement

The health and safety implications related to comminution, physical separation will be covered. This will include discussion of safe use of devices which produce ionising radiation, the dangers of working with different mineral types, controlling and handling of chemicals, safety aspects of industrial processes and safe lab practices.

 

LEARNING AND TEACHING
LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS (given in hours of study time)
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities 35.00 Guided Independent Study 120.00 Placement / Study Abroad 0.00
DETAILS OF LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS
Category Hours of study time Description
Scheduled learning and teaching activity 20 Lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching activity 15 Laboratory practicals
Guided independent study 120 Private Study

 

ASSESSMENT
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT - for feedback and development purposes; does not count towards module grade
Form of Assessment Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
       

 

SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT (% of credit)
Coursework 50 Written Exams 50 Practical Exams 0
DETAILS OF SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT
Form of Assessment % of Credit Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method

Coursework

25 4000 word equivalent 1-2, 5-11 Electronic or written
In class test 25 1 hour 1-5 Electronic or written
Examination 50 1.5 hours 1-4, 11 Personal tutor

 

DETAILS OF RE-ASSESSMENT (where required by referral or deferral)
Original Form of Assessment Form of Re-assessment ILOs Re-assessed Time Scale for Re-assessment
Coursework New assignment 1-2, 5-11 Ref/def period
In class test New test 1-5 Second half of term 2
Examination New examination 1-4, 11 Ref/def period

 

RE-ASSESSMENT NOTES
RESOURCES
INDICATIVE LEARNING RESOURCES - The following list is offered as an indication of the type & level of
information that you are expected to consult. Further guidance will be provided by the Module Convener

Basic reading:

ELE: http://vle.exeter.ac.uk/

 

Web based and Electronic Resources:

http://app.knovel.com/

 

Online version of 'Chemistry of Gold Extraction':

https://app.knovel.com/hotlink/toc/id:kpCGEE000D/chemistry-gold-extraction/chemistry-gold-extraction

 

Online version of 'Mineral Processing Plant Design, Practice and Control Proceeding':

https://app.knovel.com/hotlink/pdf/id:kt008LYW71/mineral-processing-plant/guiding-process-introduction

 

Online version of 'SME Mining Engineering Handbook - Quality Monitoring in Chemical Analysis':

https://app.knovel.com/hotlink/pdf/id:kt008JZ252/sme-mining-engineering/quality-monitoring-in

 

Online version of 'Wills' Mineral Processing Technology':

https://app.knovel.com/hotlink/pdf/id:kt00URXX21/wills-mineral-processing/geometallurgy

 

Other Resources:

 

Reading list for this module:

There are currently no reading list entries found for this module.

CREDIT VALUE 15 ECTS VALUE 7.5
PRE-REQUISITE MODULES None
CO-REQUISITE MODULES None
NQF LEVEL (FHEQ) 7 AVAILABLE AS DISTANCE LEARNING No
ORIGIN DATE Wednesday 18 December 2019 LAST REVISION DATE Friday 31 July 2020
KEY WORDS SEARCH Process mineralogy, geo-metallurgy, analytical techniques, QEMSCAN, chemistry, minerals, spatially resolved techniques, ore variability