Mining and Minerals Engineering

CSMM445 - Geometallurgy and Resource Modelling (2020)

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MODULE TITLEGeometallurgy and Resource Modelling CREDIT VALUE15
MODULE CODECSMM445 MODULE CONVENERProf Hylke J Glass (Coordinator)
DURATION: TERM 1 2 3
DURATION: WEEKS 5
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.
 
Support and guidance in self-study to improve understanding in these areas can be provided. This module is suitable for non-specialist students and those on interdisciplinary pathways.
 
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 geochemical and mineralogical analytical techniques.
 
2. Understand how strategic geometallurgy reduces project risk and how tactical geometallurgy optimises extraction.
 
3. Create grouping of geometallurgical variables using clustering techniques.
 
4. Estimate geometallurgical variables into a block model using geostatistical techniques.
 
5. Perform time-dependent integrated modelling of resource, ore extraction and mineral processing.
 
Discipline Specific Skills and Knowledge
 
6. Select and use appropriate computer-based tools for analysis, design and communication of geometallurgical programmes.
 
7. Work safely in laboratory, workshop environments etc., and promote safe practice.
 
8. Develop an appreciation of resource stewardship in the context of sustainable development.
 
9. Knowledge and understanding of management and business practices, their limitations, and how these may be applied in the context of minerals processing.
 
10. Understanding of different roles within an engineering team at a mine site and the ability to exercise initiative and personal responsibility, which may be as a team member or leader.
 
Personal and Key Transferable / Employment Skills and Knowledge
 
11. Obtain and process information from a wide range of sources, which may be conflicting, analyse it critically and apply this information in engineering applications.
 
12. Communicate effectively and persuasively using the full range of currently available methods.
 
13. Learn independently, plan and manage self-study time and tasks; accessing additional resources to provide sufficient independent study in support of the syllabus.
 
14. Apply their skills in problem solving, communication, information retrieval, working with others, and the effective use of general IT facilities.
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 geometallurgy 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
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

SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT (% of credit)
Coursework 50 Written Exams 50 Practical Exams
DETAILS OF SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT
Form of Assessment % of Credit Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Coursework 25 4,000 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

 

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 Friday 31 July 2020 LAST REVISION DATE Wednesday 09 September 2020
KEY WORDS SEARCH Process mineralogy, geo-metallurgy, analytical techniques, QEMSCAN, chemistry, minerals, spatially resolved techniques, ore variability