Sandvik joins CEEC organization to collaborate in comminution eco-efficiency
Sandvik has joined the Coalition for Energy-Efficient Comminution (CEEC), an organization established by the mining industry, for the mining industry, to support knowledge sharing and change in an area of high energy consumption.
The mining sector is an energy intensive industry and almost half of this energy is consumed by the comminution process: size reduction to liberate the valued minerals for subsequent processing/beneficiation stages. Attempts have been made to reduce the amount of the energy consumed in comminution by setting up energy efficient comminution circuits. CEEC has made efforts to increase the rate at which more energy efficient comminution data sets, processes and technologies are developed, demonstrated, shared and applied. This is expected to contribute directly to the industry’s target of reducing the energy needed in comminution, protect the environment, and reduce operational costs while delivering shareholder value.
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“By being a part of the CEEC organization, our objective is to take an even more active role in supporting and developing eco-efficient comminution solutions for our mining customers globally and to collaborate with other CEEC’s sponsors towards sustainability,” said Hamid-Reza Manouchehri, Global Manager, Process Intelligence and Development, Sandvik Mining.
“Our sponsorship will also facilitate closer collaboration among different manufacturers and academics towards sustainability."
Comminution is the process in which ores/rocks are reduced in size by blasting, crushers and mills and other related equipment to liberate valued minerals for beneficiation stage. As mining’s major energy consumer, comminution has long been the main focus for sustainability. Sustainability in comminution, in particular its energy efficiency, has been the subject of several research, development and innovative projects worldwide.
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Billions of tons of ores, cement and aggregates are comminuted annually due to the increasing demand for sustainable development. To meet the rapid growth in demand, significant advances have occurred in the design and construction of equipment, mainly due to improvement in energy and materials technologies that must be adapted specifically for the comminution process.
“As a leading supplier to the mining industry we offer safe, reliable and productive solutions to support the sustainable development of the industry,” Manouchehri said.
“As the comminution arm of Sandvik Mining, I believe Sandvik crushing and screening has a lot of knowledge, experience and R&D heritage to strongly contribute in improving energy efficiency in comminution. CEEC is an ideal platform to share the knowledge, ideas and experience.”
Codelco partners with Microsoft to extend digitisation
Chile's Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, has announced a deal with tech giant Microsoft to fast-track the digitisation of its sprawling mining operations, helping it extend automation and improve analytics.
The joint project with Microsoft will beef up the company's capacity to make its production processes more efficient and promote "sustainability" within its operations, Codelco said in a statement.
Codelco, like many Chilean miners, has fought in recent years to adopt new technologies to boost efficiency and keep down costs at its aging deposits, many of which suffer from declining ore grades.
"We are promoting profound changes so that different areas operate in a completely remote and automated way, reducing risks, improving productivity, safety and reliability of our operation," said company executive Alvaro Garcia.
Mining companies worldwide are pushing forward with plans to operate mines remotely, reducing the risk of accidents and boosting efficiency.
Codelco’s move towards automation however has led to confrontations with unions, who see it as a threat to their livelihoods. The company said the project with Microsoft will include a training component for the its workers.
The state-run miner has recently ramped up its use of technology to ensure its copper is 100% traceable, a vital step in reducing its carbon footprint and boosting sustainability within its operations.
Codelco’s CEO Octavio Araneda said that tracing copper through its mines would help the company more precisely measure progress on its social and environmental goals while providing proof to increasingly demanding customers of those efforts.
“We can now say that 100% of our products are traced…which will allow us to have a very strong transparency regarding our resource use footprint,” Araneda said.
The announcement comes amid a broader push by the company to reduce water consumption, recycle industrial waste and scale back carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.
Codelco said in a webinar that the tool it has developed to assure traceability will help assure those sustainability targets are met.
Soaring demand for electric vehicles, a key component in the global fight against climate change, has increased attention on the carbon footprint and sustainability of inputs such as copper, cobalt and lithium.