Improved Recovery, Reliability and Efficiency through Advanced Process Control – Proven Results


Mr Devin Marshman (Advanced Process Control Engineer - Spartan Controls)

Advanced control and optimization tools and techniques have seen limited historical acceptance in the mining and mineral processing industries. SAG mills and rotary dryer advanced control applications are not uncommon, and advanced flotation and reagent mixing advanced control strategies are beginning to be used by early adopters, but the rest of the processing facility operation is often manually set, monitored, and controlled by operators at the lowest possible level of automation. Due to the low baseline of existing automation combined with the ultimate impact on product recovery and energy efficiency of these often-ignored applications, the payback of these projects can be extremely attractive. Spartan Controls has recently partnered with various mining facilities across Western Canada to implement a variety of highly successful advanced control and optimization applications. Some of these mining facilities include a copper mill in British Columbia, a number of potash facilities in Saskatchewan, and a variety of oil sands surface mining operations in Alberta. This paper provides a survey of industry-tested applications and their payback in the mining and mineral processing industries.