26 September 2017: Several thought-provoking new papers have been published recently.


This article was published in CRC ORE News - September 2017

Latest publications


Click here to see an up-to-date listing of CRC ORE published papers. This includes journal articles and conference papers.




This article was published in CRC ORE News - November 2016

Latest publications

30 October 2016: Several thought-provoking new papers have been published recently.

- ‘Value driven methodology to assess risk and operating robustness for Grade Engineering® strategies by means of stochastic optimisation’.
- ‘Managing uncertainty in a Grade Engineering® industrial pilot trial’.
- ‘Application of Enterprise Optimisation Considering Grade Engineering® Strategies’.
- Also included is the abstract of a thesis submitted for assessment by PhD student, Cristián Carrasco.

Assessing risk and operating robustness for Grade Engineering® strategies

October 2016: The introduction of new value-adding technology onto a mine site, brings with it an additional layer of complexity. A new paper published in Minerals Engineering demonstrates how the complexities associated with size based Grade Engineering® are being managed for effective operational deployment.

The paper is based on a case study of the introduction of two size based Grade Engineering® levers on a large open cut copper porphyry deposit. It looks at management strategies deployed during implementation and demonstrates that size-based Grade Engineering® is a robust operating option that can effectively deliver significant improvements in unit metal productivity.

The paper was authored by CRC ORE’s Process Engineer, Cristián Carrasco, and General Manager – Implementation, Dr Luke Keeney, Dr Michael Scott, Project Evaluation Specialist, together with Prof Timothy Napier-Munn of Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (JKMRC).

A copy of the paper entitled Value driven methodology to assess risk and operating robustness for grade engineering strategies by means of stochastic optimisation is available by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Managing uncertainty in a Grade Engineering® pilot trial

October 2016: A new paper on the concept of managing uncertainty has been published, presenting a methodology to identify, quantify and assess the different sources of uncertainty within a Grade Engineering® (GE) trial.

Published in the Minerals Engineering Journal, the paper presents a novel approach to aid the optimisation and development of coarse separation control strategies through the understanding of the extent, variability and uncertainty of metal deportment inputs.

The paper was authored by CRC ORE’s Process Engineer, Cristián Carrasco, and General Manager – Implementation, Dr Luke Keeney, together with Prof Timothy Napier-Munn of Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (JKMRC) and Dr Dominique François-Bongarçon of AGORATEK International Consultants Inc, Canada.

A copy of the paper entitled Managing uncertainty in a Grade Engineering industrial pilot trial is available by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Enterprise Optimisation Considering Grade Engineering® Strategies

5 September 2016: CRC ORE and Whittle Consulting have published a study on enterprise optimisation using Grade Engineering® strategies, which is now available for download.

The synergy between Grade Engineering® principles and Enterprise Optimisation was assessed through a case study that examined potential Grade Engineering® techniques using advanced modelling across the entire value chain, in a hypothetical, but realistic, mining operation.

With the publishing of this study, the collaborators demonstrate the ability of Enterprise Optimisation approaches to evaluate and fully value the principles of Grade Engineering® coarse-separation techniques. The case study examines potential responses for three coarse separation techniques across different domains in a hypothetical, but realistic, mineralised deposit underpinned by CRC ORE’s historical work with actual operations. The results from this work provides a basis for understanding the value of collaborations in Grade Engineering®, strategic mine planning and operational optimisation, with the support of mining operations and projects.

A copy of the paper can be downloaded here.


  CRC ORE PhD student Cristián Carrasco has submitted his thesis to the Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (JKMRC) for assessment.

Cristián Carrasco submits PhD thesis

30 September 2016: CRC ORE PhD student, Cristián Carrasco, recently submitted his thesis for assessment. His paper concentrates on mining engineering and process/production control and simulation. The abstract of his thesis is below.

Abstract: Integrated Assessment to Quantify Size Based Grade Engineering Operating Strategies and Economic Impacts, Cristian Carrasco.

The global mining industry is focused on improving unit metal productivity and energy efficiency to fulfil increasing demand for natural resources. These are currently being impacted by the dramatic decrease in average grade of mine ore bodies. Lower head grades require greater comminution and grinding energy intensity to achieve the liberation target required for downstream processes. Size based Grade Engineering® aims to increase feed grades by removing low grade uneconomic material through screening prior to energy intensive grinding. Two size based strategies are assessed in an open cut Cu-porphyry deposit in the current study: preferential grade by size deportment and differential blasting for grade. The former refers to a natural based rock phenomena whereby a significant metal proportion preferentially deports into specific size fractions after breakage. Differential blasting aims to change blast product fragmentation to induce grade by size deportment through the exploitation of spatial grade heterogeneity. This characteristic relates the presence of high and low grade areas within a certain production volume originally assigned to a single processing destination based on its average grade. These size based separation drivers are subsequently exploited through a Grade Engineering® circuit. This comprises a set of screens and crushers, with a configuration and operating settings defined a Grade Engineering® recipe.

While assessments at a strategic level indicate that application of size based Grade Engineering® strategies are able to add significant value over the life of mine, the effective deployment of these techniques at production level present significant challenges to the standard operating philosophy. The additional operating flexibility driven by the ability of dynamically exploiting size based levers through the appropriate Grade Engineering recipe need to be properly managed. This ensures that size based Grade Engineering® benefits can be achieved at the production environment. An integrated value driven methodology has been developed to manage complexity incurred by the dynamic approach by incorporation in process models coupled with stochastic optimisation. This allows the optimum Grade Engineering® recipe to be determined maximising the value per unit of time that can be drawn from a production volume. This framework addressed two fundamental characteristics pertaining to production scale evaluations. Firstly the non-linear interaction between rock based attributes and operating parameters through the integration of JKMRC performance models within the Grade Engineering® circuit. Secondly, the presence of inherent process uncertainty and its impact in process optimisation. The introduction of uncertainty in the stochastic optimisation problem enables the assessment of risk and operating robustness, both essential in robust decision-making processes.

This was achieved by integrating multiple and diverse methodologies developed in this thesis, encompassing:

  • The development and application of a mathematical model to describe preferential grade by size deportment through a response ranking (RR). This parameter has been extensively employed to characterise the aforementioned phenomenon across different geological style deposits (i.e. stock work vein hosted, Cu breccia porphyry and Cu volcanic porphyry) and sample size scales (i.e. drill core and ROM samples) described in this work.
  • First order assessment of operating impact associated with exploitation of preferential grade by size deportment through a novel visualisation method. This clearly reveals that size based separation opportunity is not merely a function of RR magnitude but also relies on head grade, proportion of material upgraded in the undersize (i.e. referred as mass pull) and defined material processing destination.
  • The development of a coarse liberation model to integrate RR into equipment performance models, essential in process optimisation. This allows to take into account the interaction between particle size distribution and RR. This approach comprised extensive ROM sample characterisation through a novel preferential grade by size characterisation test and sophisticated data analysis techniques.
  • The derived attributes pertaining to preferential grade by size validation at industrial scale were employed to characterise the likely production uncertainties associated with an eventual Grade Engineering® application. A linkage between RR values and inherent geological variability can be determined. Information gathered during the trial also provided inputs in the further stochastic optimisation assessment.
  • The assessment of the impact of modified mill feed particle size distribution due to application of Grade Engineering® strategy through simulation. This was achieved by employing a factorial design approach coupled with mass simulation capabilities embedded within the Integrated Extraction Simulator (IES), a new cloud based process simulator.
  • A stochastic optimisation methodology encompassing application of the simple average approximation technique coupled with a customised genetic algorithm. This enables the appraisement of impact from changes in available mill capacity upon value drawn from optimised Grade Engineering® recipe. An operating robustness factor was developed to mimic relationship between maximised value and confidence level of achieving a defined operating constraint.

Interactions between the two distinctive size based strategies as well as synergies with throughput based approaches (i.e. Mine to mill) can be simultaneously assessed from value, risk and operating robustness perspective.


New paper on coarse liberation released

12 December 2015: A new paper on the concept of ‘Coarse Liberation’ has been published, highlighting a novel test work and data analysis approach to develop a statistically robust coarse liberation model by using grade by size information across different geological deposit styles.

The thought leading paper was the result of extensive analysis, including bulk samples from three different geological style deposits, which has provided useful insights into developing an optimum coarse separation circuit flowsheet design for pre-concentration prior to energy intensive and inefficient grinding.

Authored by CRC ORE’s Process Engineer, Cristián Carrasco, and General Manager – Implementation, Luke Keeney, together with Timothy Napier-Munn of Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (JKMRC), a copy of the paper entitled Methodology to develop a coarse liberation model based on preferential grade by size responses is available by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


In other CRC ORE news

News - Latest

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  • Annual Assembly 2018: Photos now available - presentations currently being added

    This year's Annual Assembly was held in Brisbane on 20 November 2018 at Brisbane City Hall. Essential Participants of CRC ORE also joined us for the member-only CRC ORE Implementation Council meeting the following day.

    •  Tuesday, 20 November 2018 CRC ORE Annual Assembly (8.30am-4:30pm, followed by canapes to 6.30pm)
    •  Wednesday, 21 November 2018 CRC ORE Implementation Council - CRC ORE Essential Participants only (8.30am-4:30pm)


    aa 18 new


    CRC ORE Annual Assembly 2018
    20 November 2018
    Brisbane City Hall, Brisbane 

    It has been a significant year of activity and outcomes for CRC ORE as we approach the mid-way point of our funding term. This year’s Assembly featured leaders from across CRC ORE's Essential Participant group who took to the stage providing insights on industry issues and discussing their experiences on active CRC ORE projects and site implementation studies. This year's line up also featured several eminent mining and research industry guest speakers.




    08:00 am

    Arrival tea, coffee and registration



    08:45 am

    Welcome address

    pdf icon small Download presentation

    Headshot round Jon

    Mr. Jon Loraine,



    09:00 am

    Crossing the great divide –
    balancing imagination and application in research

    pdf icon small Download presentation

    Headshot round Robin

    Prof. Robin Batterham AO,
    Kernot Professor of
    University of Melbourne

    09:20 am

    Industry perspective:
    BHP's open innovation program

    Spoke without a presentation deck

    Headshot round Cleve

    Mr. Cleve Lightfoot,
    Head of Innovation,

    09:45 am

    The role of government in supporting
    reform & innovation in the resources industry

    pdf icon small Download presentation

    Headshot round Erica

    Ms. Erica Smyth
    Non-Executive Director
    and Chairman


    10:15 am

    Morning tea & student poster session





    10:45 am

    Managing innovation for sustainable change

    pdf icon small Download presentation

    Headshot round Keith Mayhew

    Keith Mayhew,
    Manager, Technology and Innovation, Teck


    Supporting research collaboration - 
    connecting the dots between insight and adoption

    pdf icon small Download presentation

    Headshot round Vaghan New

    Vaughan Chamberlain,
    Senior Vice President:
    Strategic Technical Group,
    AngloGold Ashanti


    Collaboration works:
    Orica’s perspective

    pdf icon small Download presentation

    Headshot round Angus

    Angus Melbourne,
    Chief Commercial
    Officer, Orica

    12:00 pm

    From the desktop to the bench. 
    Early insights from the Grade Engineering production trial

    pdf icon small Download presentation

    Headshot round Luke

    Dr. Luke Keeney,
    General Manager –


    12:30 pm

    Lunch & student poster session




    01:30 pm

    The journey to successful technology.
    Implementation in Mining – experience from BHP IROC

    Headshot round Michelle

    Ms. Michelle Elvy,
    Head of Integrated
    Operations, BHP,
    Minerals Australia

    01:55 pm

    How do successful research programs fit industry need?

    · The sensor story - what we have learnt so far

    · Understanding heterogeneity

    · Connecting our programs to new areas of interest

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    Headshot round Paul

    Mr. Paul Revell,
    General Manager –
    Research & Innovation,


    02:30 pm

    Afternoon tea & student poster session





    03:00 pm

    Industry insights:
    Making technology pay – Hatch perspectives

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    Headshot round Jan supplied

    Mr. Jan Kwak,
    Managing Director,
    Hatch Australia-Asia

    03:25 pm

    Panel discussion:
    Inspiration to commercialisation:
    Maximising impact for industry

    Panel spoke without a presentation deck


    Miner: Mike Hourn,Glencore
    Startup METS: Christian Larsen, Glass Terra
    Established METS: Michelle Carey, IMDEX
    Researcher: Prof. Robin Batterham AO, Kernot Professor of
    Engineering, University of Melbourne

    04:10 pm

    Our path to delivering impact:
    Review of CRC ORE 2017/18
    and focus for next 12 months

    pdf icon small Download presentation

    Headshot round Ben

    Dr. Ben Adair,

    04:30 pm

    Student poster award presentation

    pdf icon small Download presentation

     Headshot round Sue

    Dr. Sue Keay,

    04:40 pm


    Headshot round Jon

    Mr. Jon Loraine,


    04:45 pm

    Canapes & networking until 6.30 pm



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  • 20 September 2018: A new site project (P5-044) is on track to deliver better options for grade control and accurate metal reconciliation.

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  • 15 September 2018: CRC ORE recently published nine new project snapshots.

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  • 1 September 2018: This month we meet University of Newcastle PdD student, Callan Lowes. Callan is completing important research for CRC ORE’s Program 3: Extract (P3-005) being run through Curtin University. This research is being undertaken as part of the AMIRA P420F Gold project.

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  • 12 June 2018: A new online tool, GE.View, is giving the Western Australian minerals industry the power to assess and rank opportunities for increased productivity via application of Grade Engineering® on a deposit-by-deposit basis from their own or public domain data.

    The development of the innovative tool was led by the Cooperative Research Centre for Optimising Resource Extraction (CRC ORE). It was developed with support from the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia.

    The tool is being made freely available to the industry by CRC ORE as part of its commitment to delivering significant economic opportunities for the Australian minerals industry.

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  • Line-up of key mining events coming up in 2018

    There are a host of mining related events coming up. Following is a list of key events that CRC ORE will be keenly involved with, either in a presenting capacity or supporting as a sponsor. Wherever possible, CRC ORE supports a collaborative approach to events as we have found more penetrative engagement in teaming up with our Participants.

    Read More

News - Publications

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News - Grade Engineering

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News - IES

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News - Collaboration

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News - CRC ORE updates

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  • 24 January 2018: CRC ORE has been involved in a number of high profile events in recent months. Read more about CRC ORE’s Annual Assembly line up and a successful site-based innovation leadership talk with Sumitomo at IMARC2017. CRC ORE also cooperated with METS Ignited to organise an initial consultation session for the consideration of a new CRC for the mining industry at IMARC. A couple of short courses were held – one on Geometallurgy in Tasmania and the respected Gold Plant Operators Course which was run in Kalgoorlie late last year.

    We are in the process of putting together the schedule for the coming year. Stay tuned for a listing of upcoming events in the next edition.

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  • 5 April 2018: CRC ORE's Grade Engineering modelling programs have been strengthened over the summer thanks to the work of four motivated students who joined CRC ORE for our inaugural vacation intern program. Alex Perera, James Bamford, and Jacob Rogers joined us from The University of Queensland (UQ). Samantha Maslin joined us from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with the support of Austmine via its women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) initiative. Hear more about their work by clicking on the video below.

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  • 21 November 2017: The photos and presentations from this year's CRC ORE Annual Assembly have been added to our website.

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  • 30 June 2017: Two of CRC ORE’s Board Members have been recognised for excellence in their chosen fields in recent months. Dr Sue Keay has just been named one of Australia’s first Superstars of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). This follows news that Joe Pease has been recognised in two prestigious mining industry awards. Also in recent months, CRC ORE was awarded a high commendation for an “exceptional paper demonstrating excellence” in the CEEC Medal 2017 round.

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  • 30 November 2016: For presentations, photos and the wrap up of the 2016 Assembly, read on.

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  • 15 February 2016: Forward thinkers of the mining industry came together at the start of the year to celebrate the official launch of a second phase for the highly successful CRC ORE.

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  • 2 November 2015: The Directors of CRC ORE are very pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Ben Adair as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Australian mining innovation hub, CRC ORE Limited.

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  • 6 October 2015: The CRC ORE team has moved to CSIRO's Queensland Centre for Advanced Technologies (QCAT) in Pullenvale, Brisbane.

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  • 26 May 2015:  CRC ORE is set to be funded for a second six year term with the Australian Government flagging $34.45 million to support vital ongoing work in improving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the minerals extraction industry.

    Read More


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