15 February 2017: Summit Mining International, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation, has kick-started a Grade Engineering® Study on its Minera San Cristobal mine in Bolivia. An intensive regime of test work and trials has provided valuable data to make a rapid assessment of Grade Engineering® Screening opportunities.

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  CRC ORE has been working with the local Minera San Cristobal (MSC) team on their newly commenced Grade Engineering® study.

This article was published in CRC ORE News - February 2017

Grade Engineering at Minera San Cristobal, Bolivia

By Jon Rutter, Senior Mine Geologist

CRC ORE technical staff have recently returned from Bolivia where they spent close to two weeks on site at Minera San Cristobal (MSC), working with the local team to establish sound foundations for their newly commenced Grade Engineering® study. The Minera San Cristobal mine is located between 4000 and 4500m above sea level in the Bolivian High Plateau, and is operated by Summit Mining International, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation.

During the 12 days on site, CRC ORE technical specialists Michael Scott and David La Rosa worked closely with site personnel to rapidly define suitable Grade Engineering® target zones and kick off the site test work in earnest.

An integrated test work plan was finalised for the mine, with specific site requirements and constraints incorporated before site personnel hit the go button. During the visit, drill core samples, blast hole samples and bulk samples from the pit were collected and a Grade Engineering® analysis commenced.

Whilst on site, Michael and David worked closely with Senior Metallurgist Silvia Vidal and Senior Geologist Miguel Romano and were pleased that the first round of results were returned within just a few days. Initial bulk samples from the pit were also transported to a selected processing area and were crushed, split and sub sampled, ready for screening.
Due to a great effort by the MSC team, the first samples had been completely processed before the CRC ORE team left the site, and knowledge transfer of the process and methodology was left with operational personnel who are continuing the work.

MSC is planning to complete a program of around 150 preliminary lab scale tests, and 5 bulk sample tests within 4-6 weeks from commencement, with 95% of the work completed on site by current operational personnel.

This will provide valuable data to make a rapid assessment of Grade Engineering® Screening opportunities, when the results are incorporated into the mining schedule and business case analysis completed. The outcome will provide management the necessary information to assess the merits of proceeding to a concept study, or to conclude the current program.

The level of commitment displayed by MSC staff has been impressive and will facilitate the rapid turnaround of the project. In particular, CRC ORE recognises the commitment of David King and Mike Bunch from Summit Mining in getting the Grade Engineering® study off the ground, right through to MSC site personnel for their rapid uptake and assistance in completing the field test work and trials.
This will enable the value adding technology and decision making capability, to be evaluated by site, within a very short time frame.

 

The analysis to date has showed that differential blasting could be an important driver of Grade Engineering value for Escondida. The resultant induced and natural grade by size deportment demonstrated a positive NPV, with a payback period of six years. The differential blasting will now be ranked against other Grade Engineering opportunities.

 

In other CRC ORE news

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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.

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