BHP hires CRC ORE for Olympic Dam bulk ore sorting

BHP's Olympic Dam mine in South Australia. Source: BHP

BHP has selected the Cooperative Research Centre for Optimising Resource Extraction (CRC ORE) to provide bulk ore sorting and sensing expertise at the Olympic Dam mine in South Australia.

CRC has developed a high-level bulk ore sorting deployment strategy, plus a framework and calculator to quantify bulk ore sorting strategies at Olympic Dam.

BHP principal technology Lee Bolden said CRC ORE would unlock insight into the bulk ore sorting operations at Olympic Dam.

“It made sense for us to have CRC ORE provide us with valuable insights on this work and input into our bulk ore sorting plans,” Bolden said.

CRC ORE’s central solution is its grade engineering preconcentration technologies, which enable more efficient extraction of metal by separating ore from waste before comminution.

Grade engineering also compares the net value of removing lower value parts of a feed streams.

Critical works to enhance the evaluation of bulk ore sorting was also identified by CRC ore at Olympic Dam.

“We explored sublevel open stoping under the current mining environment, along with block caving as part of future-state mining options,” CRC ORE chief operating officer Luke Keeney said.

“With the need for valuable minerals continuing to grow and mining these minerals becoming ever more difficult, mine operators need to think differently.

“Bulk ore sorting, and other grade engineering opportunities become increasingly competitive and complementary solutions where mined grades decline and mining dilution increases.”

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