Electrochemical corrosion is the most common source of plant downtime in the Chemical Processing Industries (CPI); in the Province of Saskatchewan, the Mining Industry plays a very significant role in CPI. Mineral processing plants handle electrolytic and abrasive materials that can cause very significant structural damage due to electrochemical corrosion and wear.
Aluminium smelter are energy intensive and not particularly energy efficient, as most of the energy required to produce aluminium is lost along the production line. This is the reason why it is mandatory to perform a detailed analysis of the thermal wastes produced in these factories. The main objective of this project is to investigate the solutions to recover the thermal wastes and to convert them into useful power.
Goldcorp recently announced a new initiative referred to as H2zero with the goal of reducing water usage in their mining operations by 80 to 100%. Mineral processing and specifically comminution and mineral separation are the main consumers of water. This research focuses on dry comminution technologies and represents a first step towards advancing dry comminution as part of a longer term goal and research intersect. A literature review will be conducted to compile information about existing and novel dry comminution technologies.
One of the major issues facing potash mining in Saskatchewan is the potential for water to enter
the mine from water-bearing rocks above mining operations. Rocks near-mine are normally
considered dry and low risk. However, under some conditions, in localized areas, there is the
potential for unsaturated water to have been introduced into the rock formations near the potash
Over the past 25 years researchers at the UBC Geophysical Inversion Facility (GIF) have generated forward modelling and inversion codes that deal with most types of data of interest to a consortium of mining companies. This proposal moves the research to applications in their corporate environments, and to advance the tools and understanding about how to use the research to date in an efficient manner to extract maximum information from their geophysical data. GIFtools, the computing software for carrying out advanced inversion, was developed for this purpose.
Recently at one of its mines, the partner has experienced a period of unprecedented production. Through its automated production data gathering systems, huge volumes of data are generated on a moment by moment basis at the mine. The goal of this project is to see whether data from this period hold an understanding of the root factors that led to the high production levels and indicate best practices to be implemented on an ongoing basis. This is a big data analytics project. The project will involve applying data and advanced business analytics approaches to analyze the mines production data.
This project will combine filtration characterization and advanced 3D imaging and modelling of material structures to find ways to improve the recovery of process water from difficult-to-treat tailings that are the by-product of mining and mineral processing. This process is called solid-liquid separation and it is a critical area for the reduction of oil sands tailings volumes. Due to the chemistry and solids composition of oil sands tailings, they are extremely resistant to dewatering.
Since energy is the major concern in current and future mining operations, energy efficient technologies are a major focus for research and development. The CAHM machine was developed based on principals of energy efficient particle breakage by compression. The machine design was based on computer simulation and modeling results indicate the potential to reduce comminution energy requirements by 50% as compared to present technologies. CAHM simulations show that the technology can achieve high reduction ratios, consuming less specific power, which translates into energy efficient operation.
Cu and Ni minerals that have great economic value mostly exist in the form of sulfides, making them difficult to extract using hydrometallurgical processes. Currently, heap leaching is the most economical way to extract these metals from low grade ores. Copper recoveries of many chalcocite heap leaches report around 70% copper recovery. However, the chalcocite leaching reaction has several stages. The first stage leach is characterized by 50% copper extraction and the conversion of chalcocite into a second stage of covellite (CuS) which is very difficult to leach at ambient temperature.
Bio-heap-leaching is a hydrometallurgical process used to process low grade chalcopyrite ore as the cost of alternative routes of processing and refining are not economically viable. The limitation however of the heap leaching process is the long time it takes to leach the metal and the low total recovery that can be achieved. As heap leaching being a large scale atmospheric leaching process, neither temperature nor pressure can be changed.