05 January 2018
As part of our FutureSmart MiningTM approach to innovation and sustainability, we have developed four aspirational concepts that we are working to achieve. In this article, we take a look at the Concentrated Mine…
Picture a mine that precisely targets the 5% of mineral or metal, without processing the 95% of waste rock to get to it – with all its associated costs, energy and water usage. Even the richest copper ore bodies in the world have a ratio of copper to ore of 5:100, with the average being less than 1:100, yet the industry processes the 100% to get to the metal.
One of the greatest challenges facing the mining industry today is how to maximise output (the ratio of metal to ore) while minimising operating and capital costs and our environmental footprint. This challenge becomes an imperative in an environment of economic uncertainty, water and energy scarcity, and declining ore grades. We urgently need step-change innovation in order to drive cost- and performance improvements, along with a more sustainable approach to mining, specifically with regard to water and energy use.
Through FutureSmart MiningTM, our innovation-led approach to sustainable mining, we have pioneered a fully integrated mining-systems approach to extract more metal, with less waste.