Automation systems that save water and energy in mining will be presented at Automining

More than 40 presentations make up part of the technical programme of this Congress which will take place from 17 to 19 October in Viña del Mar and bring together important representatives from the mining industry around the world.

Water and energy supply shortages, and the high costs associated with each, have forced the mining industry to find the best ways to optimise their operations in the different stages of production. Within this framework, the contribution that automation is making in terms of savings will be an important topic at the 3rd International Congress on Automation in the Mining Industry- Automining 2012- which will take place from 17-19 October in Viña del Mar, Chile.

The work of Cesar Guzmán and Sebastian Rey can be highlighted as it addresses the sustained reduction of water and energy equivalent to 35 and 30%, respectively, through various automation and remote operation projects applied to tailings thickening and water recovery processes in Codelco’s El Teniente Division.

The presentation will address different initiatives that achieved such results, among which include the remote regulation and operation of tailings thickening valves and recovered water delivery systems as well as the measurement and control of tailings feed variables.

Moreover, Osvaldo Bascur and Curt Herlter of OSIsoft, USA, and Nelver Benavides from the Southern Peru Copper Corporation will present a work that deals with the specific reductions in energy and water. The article is focused on optimising mining to milling, as a change in the thinking that suggests rather than just processing tons, one should think about the correct amount to process. This reduces operating costs and adds value to the process.

Through a case study (mining to milling), the authors integrated process control data and quality of information that results in less water and energy consumption.

Over a period of more than 8 months, the results of the reengineering of the current system resulted in an increase in milling ore processed by 4.6%, a decrease in power used by the mill by 3.9% and a decrease in the amount of fresh water used by 6.8%.

The Automining congress, organised by Gecamin and the Department of Mine Engineering at the University of British Columbia, will consist of 40 presentations from 15 countries. The keynote presentation at the Inauguration Ceremony is entitled “Automation and robotics: Motors of the mining of the future”, given by Marco Orellana, Information Technology and Automation Manager at Codelco and President of the Congress.