CMIC Project Update: Sensor-Based Ore Sorting

CMIC members have identified sensor-based ore sorting as a technology that could disrupt the mining industry given its potential to reduce energy consumption and water use, increase metal recoveries and lower tailings footprint.

As technologies advance, sensor-based ore sorting has been deployed with increased success over the past few years. Still, there are many examples of projects that did not generate the expected value for various reasons. 

“Sorting technologies currently exist and are being used in other industries. Mining represents an opportunity for expansion, but the vendors have to know there is a well-defined economic opportunity. Our task is to communicate the potential offered by a commercial, reliable mining scale version of their equipment.”

Trevor Kelly, CMIC Innovation Manager for mining Tweet

CMIC is leading this multi-commodity consortium to understand and address common issues across the mining sector, ultimately resulting in the larger-scale adoption of a technology that has proven invaluable in other industries. The team includes nine companies from Canada and abroad, including precious metal, base metal and oil sands mining companies.

As part of the technology identification and evaluation efforts, CMIC worked with Newlab. Check out our recent post to learn more about Newlab and our partnership.

The first phase of this project involved sharing experiences and identifying gaps, followed by engagement with known and new vendors to understand where their developments are heading and their willingness to co-create.

“It was our hope that consortium members would open up to describe their successes and failures. We were pleasantly surprised by the experiences these nine companies had and how willing they were to share.”

Gillian Holcroft, CMIC Innovation Manager Tweet

This level setting process identified five main project themes. The next phase is to develop the scope of projects to address these themes. This phase will include the following outcomes:

    • Provide a well-defined methodology of where and how sensor-based ore sorting technologies can be effectively deployed.
    • Provide quantitative examples of how sensor-based ore sorting can effectively generate value.
    • Provide quantitative examples of best practices for taking advantage of material heterogeneity.

As with all CMIC led projects, it is never too late to get involved. Let us know if you want to join the team!

Read more about this project on the sensor-based ore sorting project page.

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