Sensor based ore sorting has been identified by CMIC members as a technology that could disrupt the mining industry. CMIC was asked by its members to develop a proposal to create a multi-commodity mining company led consortium. This group would share advances, share risks and ultimately aim to focus sensor and sorting companies to address common issues across the mining sector to enable larger scale adoption of a technology that has proven invaluable in other industries.
CMIC also recognizes that significant advances have been realized by several of its member companies working independently and in a small mining company only consortium. The expectation of this collaboration is to have transformational solutions to these industry challenges that would span the diverse commodities of the participating partners (ie. Gold, Base metals and Oil Sands).
It appears to CMIC that the future of ore sorting is about companies collaborating with people having skills in electromagnetic sensors (all kinds), image analysis, large scale computing systems, automation as well as bulk rock flow/material handling and of course mineralogy.
The purpose of this consortium is to share experiences, identify gaps and ultimately align sensor and sorter vendors / technology developers to accelerate the implementation of ore sorting solutions (within next 2-3 years) that respond to the mining industry’s greatest challenges. This sharing of experiences will enable consortium partners to adopt and implement sorting/sensing solutions faster and have new technologies available for adoption in a much shorter time frame than is currently feasible. The consortium will also drive a new paradigm in relationships with vendors from a buy-sell transactional approach to a co-development model prevalent in many other industries globally.
Expected outcomes and benefits
- To leverage existing knowledge (applications, sensors, systems, machine vision, etc…) to establish what works and what doesn’t and what needs to be done to make it work. As outlined in Appendix II the benefits of collaboration (Collaboration Readiness Level) can extend beyond the current project scope.
- To identify gaps that require augmentation in order to effectively implement Sensor Based Ore sorting technologies
- Provide a clear picture / methodology of where and how-to best use Sensor Based Ore Sorting technologies and identify when and where it is most effective and ineffective.
- Provide quantitative examples of how Sensor Based Ore Sorting can be used effectively to generate value and corollary where it has failed to perform.
- Provide quantitative examples of best practices for taking advantage of material heterogeneity.