Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/rss.php?pid=0038-223X20120005&lang=en vol. 112 num. 5 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.za http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2012000500001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2012000500002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en <![CDATA[<b>Predicting the compressive and tensile strength of rocks from indentation hardness index</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2012000500003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The prediction of rock properties from indirect testing methods is important, particularly for preliminary investigations since indirect tests are easier and cheaper than the direct tests. In this study, we investigate the predictability of the uniaxial compressive strength (UCS) and Brazilian tensile strength (BTS) of rocks from the indentation hardness index (IHI) obtained using point load apparatus. Forty-six different rock types, 14 of which were igneous, 15 were metamorphic, and 17 were sedimentary were tested in the laboratory. The UCS and BTS values were correlated with the corresponding IHIvalues and the results were statistically analysed. The influence of rock classes on the relationships was also investigated. A strong correlation between UCS and IHI was found for all data. The correlation between BTS and IHI is not as strong as the correlation between UCS and IHI. However, it is in the acceptable limits. When the regression analyses were repeated for igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, the correlation coefficients were generally increased. The results show the UCS and BTS can be estimated from IHI. In addition, the effect of rock classes on the relationships between IHI and both UCS and BTS is important. <![CDATA[<b>Feasibility study on triboelectrostatic concentration of < 105 µm phosphate ore</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2012000500004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Fine phosphate feed is considered to be slime and normally disposed of as a discard in settling ponds or dumped as landfill. The purpose of this research was to establish whether commercially acceptable qualities and yields could be obtained from this material using dry separation methods. The results obtained from the electrostatic separation of <105 µm phosphate ore are presented. An existing separator was upgraded in order to improve on product and flotation concentrate recovery, to test different mineral, and to reduce particle residence time between the charging chamber and the separating zone of the separator. The operating conditions were varied according to the charges imparted to the particles in the electric field, and according to other device parameters. Parameters such as splitter position, charge reversal, rotation speed, charging voltage and separating voltage. The <105 µm phosphate feed was concentrated under both triboelectrification and inductive charging. The use of inductive charging and charge reversal resulted in a significant increase in grade for <105 µm phosphate feed, with the P2O5 grade increasing from about 12 per cent to 20.50 per cent, and a recovery of 26.30 per cent under a single stage of separation. It was found that better separation was achieved at rotation speed of 6000 r/min, -8 kV charging voltage, and 25 kV separating voltage. <![CDATA[<b>Treatment of Cr(VI)-containing wastes in the South African ferrochrome industry - a review of currently applied methods</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2012000500005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en South Africa holds approximately three-quarters of the world's viable chromite ore resources and dominates the global production of ferrochrome. Albeit completely unintended, small amounts of Cr(VI) are formed during ferrochrome production. Certain Cr(VI) species are regarded as carcinogenic, hence making the treatment of some ferrochrome waste materials necessary. In this paper, the Cr(VI) treatment strategies currently employed by the South African ferrochrome producers are investigated by means of a literature review and a questionnaire survey. From the discussion, it is evident that various treatment strategies are available to deal with Cr(VI)-containing waste in the ferrochrome industry. However, by far the most commonly applied treatment strategy remains the aqueous reduction of Cr(VI) with ferrous iron. The advantages and the correct application of this strategy, together with the disadvantages and pitfalls, are argued. Innovative improvements on historic practices are also discussed <![CDATA[<b>Multivariate resource modelling for assessing uncertainty in mine design and mine planning</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2012000500006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This paper shows, through a case study, the impact of multivariate grade modelling upon mine design and mine planning. A deposit explored by drill holes is considered, in which the grades of five elements (copper, silver, molybdenum, arsenic, and antimony) are of interest. Forty alternative models of the deposit are constructed by fitting the joint correlation structure of the grade variables and using conditional cosimulation. In addition, a reference model, obtained by averaging the alternative models, is also considered. The study shows that the resulting mine design (final pit characteristics and production schedules) is sensitive to the grade model under consideration, and that the design based on the reference model may not be optimal when compared to the alternative models based on cosimulation. However, when assuming a given long-term plan and extraction sequence, the grades and net present value (NPV) calculated on the reference model are unbiased with respect to those calculated on the alternative models with the same extraction sequence. The latter allow assessing the possible dispersion of the actual grades and NPV around their expected values, and are useful for the planner in order to determine the probability of meeting given production targets and of exceeding or falling short of given threshold grades. Additionally, unlike cosimulation, the separate simulation of each grade variable leads to unrealistic resource models and to biased results in mine design and mine planning. This approach should therefore be avoided, unless the grade variables are spatially uncorrelated. <![CDATA[<b>Integrated short- and medium-term underground mine production scheduling</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2012000500007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The development of short- and medium-term mine production schedules in isolation from each other has meant that only a local optimum can be achieved when each scheduling phase is carried out. The globally optimal solution, however, can be achieved when integrating scheduling phases and accounting for the interaction between short-term and medium-term activities simultaneously. This paper addresses the task of integrating short- and medium-term production plans by combining the short-term objective of minimizing deviation from targeted mill feed grade with the medium-term objective of maximizing net present value (NPV) into a single mathematical optimization model. A conceptual sublevel stoping operation comprising 30 stopes is used for trialling segregated and integrated scheduling approaches. Segregated medium- and short-term scheduling using separate models achieved an NPV of $42 654 456. The final scheduling approach involved integrating the two scheduling horizons using the newly-developed globally optimal integrated production scheduling model to achieve an NPV of $42 823 657 with smoother mill feed grade. The larger the stope data set, the larger the difference between the two scheduling approaches is likely to be. At the very least, an integrated approach ensures feasibility across the two scheduling horizons, which cannot always be assumed when using a segregated approach. <![CDATA[<b>Metal-rock pair characterization in excavation engineering</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2012000500008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Abrasivity and wear resistance are not intrinsic properties of materials, but rather parameters describing the interaction between the wear part and the material exerting the wearing action. Moreover, wear or, at least, that part of the wear which is due to the cumulative effect of minute scratches, is linked to the hardness disparity concept. Abrasivity, in this context, is a relative concept, pertaining to a metal-rock pair, rather than to a rock. Based on this assumption, a methodology has been developed and checked against actual cases, enabling description of the abrasiveness of a rock or the abrasion resistance of a metal through the ratio of comparable quantitative indicators. The paper describes the methods and provides examples of applications to practical cases (namely: rock cutting, excavation by means of tunnel boring machines (TBMs), rock crushing, and hydro-mill cutting). <![CDATA[<b>Modelling and optimization of clean chromite production from fine chromite tailings by a combination of multigravity separator and hydrocyclone</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2012000500009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this study, the possibility of beneficiation of chromite tailings in the Uckopru/Fethiye-Turkey region by a combination of hydrocyclone and multigravity separator (MGS) was investigated. The two significant operational parameters of hydrocyclone, which were diameter of the apex and diameter of the vortex, and the three significant operational parameters of the MGS, which were drum speed, tilt angle, and wash water, were varied and the results were evaluated with the central composite rotatable design. In order to produce a chromite concentrate by hydrocyclone and MGS, mathematical model equations were derived by computer simulation programming, applying the least-squares method using Minitab 15. Second-order response functions were produced for the grade and recovery of chromite concentrates. <![CDATA[<b>Progress in implementing the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002 (MPRDA) provisions for the employment of women in mining</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2012000500010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The South African democratically-elected government instituted policies and legislation that are intended to bring about change and transformation in the country and have drastically affected different industries, among others, the mining industry. The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002 (MPRDA) and the Broad-based Socio-economic Empowerment Charter (Mining Charter) were introduced in order to redress previous inequalities and to promote women's employment in the mining industry. This research evaluates the practical implementation of the MPRDA and the Mining Charter with specific reference to women in underground mining. A quantitative research paradigm was used. Data were collected through a process of a face-to-face interview surveys utilizing a structured questionnaire. The research setting was limited to the platinum-mining industry in the area of Rustenburg in the North West Province. The study population consisted of 195 available women working undergound at the mine. It is clear from the findings that mining companies are facing major challenges in their attempt to incorporate women in underground mining activities. Company policies regarding these issues must be firmly in place; however, the challenge lies in the translation of these policies into practice. In this regard, managers will have to play a leading role in the successful phasing in of women into the underground mining arena. <![CDATA[<b>Uncertainty assessment for the evaluation of net present value</b>: <b>a mining industry perspective</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2012000500011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The investment decisionmaking process in the insurance and finance industries is affected by new advances such as simulation techniques. These advances have improved the discounted cash flow method (DCF). In DCF, a dynamic and flexible model construction is not possible because it does not consider uncertain conditions. Each project should be evaluated taking into account the related uncertainties because the related uncertainties determine the characterization of the project. Related uncertainties can be processed in dynamic DCF, which is applicable to both financial and non-financial industries with different kind of uncertainties, such as power generation and petroleum projects. The dynamic DCF method can estimate net present value (NPV) while managing related project uncertainties with a simulation method like Monte Carlo Simulation. The simulation method is preferred because its output is unbiased. Therefore, a more realistic financial evaluation of the project can be concluded. In spite of the improvement of dynamic DCF, this project evaluation method is not used frequently in mining industry. However, the mining industry is ideally suited to this concept because it is highly dependent on estimations such as orebody size and ore grade. During the project evaluation stage, these uncertainties can be included with the dynamic DCF method. This study aims to contribute to increasing the usage of this method in mining projects. A copper reserve in Turkey is selected as a case study to apply uncertainty assessment for the evaluation of NPV. <![CDATA[<b>Evaluation of elastic deformation energy in stone cutting of Portuguese marbles with a diamond saw</b>]]> http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-223X2012000500012&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en A detailed analysis of the geomechanical behaviour in rock cutting with a diamond saw is provided to obtain a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in the process. The energy of elastic deformation (before failure) and plastic deformation (post failure) was determined in uniaxial compression tests as well as the energy consumed per unit volume in the cutting process. The test samples are White and Ruivina marbles from Borba - Vila Vigosa in Portugal. Correlations between total deformation specific energy and cutting specific energy, normal and tangential forces and diamond indentation are analysed, and some conclusions are presented.