Bentley’s Connected Data Environment Delivers Step Changes in Productivity for Mining Operation

Bangalore, December 13, 2017: Mining companies often talk about using technology to improve efficiency and survive in this industry where margins are razor thin. Two nominations this year illustrate how Bentley’s comprehensive modeling environment, managed through a connected data environment, is enabling innovation and significant cost savings in this industry. Minerals are recovered from tailings through crushing, grinding, and flotation. Outotec’s latest innovation in minerals processing is an advanced modular flotation cPlant comprised of pre-fabricated modules inside container-sized steel frames. Outotec designed the modules so that they are easy to transport and install and can be quickly integrated with an existing plant. This design also enables the flotation cPlant to be transferred from one site when a concentrator plant comes to the end of its lifecycle. Outotec also offers a large variety of services, including maintenance support, and that is why it chose to implement AssetWise Asset Reliability to facilitate preventative maintenance and to minimize unplanned downtime. Outotec offers this service to any customers procuring the flotation cPlant. The maintenance plan covers the entire flotation cPlant from production process performance to equipment reliability, leveraging failure mode effect analysis and asset criticality identification. By maximizing reliable production, the maintenance plan is expected to increase the plant net production yield by 3 to 5 percent.

JSC Kovdor Miningand Processing Plant (GOK) is located in the south-west of Murmansk Region’sKola Peninsula, 20 kilometers from the border with Finland, a region with aharsh climate where temperatures can drop to 30 degrees below Celsius in thewinter. The mine is Russia’s second largest producer of apatite concentrate andthe world’s only producer of baddeleyite concentrate. The total area occupiedby the industrial facilities is 2,500 hectares, of which 450 hectares arededicated to open-cast mines, and 85 hectares are occupied by thehomogenization and reloading stockpiles of raw materials and finished products.

Surveying the mine’sproduction and raw materials stockpiles is a critical function for operationalproductivity as well as for safety (avoiding stock pile collapses). The minedecided to replace a laser scanning process, which was labor intensive and not practicalfor inaccessible areas. In January 2017, GOK began to use drones andContextCapture software to survey the mine. The simplicity of drone operationand the reliability and mobility of the drones (even in snow storms) allowedGOK to cut the time required in the field in half. Additionally,ContextCapture’s ability to immediately generate ready-to-use data increasedthe efficiency of the survey operations by 40 percent. Since drones can be usedto survey previously inaccessible places, GOK has been able to start upproduction in the eastern part of the mine that had been deemed inaccessibledue to a stockpile collapse in 2015. This expansion will allow them to develop155 million tons of ore and generate a profit of 2.5 billion rubles.

Quotes:“Having a maintenance framework facilitated by AssetWise contributes toOutotec’s goal of continuous improvement, and supports our customer’sproductivity and profitability.  By building a maintenance plan thatutilizes Design for Reliability principles we expect to maximize reliableproduction and increase plant net production yield by around 3 to 5percent.” Niko Välikangas Manager; Services, Plant Systems, Projects &Reliability, Outotec

“The solution ofsurveying tasks at the enterprise with the use of Bentley applications allowedus to reach a new level in our operations and significantly reduce labor costsfor monitoring the condition of the quarry sides and estimating the volumes ofraw material residues in stockpiles.” Alexander Ivanovich Vinogradov, ChiefSurveyor, JSC Kovdorsky GOK 

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