The importance of applied research in industrial metals and minerals Alan Gibbon – MIRO
The Importance of Applied Research in Industrial Metals and Minerals The Mineral Industry Research Organisation (MIRO) Ala...
Overview <ul><li>What is MIRO? </li></ul><ul><li>Some projects  </li></ul><ul><li>PGMs, Zn & Cu </li></ul><ul><li>Mining <...
Who is MIRO? <ul><li>Minerals and metals focussed independent RTD service provider  </li></ul><ul><li>Established 1974  </...
MIRO’s Mission <ul><ul><ul><li>As the leading UK collaborative research provider our aim is to add value to our members’ b...
How the MIRO Structure Delivers Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey
Why does MIRO do research? <ul><li>MIRO is responsive to address: </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing operating costs – labour, p...
New & Improved Processes <ul><li>PGM Extraction in South Africa </li></ul><ul><li>Zinc production in the UK </li></ul><ul>...
The Fundamentals <ul><li>I am talking about... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>thermodynamics! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>MIRO, up to 20...
Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey moving quickly on....
Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey
PGM Extraction in South Africa <ul><li>Matte Slow Cooling Process implemented in the mid-1970’s </li></ul><ul><li>Pipeline...
PGM Extraction in South Africa <ul><li>Recently the Peirce Smith Converters were  </li></ul><ul><li>replaced with an  Ausm...
Zinc recovery in the ISF Furnace Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey Problem with iron  formation ...
Zinc recovery in the ISF Furnace Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey Calculations recommended addi...
Kennecott Utah Copper Smelter <ul><li>Two stage oxidation of copper-iron sulphides to produce copper </li></ul><ul><li>Out...
Kennecott Utah Copper Smelter <ul><li>Calculations used to investigate fluxing practises and operational problems associat...
Process Modelling <ul><li>...It works </li></ul><ul><li>...It’s fast </li></ul><ul><li>...It’s cost effective </li></ul><u...
Mining & The European Union <ul><li>The European Commission is a major source of  </li></ul><ul><li>research funding </li>...
IntelliMine  <ul><li>Innovative Technologies and  </li></ul><ul><li>Concepts for the Intelligent  </li></ul><ul><li>Deep M...
Transportation – Mole Ways <ul><li>Imagine  80% of lorries of the road and rail network for passengers not freight </li></...
Transportation – Mole Ways <ul><li>Direct operating costs  –10% of road </li></ul><ul><li>Capital costs  -  competitive wi...
The Benefits of Research Partnerships to Industry <ul><ul><li>Increased gearing of corporate spend (5 to 10 times) </li></...
In Conclusion <ul><ul><ul><li>MIRO... </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>does not aim to set the research agenda </li></u...
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The importance of applied research in industrial metals and minerals

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The importance of applied research in industrial metals and minerals

  1. 1. The importance of applied research in industrial metals and minerals Alan Gibbon – MIRO
  2. 2. The Importance of Applied Research in Industrial Metals and Minerals The Mineral Industry Research Organisation (MIRO) Alan Gibbon Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey Industrial Metals, Minerals & Mineable Energy Investment Summit London, November 3 2011
  3. 3. Overview <ul><li>What is MIRO? </li></ul><ul><li>Some projects </li></ul><ul><li>PGMs, Zn & Cu </li></ul><ul><li>Mining </li></ul><ul><li>Transport </li></ul><ul><li>Energy </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits of collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul>Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey Concorde House
  4. 4. Who is MIRO? <ul><li>Minerals and metals focussed independent RTD service provider </li></ul><ul><li>Established 1974 </li></ul><ul><li>Owned by its members </li></ul><ul><li>Develop and manage pre-competitive collaborative RTD </li></ul><ul><li>No in-house research facility – works through a network of deliverers </li></ul>Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey
  5. 5. MIRO’s Mission <ul><ul><ul><li>As the leading UK collaborative research provider our aim is to add value to our members’ businesses through the provision of cost efficient and industrially relevant projects. We focus our activities in the mining and minerals sectors to highlight industrially relevant science and technology and provide innovative solutions to the key challenges before us. </li></ul></ul></ul>Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey
  6. 6. How the MIRO Structure Delivers Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey
  7. 7. Why does MIRO do research? <ul><li>MIRO is responsive to address: </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing operating costs – labour, power and water </li></ul><ul><li>Changing raw materials availability– lower value, disseminated and often more difficult to access </li></ul><ul><li>Technical challenges– new products and recycling </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing environmental regulation – the carbon agenda, waste and societal impact </li></ul>Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey
  8. 8. New & Improved Processes <ul><li>PGM Extraction in South Africa </li></ul><ul><li>Zinc production in the UK </li></ul><ul><li>Copper production in the USA </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the fundamentals </li></ul>Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey
  9. 9. The Fundamentals <ul><li>I am talking about... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>thermodynamics! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>MIRO, up to 20 major companies and the National Physical Laboratory (MTDATA) have collaborated for 30 years to enable REAL industrial processes to be modelled… successfully. </li></ul>Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey
  10. 10. Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey moving quickly on....
  11. 11. Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey
  12. 12. PGM Extraction in South Africa <ul><li>Matte Slow Cooling Process implemented in the mid-1970’s </li></ul><ul><li>Pipeline from ore to saleable metal cut from </li></ul><ul><li>9 to 3 months </li></ul><ul><li>Peirce Smith Converter operation is key </li></ul><ul><li>Original process... removed all the iron from </li></ul><ul><li>the matte. MSCP required some iron to remain </li></ul><ul><li>Converter operation was successfully modelled and implemented </li></ul>Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey
  13. 13. PGM Extraction in South Africa <ul><li>Recently the Peirce Smith Converters were </li></ul><ul><li>replaced with an Ausmelt furnace </li></ul><ul><li>Software and data were again used </li></ul><ul><li>successfully to model the new </li></ul><ul><li>approach </li></ul>Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey
  14. 14. Zinc recovery in the ISF Furnace Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey Problem with iron formation lumps of iron called “dead men”
  15. 15. Zinc recovery in the ISF Furnace Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey Calculations recommended addition of alumina to charge This was not an intuitive outcome Implemented and problem solved However... a few months later new company owners disagreed and removed alumina... immediately problem recurred
  16. 16. Kennecott Utah Copper Smelter <ul><li>Two stage oxidation of copper-iron sulphides to produce copper </li></ul><ul><li>Outokumpu Flash Smelting Furnace and fayalite slag </li></ul><ul><li>Produces “white metal” (Cu2S.FeS) </li></ul><ul><li>2) Flash Converting Furnace and calcium ferrite slag </li></ul><ul><li>Produces copper </li></ul><ul><li>Problem... excessive copper losses into the slag </li></ul>Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey
  17. 17. Kennecott Utah Copper Smelter <ul><li>Calculations used to investigate fluxing practises and operational problems associated with the mixing of slags </li></ul><ul><li>Iron silicate carry over </li></ul><ul><li>Identified as cause of loss </li></ul><ul><li>Copper loss problem </li></ul><ul><li>solved </li></ul>Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey
  18. 18. Process Modelling <ul><li>...It works </li></ul><ul><li>...It’s fast </li></ul><ul><li>...It’s cost effective </li></ul><ul><li>...It’s transferable </li></ul><ul><li> www.npl.co.uk/mtdata </li></ul><ul><li>These are the conclusions of Anglo Platinum, Rio Tinto, Johnson Matthey, Outokumpu, Tata Steel, Eramet and our other supporters </li></ul><ul><li>For >20 years project has been 100% industry funded </li></ul>Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey
  19. 19. Mining & The European Union <ul><li>The European Commission is a major source of </li></ul><ul><li>research funding </li></ul><ul><li>MIRO is a member of the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Mineral Resources ( www.etpsmr.org / ) </li></ul><ul><li>If you don’t mine it or grow it you must import it </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainability of supply is now a key European issue and has resulted in several big European raw materials projects </li></ul>Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey ETP-SMR
  20. 20. IntelliMine <ul><li>Innovative Technologies and </li></ul><ul><li>Concepts for the Intelligent </li></ul><ul><li>Deep Mine of the Future </li></ul><ul><li>23 partners (most from industry) </li></ul><ul><li>Budget Euro 22 million </li></ul><ul><li>Aims </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Address technical challenges from disseminated, lower value and deep ore bodies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Minimise the impact of mining on society... The Invisible Mine </li></ul></ul></ul>Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey
  21. 21. Transportation – Mole Ways <ul><li>Imagine 80% of lorries of the road and rail network for passengers not freight </li></ul><ul><li>How – The Mole Freight Pipeline </li></ul><ul><li>Moles are based on standard supply chain handling units </li></ul><ul><li>Moleways are 1 to 2.0m diameter cut and filled beside existing transport infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Motive power is electric via linear magnets... Proven and no moving parts </li></ul>Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey
  22. 22. Transportation – Mole Ways <ul><li>Direct operating costs –10% of road </li></ul><ul><li>Capital costs - competitive with conveyors </li></ul><ul><li>Low maintenance – short or long distance </li></ul><ul><li>Capacity utilisation – increase in volume reduces unit costs </li></ul><ul><li>Reliability –not affected by weather and accidents, </li></ul><ul><li>CO2 Agenda – significant if power comes from </li></ul><ul><li> renewable electric sources </li></ul>Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey
  23. 23. The Benefits of Research Partnerships to Industry <ul><ul><li>Increased gearing of corporate spend (5 to 10 times) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Co-funding as work-in-kind </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased scale of projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Control of the project direction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stimulation of both research and industrial personnel through interaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Speedier and more efficient knowledge transfer </li></ul></ul>Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey
  24. 24. In Conclusion <ul><ul><ul><li>MIRO... </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>does not aim to set the research agenda </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>does not have its own research facilities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>has a cross sectoral and integrated approach </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>aims to add value and reduce risk through collaboration, co-funding and gearing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>is reactive to the needs of industry </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Key is an understanding of industry members’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>priorities and acting upon them </li></ul></ul></ul>Photographs reproduced with permission from Johnson Matthey [email_address]

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