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Moving Towards Sustainable Mining With ROCS Real-Time Ore Composition Monitoring

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ROCS (Moving Towards Sustainable Mining With ROCS Real-Time Ore Composition Monitoring)

Reporting period: 2019-05-01 to 2019-08-31

In mining, 5-10% of the material excavated and transported is waste material or gangue. This is an important factor for the economy of mining projects. There are 4 state-of-the-art approaches to analyzing ore, but all of them take place at the lab and not in real-time at the conveyor belt. ROCS will help make mining financially and environmentally sustainable by allowing mining companies to understand the ore composition right at the start of the production phase. ROCS can be used to detect all kinds of minerals and metals including critical raw materials and can be applied to improve the ore pre-concentration and to detect the dilution and decrease the gangue. A mine can save 30% of the energy required for transportation, crushing and grinding.
Benefits of the innovation
• Ore grade is known up-front to avoid drilling where waste material content is too high.
• Allows for cost savings, extends machinery lifetime and lowers fuel/lubricant cost.
• Leads to energy savings as drilling, crushing and processing waste requires energy.
• Environmental damage lower as non-profitable operations can be abandoned earlier.
The overall project objective is to scale-up ROCS from its current TRL 6. The commercial version will continuously monitor the ore composition and will operate in harsh environments at very early stages of the mining process, as a warning system to prevent further processing of worthless ore.
1. The technological feasibility study. using sessions with mining equipment OEM’s and independent mining consultants, showed that 1) ROCS ore grade data is needed at many more locations of the ore processing process, 2) we need to apply at various locations and thus various versions of ROCS, 3) Our assumption that OEM’s have several existing types of UI/UXs is correct.
2. The OEM demo partner search yielded the selection of two end-user mining partners to co-develop a demonstration installation in Australia and Chile.
3. The process change analysis showed to demonstrate on-site again and again and obtain the privilege of mine manager approval.
4. The market and geographic analysis showed that the market size/growth is large enough for entry. Analysis of our added value and of the competitors shows a strong position. Our main advantage over existing competition: flexible and fast solution.
5. The pricing strategy has led to a price for a ROCS unit, including training and installation.
6. The risk check showed one major factor: money is the best motivator to initiate change. We must focus on the potential cost reduction in order to get the customers interested.
7. We have drafted the components of an up-dated business plan.
We have gained a clear picture of the type of customers for our business, including a priority setting.
Our main advantage over existing competition has become clear: flexible and fast: new unique solution at lower cost
The study has also resulted in a change of the objective target market: mining equipment is maintained, but it has become clear that the application can be much broader than ore sorting alone.