Process Plant Optimization Successes at GoldMineCo’s Mines and Plants

One of GoldMineCo mines produces more than 1.2 million ounces of gold per year. The double refractory ore contains large amounts of carbon and sulfite, requiring a specialized process that operates within strict environmental parameters. A tiny change in the fluids affects recovery, so the PI System is hugely important in making that work, they reasoned. By using the PI System, GoldMineCo has reduced the total number of environmental deviations by more than 40% and fan trips by over 60%.

At another of their gold recovery facilities, the PI System helped monitor their batch processes that had been reviewed manually, mostly through data forms typed into Excel spreadsheets. Errors were common. Using PI AF and PI Event Frames, reports are now generated with a single click, improving product quality and reducing reporting time by 85%. In addition, different batches can now be easily compared.

At their mine in the western United States, GoldMineCo needed to better understand their energy usage. They could not account for all of the energy usage, because they weren't exactly sure where all the energy was going (underground, open pits, etc.)—they had no granularity at the production level. So GoldMineCo and an integration partner created a static mass-energy balance, to account for the energy purchased each month. The next step was to model the energy flows. Once that was accomplished, GoldMineCo built a PI AF data model to create a dynamic mass-energy balance and to extract and see the data on real-time dashboards. They then ported this dynamic mass-energy balance solution from that mine and the gold recovery site to other GoldMineCo facilities once the necessary instrumentation was put in place.

Water management is a significant operations issue and often a political issue for mining companies, where facilities can be shut down for spills or other water-related compliance issues. Downtime can be very costly. At GoldMineCo sites in South America, the PI System combines real-time data from internal processes along with external data like river rain flow to give the company and its executives the big picture of water consumption. That's important for costs and regulatory compliance.

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