Mineral Notes: Bentonite

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This article was written by Executive Consultant, Andrew Scogings. Bentonite is sometimes called the ‘mineral of a thousand uses’ and is characterised by properties such as its ability to swell in water, to act as a ‘natural glue’ or ‘bond’, special rheological properties when added to water (e.g. thixotropy), high surface area and exchangeable cations. These properties may be modified by treatment with acids, soda ash or other compounds such as polymers. Bentonite finds application across a wide range of markets including foundry (metal casting in sand moulds), clumping cat litter, iron ore pelletising, edible oil, wine and beverage purification, oil and other exploration drilling, civil engineering, animal feed and paper manufacture. Approximately 16 to 20 million tonnes of bentonite … Read More

EOM Reconciliation Bugbears Part 2

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From some of the varied comments on my first set of bugbears, I might just have hit a nerve or two with friends and colleagues alike, and all to the good. I suspect it’s not too early to move to the next round of these EOM reconciliation blogposts.

EOM Reconciliation Bugbears

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As part of a retrospective over a somewhat disparate reconciliation career, including time in the oil patch as a refinery economist and multiple front-line operational roles for base and precious metal miners,Snowden’s Geoff Booth thought a reflective commentary on some of the bigger reconciliation bugbears he’s repeatedly encountered along the way worthy of a blog or three.

Geophysics

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Mining company reports often mention geophysics programmes and the terminology is usually not explained. I have listed common techniques and attempted to explain each simply. The most important thing to remember is that none of these techniques identify the location, grade or volume of mineralisation. Rather, geophysics identifies a likely location for mineralisation for the geologist to examine further. Any geophysical target should be initially followed up by boots on ground geology (even targets beneath cover).

The formula at the heart (and mind) of mine plan optimisation

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This article was written by Snowden’s Global manager, Tarrant Elkington. It is easy to forget, or take-for-granted, the foundation elements for your area of expertise. The blog looks at patient zero for mine optimisation. I was in a meeting many years ago working through some optimisation mathematics on the whiteboard with some colleagues. It looked something like this – please don’t worry about the detail.  IV_a=UGDV_a-OPDV_a  UGDV_a=frac{r_a-h_u_g-m_u_g}{(1+d)^u^y}$  OPDV_a=max(frac{r_a-h_o_p}{(1+d)^o^y},0)+frac{v}{(1+d)^o^y}$ Midway through this review, my boss at the time saw one of our clients appear at a window and he jumped up, bringing him into the room. He pointed enthusiastically at the equations and said: “Look at this thing on the board…  this is going to be a … Read More