A Canadian mining firm has recently completed a mill automation project using some of the most advanced technologies available
Anaconda Mining recently announced that it has completed its CA$1.025 million mill automation project at the Pine Cove Mill in Newfoundland, which began in September 2015. During the implementation of the project, Anaconda applied for and received CA$1.0M of financing through two government programmes; the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development (DBTCRD).
President and CEO, Dustin Angelo, states: "The completion of the mill automation project is a big milestone in the growth and development of the Pine Cove Mill, a continuously improving asset that is the cornerstone of our infrastructure at the Point Rousse project. By utilising some of the newest technology available such as a cyanide analyser, we expect to benefit by reducing operating costs, increasing productivity and freeing up manpower to focus on more value added activities. Our newly constructed control room centralises information at the mill and allows us to troubleshoot issues in real time. We can also leverage this centralised facility as the company expands because the system has the capability to control and monitor operations at other locations remotely. The majority of funding for the project was provided by ACOA and the DBTCRD, with whom Anaconda has maintained long standing relationships. We appreciate our partnership with them and will continue to explore other initiatives together to help propel Anaconda and its projects in the future."
The automation project at the Pine Cove Mill included the installation of many individual components such as flow meters, sophisticated analysers, PLCs and other standard instrumentation. A new central control room was also constructed to house the control system and operator, from which the entire plant and crusher can be controlled and monitored. Full data trending is available to the operator and management, and the control interface (VTSCADA) can be accessed remotely by technical staff to provide 24/7 troubleshooting assistance. The new control room could also serve as the central operating point for future milling operations at other Anaconda projects outside of the Point Rousse Project.
Anaconda set up various flow meters, control valves and level sensors throughout the plant to establish automatic control loops on certain metrics such as tank levels, pump speeds and reagent addition, which will create more stable and consistent operating conditions. By increasing stability, the firm expects to achieve greater levels of throughput while maintaining the highest possible recovery. Manual processes such as sampling and monitoring of turbidity, pH and pressure have been considerably reduced because of automation. Consequently, manpower can now be spent on more value added tasks. Furthermore, the control room operator can, through the control system and cameras, better avoid process disruptions, identify issues at earlier stages or prevent them altogether.
To monitor and control the leaching circuit of the mill, a cyanide analyser was installed, manufactured by the Australian company Orica, which is the first of its kind in the world to be used in an operating mill. The analyser handles cyanide addition and monitoring automatically, which is expected to reduce overall cyanide consumption; one of the company's highest consumable costs.
Anaconda Mining is a gold mining and exploration company with a producing project called the Point Rousse Project and an exploration/development project called the Viking Project in Newfoundland. The Point Rousse Project is approximately 6,300 hectares of property on the Ming's Bight Peninsula located in the Baie Verte Mining District in Newfoundland, Canada. Since 2012, Anaconda has increased its property control by ten-fold on the peninsula and gold production to approximately 16,000 ounces per year. In an effort to expand production, it is currently exploring three primary, prospective gold trends, which have approximately 20km of cumulative strike length and include five deposits and numerous prospects and showings, all within 8km of the Pine Cove Mill.