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How Many Things Do You Know About Mine Design?

2018-11-07(14:56:28) 3595 9

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In this post, we are talkinng about mine design.

We are going to introduce 3 points here:

  • The definition of mine design;

  • The importance of mine design;

  • The related case of mine desigh.

Let's dive in!

a discussion of mine-design

As we all know, mineral resource is a kind of non-renewable resource, which means that all the mines have a certain length of service. How to use limited mine resources to make maximize economic and social benefits with the lowest investment cost has always been the eternal theme of mining enterprises' construction and operation. Many mining enterprises believe that the core factor affecting the processing index and production cost lies in the beneficiation process and equipment, but it is not.

What is mine design?

Mine design is the overall plan for mine construction and production based on the achievements of geological exploration, which aims to select a technically feasible and economically reasonable mineral resource development plan based on the deposit status and economic and technological conditions.

Its main content include:

  • Determine the mine production scale, service life, process flow;

  • Determine the deposit development plan;

  • Determine the mining method, ore washing and processing technology, and main mine equipment configuration;

  • Determine reasonable plans for ground and underground engineering layout, power supply, water supply and drainage, and construction organization;

  • Determine the accounting of construction investment, preparation of single project design and construction drawings, etc.

Why mine design is important?

Mineral processing process and equipment are important, but for a mine, the quality of the mine design at initial plant construction will directly affect the level of the final mineral processing index, the investment cost of the plant and the production cost. 

Therefore, customizing scientific and rational mine design is a must for every mining company.

If the previous beneficiation test was "permeability treatment" of the ore extraction, the mine design is the "comprehensive start-up and result" of the entire plant.

Mine design can provide a reasonable processing plan, so that the entire plant can operate in an orderly manner.

Compared with the design of ordinary engineering projects, mine design has obvious characteristics of resources, landforms, coordination, safety (high risk) and service life, which makes the mine design destined to be scientific, rigorous and standardized.

In addition, mine design involves geology, well construction, mining, beneficiation, architecture, structure, general layout and transportation, electrical appliances, water supply and drainage, machinery, HVAC, environmental protection, safety, economics and many other disciplines. If there is no technical contact, it will not only cause huge waste, but also bring great trouble to production and cause huge losses.

Case & Analysis

Since a 300-ton/day gold flotation project did not initially employ a professional mine design team to design, the entire civil building, electrical, water supply and drainage building standards were completely substandard. A series of problems arise:

  • After the factory went into operation, it was impossible to lift and repair the equipment.

  • The entire factory did not install an internal drainage system, causing wastewater to overflow the ground.

  • The circuit is also very chaotic and often fails.

  • Due to the unreasonable design of the entire process, the flotation machine model is not suitable for factories, which makes the production indicators low and difficult to maintain production.

So, the mine owner had to choose a professional team to help them solve the problem and re-plan the mine design.

On the basis of comprehensive and detailed field investigations, the professional team developed a set of feasible solutions, and used CAD and 3D simulation to demonstrate the operation status of the entire plant. All ore dressing links are clear at a glance, and the owner can fully understand each part of the processing.

Finally, it took only 16 months from the official start to the final production of this renovation project, and once passed the test operation and accepted the work. The gold recovery rate finally obtained is as high as 92.5%, far exceeding the expectations of customers.

It can be seen that the mine design can be regarded as the “dressing plant planner” of the mine owner and investors. 


Although each mine's geological structure and separation properties have some commonalities, they also have their own characteristics. From the perspective of mineral processing technology, it can’t be one-fits-all solution in spite of some referenced aspects in different mines’ design. Therefore, only with tailor-made mine design in the early stage, can the entire plant achieve the best balance between input, cost, indicators and economic benefits. 

Last: NO LAST!

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