Determination of bulk density, methods and impacts, with a case study from Los Bronces Mine, Chile
Transactions of the Institutions of Mining and Metallurgy, Section B: Applied Earth Science
Anglo American Kumba Iron Ore, Thabazimbi Mine, 11 Jourdan Street, Thabazimbi, South Africa; Anglo American Copper, Los Bronces, Pedro de Valdivia 29, Santiago, Chile; FAusIMM, Anglo American, 45 Main Street, Johannesburg, South Africa
Mineral resource and ore reserve estimates are founded on two sources of data: tonnage and grade. The tonnage is a product of volume and density; both of which are estimates. Density impacts numerous operational factors, which include, but are not limited to, mine design, mine planning, equipment selection and operational performance. Hence, density is a significant parameter and its determination requires similar care as the measurement of grade. This paper provides an overview of methods used to determine density within the Anglo American Group. It is not the purpose of this paper to identify a preferred method, but to highlight the importance of choosing the best suited practice for a project or mine site. In addition, a case study comparing two different density determination methods applied to the same rock samples from the Los Bronces Copper mine in Chile was undertaken and the results of that study are presented here. Selecting the most appropriate method to determine density and comparing results from two or more techniques against each other, together with other suitable quality control procedures, is considered to be essential for mining operations and exploration projects in order to reduce risk and to improve operational performance, which in turn increases profit margin. © 2014 Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and The AusIMM.
Copper mines; Economic geology; Ores; Bulk density; Core pycnometer; Determination methods; Different densities; Exploration projects; Los Bronces; Operational factors; Operational performance; Mineral resources; bulk density; copper; mineral exploration; mineral resource; mining; Chile