An IsaMill™ was installed at Ernest Henry Mining to process magnetite from June 2011 to August 2013, and was later reconﬁ gured into the concentrator circuit to improve existing copper concentrate production
s one of the biggest mining reﬁ ning technology and the Jameson Cell the metal recovery at the MIM Zinc-Lead operations in Australia, it ﬂ otation technology, to name a few. Concentrator. comes as no surprise to learn of A In 1987, MIM started mining the Hilton The barrier was having the technology Mount Isa Mines’ (MIM) rich history (now known as George Fisher) orebodies to economically grind the ore below ﬁ ve pioneering technology and playing a signiﬁ cant role in the global mining which were initially trucked to Mount microns, something the existing ball mills industry. Isa to be processed through our Zinc- could not do. Lead Concentrator. At the same time, Bill knew there would be a solution for Throughout the years, MIM and our the McArthur River deposit was being economic ultraﬁ ne grinding, however employees have been at the forefront of developed but was facing metallurgical it would not be found in the minerals developing processes and technology that challenges to process the extremely ﬁ ne- industry. Instead, he researched improve eﬃ ciencies and keep mining grained ore. operations viable. manufacturing processes with small- For both the Hilton and McArthur River scale batch mills and grinding specialists So much so, for the past 30 years Glencore orebodies, a new technology needed to for products such as printer ink, paint Technology has been dedicated to be developed to process the ore into a pigments, pharmaceuticals and cocoa. marketing our innovations around the concentrate material. These mills used very ﬁ ne, expensive world, as well as continuing to develop media stirred at high speed in a small technology used in the metals and Dr Bill Johnson, who was head of batch mill. mineral processing industries. Minerals Processing Research at MIM in the 1980s and 1990s, was tasked with This method oﬀ ered a promising path Today, Glencore Technology manages ﬁ nding a treatment solution for the forward to ﬁ nding a solution. So Bill innovations like the ISASMELT™ extremely ﬁ ne-grained McArthur River tasked his team to solve several problems; smelting technology, ISAKIDD™ copper lead-zinc-silver deposit and to improve such as the scale required in mining
8 MINE TO MARKET A small IsaMill™ in operation at New Zealand’s largest gold producing mine, the Macraes Mine on the South Island
Glencore’s McArthur River Mine in the Northern Territory was a catalyst behind developing the IsaMill™ technology to process its ﬁ ne-grained ore
versus manufacturing mills, the diﬀ erent In 1995, the ﬁ rst full-scale M3000 partnership with Netz sch. type of media required and lowering the (1.1 megawatt ) IsaMill™ was installed at The IsaMill™ is a major advancement in the MIM Zinc-Lead Concentrator. The production cost, to eﬀ ectively apply this processing technology and is the most Concentrator team applied the technology method to the minerals industry. energy eﬃ cient, highest intensity large- to several parts of the circuit in a staged scale grinding machine on the market. Bill and his team partnered with the regrind and ﬂ otation approach to achieve German manufacturer, Netz sch and a high increase in metal recovery. One of its strengths includes its ability developed what is now known as the to use inert ceramic grinding media, After many successful years at our IsaMill™. Test-work on the MRM ore which leads to improved metallurgical operations, the IsaMill™ was fully started in 1991 and by January 1992 performance when compared with commercialised and available to the a small pilot-scale mill, the LME100 conventional steel media. mining industry in 2003 by Xstrata (now (55 kilowatt ), had been designed and Glencore) Technology, where one of its Most importantly, the development of this installed at MIM. ﬁ rst successes was the introduction to the technology has supported the feasibility Joe Pease, Zinc-Lead Concentrator South African PGM industry where the to mine and process challenging Manager at the time, then worked with M10,000 IsaMill™ was developed orebodies, such as our Mount Isa zinc- lead-silver and McArthur River deposits. Bill to develop and apply the IsaMill™ The ﬁ rst IsaMill™ installed outside of from small-scale to a full-scale operational the MIM Group was at KCGM Fimiston In 2016, Dr Bill Johnson and Joe Pease grinding technology. After years of in Western Australia in 2001. Today, were inducted into the International development and testing of prototypes, there are more than 130 IsaMills™ Mining Technology Hall of Fame the IsaMill™ evolved to the scale that was installed around the world, with further for their signiﬁ cant contribution to implemented throughout the MIM and development improvements still being the mining industry through the MRM operations. worked on by Glencore Technology in development of the IsaMill™.
MINE TO MARKET 9