Utilization of environmental simulations in the design and operation of coarse comminution and classification circuit
Conference contribution, 2020
Finding and evaluating approaches to lower the environmental impact of their processes is an immediate aim for the mining companies as a part of their sustainability strategies. When only the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology is used, the analysis does not consider the dynamic nature of the process, which leads to lower accuracy of the results. Therefore, there is a need to combine process simulations with LCA. This paper describes how environmental simulations based on LCA can be used to inform plant design and operations of coarse comminution and classification circuits. A conceptional framework is introduced that shows the architecture of the simulation tool and how the different stakeholders, such as plant designers, engineers, equipment manufacturers, operators and educators, can use it in decision-making, education, and training. This simulation tool aims to increase understanding between production and environmental impact by reviewing, improving, and evaluating different choices in the coarse comminution and classification circuit. Its use can assist in lowering the environmental impact of the whole process by configuring the coarse comminution part so that it reduces the need for the more energy-intensive milling part and by regulating the material transportation within the plant to avoid unnecessary emissions.