Unearthed Denver 201722 Sep - 24 Sep
From Idea to Prototype on Resource Challenges in just a Weekend
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Feed the Fire! Roasting Sweet Spot
Fuel automation challenge: adding fuel to roasters.
Identify and justify the implementation of a system that could be utilized for automating the supplemental fuel addition to the Goldstrike Roasters.
Roasting is the process by which sulfide mineral particles and carbonaceous materials are removed from gold through high-temperature oxidation (1000-1050F) and oxygen injection; the byproduct is SO2 and CO. Roasters play an important role in the recovery of gold at Barrick’s Goldstrike plant. The Roasters were originally designed to operate via autogenous burn of an ore blend targeting 200 British Thermal Units through a combination of natural sulfide and organic carbon content. Due to a decline of native sulfide content in the available stockpiles, elemental sulfur prill is added to supplement the fuel at a cost of $1.0-1.5MM per month. Currently, fuel addition is managed manually, by reacting to temperature variations within the Roasters, but we would like to move towards an automated proactive strategy yielding optimized sulfur feed and steadier internal roasting temperatures. By automating the supplemental fuel addition, it is expected that savings can be achieved by ultimately reducing overconsumption of sulfur.
Potential Areas to consider:
•Can the existing data be used to develop a system that could automate Sulphur addition and what instrumentation would be required?
•Is there a clear relationship between the natural fuel in the ore and the resulting temperatures?
•What will be the most efficient method, with regards to ease of implementation, time, and cost, of automating the sulfur addition process?
•Can you justify the implementation of a ore constituent analyzer given a 15% Internal Rate of Return hurdle?
• Historical ore feed fuel values (Sulfide, TCM, and BTU by ore blend)
• Historical sulfur consumption (tons & dollars)
• Historical Roaster performance data (TPOH and temperatures)
• Proposal for an online ore constituent analyzer (analyzer performance data, test work, & price)