The mining sector has been recovering since 2017, but the competitiveness of the Canadian mining industry must continue to grow to attract investment. Process improvement is needed to maintain profitability in the short term.

The challenges of the environment, energy consumption and water use require the development of disruptive technologies. To do this, the mining industry must rely on the expertise of multidisciplinary teams, including innovation stakeholders, developing technological solutions more quickly. 

To stimulate innovation

In 2018, Natural Resources Canada launched the “Crush It! Challenge “, an initiative to stimulate innovation by finding solutions to reduce the energy consumption of comminution circuits by at least 20%.

Six selected teams could each receive up to $ 800,000 from Natural Resources Canada to complete their project. The targeted reduction in energy consumption is ambitious and, to date, no single organization can achieve it alone.

Energy reduction: three projects in partnership

This challenge launched by Natural Resources Canada has raised interest from Corem and partners to work in collaboration in the development of three selected solutions from the finalists of the “Crush It! Challenge “. Work is progressing well on these three projects. Discover the 3 videos showing their evolution!

IntelliCrush: Co-creating eco-efficient comminution circuit with AI

The IntelliCrush project aims at the development of crushing and grinding circuit design tool using artificial intelligence (AI).

In collaboration with BBA and IVADO, Corem is counting on 20 years of innovation in ore processing and on the characteristics of equipment available on the market, to develop an intelligent system to configure crushing and grinding circuits to reduce energy consumption more than 25%.

Replacing ball mills by HPGR

To extend the reach of HPGR (High Pressure Grinding Rolls) technology, Corem has formed a technical team consisting of the University of British Columbia, equipment manufacturers Weir Minerals, thyssenkrupp, Köppern, Derrick, and mining companies such as: Copper Mountain, Quebec Iron Ore, Detour Gold and Newmont.

This team will develop a novel grinding circuit to particles liberation, based on HPGR – which is much more energy efficient – while addressing the challenges associated with the necessary classification and solid-liquid separation technologies.

CAHM: replacing conventional crushers and semi-autogenous grinding mills (SAG)

Under the leadership of the Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC), Corem is contributing to the development of a revolutionary new comminution technology as part of the CAHM Platform project (Conjugate Anvil Hammer Mill and Hammer Roll).

This concept has the potential to replace conventional crushers and semi-autogenous grinding mills (SAG) while consuming significantly less energy.

To achieve this, the multidisciplinary team – including experts from CTTI, HATCH, Glencore Canada – XPS, Corem, Teck Metals Ltd., Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd, Newmont and Kinross Gold Corporation – are working on the development of a pilot-scale system that will validate the performance of the concept and assess the energy gains.

A better approach in innovation

These three projects are concrete examples of collaboration: essential element to face the major challenges of the mining industry.

This approach is the one that Corem offers to its clients and its members for the benefit of the entire industry: gathering and leveraging pan-Canadian expertise, focusing on proximity to the mining industry and supporting the industrial transfer of the developed solutions.

Being a center of expertise and innovation specialized in ore processing, Corem collaborates closely with its 15 member mining companies and its international clients, in partnership with the governments of Quebec and Canada, to optimize efforts in R & D and innovation.