HeapSMART

A heap leach simulation tool for commercial operators

Don’t Guess. Simulate

HeapSMART is our commercially demonstrated simulation system providing heap leach operators, managers and executives a quantified basis for operational and strategic decision-making.

Whether ore under irrigation is oxide, sulphide, transitional or mixed, and whether ore cells and parcels are operating under reagent limited, diffusion limited or reaction limited kinetics, HeapSMART will predict leaching, production and water balance performance based on ore characteristics, historical performance, and fundamental principles.

HeapSMART installations are fully supported through annual calibration checks, software upgrades and user support. HeapSMART is suitable for operation by site metallurgists or simulation can be managed by us.

Talk to our heap leach specialist

Production Forecasting

Metal production is about more than just leach rate. Since metal is produced from the circulating inventory of leach solution, changes to solution grades and volumes both in the heaps and throughout process ponds can mean that actual metal production fluctuates month by month.

HeapSMART tracks every ore parcel over its life on the heap, even through re-mining events. Species are leached into solution, and solution flows are tracked through heaps, ponds and processing stages to enable prediction of tonnes produced.

Water Balance Management

Heap leaching operations are exposed to climate and weather, and sites operating with forced aeration experience massive evaporative loss, making water balance management a perennial challenge. Maintaining both short- and long-term site water balance without exceeding permitted containment levels, impurity levels and raw water draw is made simpler with HeapSMART’s predictions for heap liquid hold-up, evaporative loss, pond volumes, and solution grades throughout the flowsheet.

Inventory

Product metal contained in inventory solution is unrealised revenue that has the potential to cause cash-flow delays affecting project viability. Gangue elements contained in solution are a long-term liability due to the need to treat solutions ahead of release back to the environment at the end of the project, if not sooner.

HeapSMART tracks and quantifies leached species throughout the flowsheet to assist in planning for these events.

Test Flowsheet Options

HeapSMART is a flexible system allowing the model flowsheet to change as required. Planning to install an impurity removal circuit or additional leach pads? Simulate it first to understand the process implications and to provide data to financial models.

Quantify Risk

Forecasting is often about probabilities because some inputs, such as the weather, are not certain ahead of time. Multiple instances of HeapSMART can run concurrently on a single laptop computer, allowing a range of scenarios with known probabilities to be simulated quickly. This, in turn, generates a spread of outputs against those probabilities, allowing appropriate action to be taken.

Users’ Feedback

“Foresight is far better than hindsight and that is what Element Process delivered for us by modeling our copper leaching process from stacking ore all the way through to water treatment and water balance. Oliver can model existing operations and predict future performance. The foresight is created by using the physics and chemistry of a proposed process to create a model that estimates results prior to construction. The insights gained from analyzing predicted results, thinking about improvements and testing processing options, is invaluable.”

Head of Mine Planning

Merdeka Copper Gold

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PO Box 360, Blackheath NSW 2785