Process plant modeling in the computer environment has been developed over the past 40 years by implementing the comminution models formed by the Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre, University of Queensland, in the early 1970s. The models for the other processes in a mine value chain, such as blast fragmentation and flotation, were continuously developed and improved in parallel as well. Other research and commercial entities have also developed process modeling methodologies in the computer environment, which evolved as specialized commercial software or through equations set up in Excel spreadsheets. These were performed on a local computer, in thousands of simulations over a long period of time due to hardware limitations and the lack of a fully automated process. This limits the application of detailed process simulations for scale-up and strategic planning analysis, as they require many simulations to cover all possible scenarios which would take a lifetime when using local computers. The Integrated Extraction Simulator (IES), as the next generation of cloud-based software package, has made it possible to run simulations on the entire operation value chain in the same platform, including drilling and blasting, crushing, grinding, flotation, and other downstream process and material-handling units. This capability has allowed IES to handle multivariable simulations across the mine value chain, including pre-concentration and in-pit size reduction, and modify the process simultaneously.
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-020-00303-9