A broader range of dynamic process simulations are now included in SRK Consulting’s portfolio of mining services. These simulations help companies mining potash and other minerals to predict future performance and thereby optimize productivity and avoid costly mistakes.

The expansion of SRK’s services results from its recent merger with Labrecque Technologies Inc. (LTI). Although newly formed, the SRK simulation group includes specialists who have been applying mechanical and industrial engineering methods to potash and other mining for over a decade. The group employs a systems approach, with models accounting for interactions and interferences between all aspects of ore flow systems and mining equipment. By building discrete event simulation models, SRK helps clients plan expansions, evaluate design and process options, identify and overcome bottlenecks, predict performance, optimize development and production schedules, and assess the impacts of incorporating new equipment and technology into existing systems.

Using their extensive experience in simulating mining processes for the potash industry, the SRK group’s experts have created models for processes ranging from entire face-to-mill material flow down to focused characterization of individual mining system components.  They have performed several trade-offs comparing the performance of drill and blast with mechanical excavation, as well as combining both processes in a single operation.  Material handling studies conducted by group members have included modelling the performance of shuttle cars, flexible conveyor trains, fixed conveyors, load-haul-dump (LHD) loaders, trucks, crushers, skips, and rail haulage. Detailed models have addressed factors such as pick changes, equipment availability, tramming speeds, shift schedules, traffic interactions, layout constraints, excavation sequencing, and stockpiling.

SRK’s simulation group takes an unbiased, customized approach to understanding how the specific details of each project affect its overall processes. The digital platforms that the group creates characterize critical interdependencies, identify limitations, and highlight opportunities that are key to the success of clients’ operations. The quantitative data generated by the simulations supports real-world decisions on asset management and utilization, and the establishment of best practices to benefit the potash mining industry.

With the demand for simulation through computer modelling continuing to grow rapidly, SRK’s augmentation of its simulation expertise will further its ability to identify and mitigate risks to potash projects, optimize operations to improve their efficiency, and ultimately reduce costs.

About SRK Consulting
SRK Consulting is an independent, international consulting practice that provides focused advice and solutions to clients, mainly from earth and water resource industries. For mining projects, SRK offers services from exploration through feasibility, mine planning, and production to mine closure. Please see www.na.srk.comfor more information, or get in touch with Pierre Labrecque, principal consultant, SRK Consulting (Sudbury), plabrecque@srk.com.