KAZ Minerals seeks to adopt advanced technologies in its mining and processing activities in order to optimise its operational performance and minimise its use of resources. During 2021, the Group has enhanced its usage of artificial intelligence (‘AI’) in its mine to mill process in order to improve production efficiency and reduce its energy use per tonne of copper produced.
Aktogay adopted the TRIT-AI system at the first sulphide concentrator. Following a successful trial, the system is now being rolled out at Bozshakol and is expected to be used at the second sulphide concentrator at Aktogay.
The Group was one of the first companies in the CIS to deploy products of this type at its production sites, forming part of the Group’s drive to maintain its position as an industry leader in digital innovation and operational efficiency.
The tool uses advanced analytics to optimise the ore enrichment process from the mine face, through the grinding and flotation circuit and finally to the tailings system. More than 500 million historical data points were initially used at Aktogay to create and train the tool. The programme then learns independently on an ongoing basis from new data to recommend improvements. Staff at the processing plant review the recommendations from the tool and determine how to implement them in practice.
The outcome of these recommendations is the optimisation of throughput capacity and recovery at the concentrators. The pilot implementation at Aktogay demonstrated an increase in copper recovery and in the volume of ore processed, with initial results supporting these conclusions. This enables the Group to operate more efficiently, and reduces the resources the Group must consume per tonne of copper produced.
The Group is forming teams of data scientists, machine learning specialists and data engineers at its sites to deliver projects of this nature.
Aktogay has partnered with Motion Metrics, a Canadian technology company which drives digital innovation in mining.
Motion Metrics is working with Aktogay to implement an AI-based solution in the mine to mill process which aims to minimise energy consumption and improve safety throughout the site. The tool analyses the particle size distribution at the shovels, crushers and conveyor belts in order to optimise the crushing and grinding circuits to reduce energy consumption. The tool also analyses the ore placed on the conveyors and monitors the integrity of the ground-engaging tools to ensure no foreign objects or excessively large boulders are sent to the crusher, which may cause downtime.
Eldar Mamedov, CEO of KMM, commented: “I am proud of the work that our team have performed to implement these artificial intelligence projects. We are deploying leading edge practices to maximise the efficiency and economic potential of the Aktogay mine.”