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Metal accounting, the core

responsibility of the process engineer


Lorenzo Cappai, Manuel Gonzlez, Stephane Brochot and Pierre Vix
Outline
Introduction: metal accounting
Methodology
Why process engineers?
Material balance of a flotation circuit of a gold
concentrator
Stockpile management and batch processes in a
copper smelter
Hydrometallurgy and liquid accounting in a zinc
smelter plant
Conclusions
Introduction: metal accounting
What is it?
A tool for financial and technical management of
metal production
What is it used for?
Accurately estimate the quantity and quality of
saleable produced metals over a period of time
Quantify the plant performances
Why is it important?
Good metal accounting produce more accurate and
precise data, minimizing the financial risk
Introduction: metal accounting
Guidelines: AMIRA P754 Project
Principles of Metal Accounting
Best Practices
Metal accounting tools
Several solutions, like INVENTEO, are available on
the market
Not enough to comply with the AMIRA code
Methodology
Plant measurement (raw data)
Data aggregation (sums, weighted average...)
and calculation of missing data (stock models,
forced balance)
Error estimation and error propagation
calculation rules
Data reconciliation algorithm to calculate the
coherent material balance
Methodology
A dedicated software solution, like INVENTEO,
improves the metal accounting generation
process:
Automated data aggregation and data calculation
Automated error generation
Data traceability
Data evaluation and error detection tools
Automated report generation
Why process engineers?
They have the best knowledge of the process
The engineer has an important role in each
phase:
Design and implementation: definition of the
objectives and delimitation of the system according to
the available data
Production: management of the metal accounting.
Improvement and modification of the system
Closure: configuration of the final reconciliation
model to account for the stock exportation, tailings
disposal and waste management
Material balance of the flotation
circuit of a gold ore concentrator
In flotation concentrators lack of measures are
Feed
common:
Concentrate
1
% Au, % Fe, % Si, %As % Au, % Fe, % Si, %As
2

1
Gold ore 3 % Au, % Fe, % Si, %As
concentrator Tailings

Two product formula used to calculate the


concentrate and tailings = =

Material balance of the flotation
circuit of a gold ore concentrator
This approach is an exception to the AMIRA
code -> when possible, improve the
measurement system
Which component has to be used in the two
products formula?
Metal of interest or major component?
Larger measurement error, larger error associated
to the calculated values
Material balance of the flotation
circuit of a gold ore concentrator
Gold contents
Relative standard Absolute standard
Stream Au (g/t)
deviation (%) deviation (g/t)
Feed 2 6 0.12
Concentrate 29 7 2.03
Tailings 0.4 9.5 0.04

Calculated dry masses


Relative standard Absolute standard
Stream Mass (t/d)
deviation (%) deviation (t/d)
Feed 10000
Concentrate 559.4 10.57 59.1
Tailings 9440.6 0.63 59.1
Material balance of the flotation
circuit of a gold ore concentrator
Gold masses
Relative standard Absolute standard
Stream Au (kg/d)
deviation (%) deviation (kg/d)
Feed 20
Concentrate 16.22 7.83 1.27
Tailings 3.78 9.65 0.36

Uncertainty in recovery (even with good


sampling and no bias): 16.22 kg 2,54 kg
Important financial implications
Material balance of the flotation
circuit of a gold ore concentrator
Ways to improve the material balance
Select the right component to calculate the
missing data
Use a strong data reconciliation algorithm
Add redundancy: use more than one component
With the implementation of INVENTEO, iron,
arsenic and silica where added to the balance.
Silica was used in the two products formula
due to the lower error.
Stockpile management and batch
processes in a copper smelter
Large number of stocks: various suppliers,
blending, intermediate stocks
High metal content -> high monetary value
Quantity and quality of the stock measured at the
start and the end of the period
The measure of stocks is not accurate as the
measure of the material movement
Difficulty to have a representative sampling of
stocks. Use stock models (perfect mixer, FIFO,
LIFO)
Stockpile management and batch
processes in a copper smelter
Feed 1
Individual stocks: more Feed 2 2
Reclaim 1

redundancy and improved 1 3

data reconciliation results Beginning


inventory
1
4
Ending inventory
Stockpile
Available data
Stream Mass (t) Cu (%) Time
Beginning inventory 73 20 t0
Feed 1 52 28 t1
Reclaim 1 54 Not measured t2
Feed 2 56 29 t3
Ending inventory Not measured Not measured t4
Stockpile management and batch
processes in a copper smelter
Global mass balance: wrong! Content of
reclaiming are different from those of the
ending inventory.
Perfect mixer stock model: more accurate
method, but, is the stockpile a perfect mixer?
Direct sampling: sampling result could 29 %

be estimated as 24.83% Cu, while a 23.33 %

weighted average equals 25.83% Cu


Stockpile management and batch
processes in a copper smelter
Material balance results
Approach Stream Mass (t) Cu (%) Cu (t)
Ending inventory 127 25.08 31.86
Global mass balance
Reclaim 1 54 25.08 13.54
Ending inventory 127 25.83 32.80
Perfect mixer
Reclaim 1 54 23.33 12.60
Ending inventory 127 24.83 31.53
Sampling
Reclaim 1 54 25.68 13.87
Huge difference from one method to another!
Financial risk
Stockpile management and batch
processes in a copper smelter
Improving stock management:
Small stocks, frequent depletion: reduce financial
risk
When possible, avoid mixing: the metal content is
always well know
If the stock is small, weight it
INVENTEO solution helped with the automation of
data management to accurately calculate mass
and contents of inventories with a stock model
chosen case-by-base
Hydrometallurgy and liquid accounting
in a zinc smelter plant
In hydrometallurgy metals can be present in
both solids and liquids, and can pass from one
to another
The phase model needs to be very detailed to
describe the process Zn (%)
Pb (%)
Solids (%) Cu (%)
Ag (g/t)
Wet mass (t)
Zn (%)
Liquids (%) Pb (%)
Cu (%)
Ag (g/t)
Hydrometallurgy and liquid accounting
in a zinc smelter plant
Roaster: liquids and solids not conserved.
Metals in solids are conserved.
Stock: dry mass and metals are conserved.
Leaching: liquids are conserved. Total metal
content is conserved.
Electrolysis: total zinc is conserved. Not
enough data to include other metals.
Melting & casting: total dry mass and zinc
content are conserved.
Hydrometallurgy and liquid accounting
in a zinc smelter plant
Imbalances, mainly due to measurement errors, where
found for each material conservation constraint
Operation Conservation law Imbalance (kg)
Conservation of zinc in solid phase 8291
Roasting
Conservation of lead in solid phase -1217
Leaching and Conservation of liquid mass -146700
cementation Global conservation of zinc -80560
Electrolysis Global conservation of zinc 28390
Melting and Conservation of solid mass -12100
casting Conservation of zinc in solid phase -12100

The data reconciliation algorithm will distribute the


imbalance to obtain a statistical coherent material balance
Conclusions
Available data, key to flowsheet definition (for metal
accounting purposes)
Measure error estimation, way to improve raw data
Conservation laws and number of components, key to
improve the final metal accounting
Software solutions, like INVENTEO, helps with the
automated data aggregation, improves traceability and
ensures a well-defined procedure for the calculation
Process engineers are key players in the
implementation and use of the metal accounting
system
Thank you!

Questions?