What are Advanced Process Control (APC) solutions?
Advanced Process Control solutions are a centralised software control tool that collects information from various processes to apply the right controls and deliver the best output. Modern-day APC solutions utilise data analytics, automation and artificial intelligence to help streamline complex mining processes, reduce human error and relieve operators from manual and demanding tasks. Most APC solutions feature user customisable dashboards that allow operators to monitor and have an overview of key performance metrics. APC also integrates intelligent alert systems that can react to disturbances and prevent incidents from happening in the first place.
Applications and benefits for the gold mining industry
Applications of APC along the mining process are limitless. You can apply APC to crushers, grinding circuits, floatation, thickeners, furnaces, right up to hydrometallurgy. When holistically and strategically applied, APC allows better control and optimisation in various areas:
• Improve throughput
• Increase gold recovery
• Reduce variability in processes
• Automate demanding tasks
• Simulate “what-if” scenarios
• React to potential disturbances
• Monitor consumption of consumables such as energy, water, cyanide, detox reagents
To fully harness the full benefits of APC, the implementation of such a solution should be done in a stepwise approach, starting with a handful of standard processes.
Let’s look at an example: feeding and integrating cyanide measurements from CyanoGuard’s solution into a standard APC solution. Cyanide testing and monitoring with our solution are entirely digital and easy-to-use.
When used in conjunction with the APC solution, mining operators have the ability to:
• monitor real-time cyanide levels,
• compare data against reference data,
• automate cyanide addition,
• analyse cyanide consumption patterns and actual throughput,
• carry out hydrometallurgical leach experiments and
• react to cases where cyanide level falls outside the desired range.
All data are secured and traceable for reporting and optimisation purposes. The use of digital, integrative solutions the APC do not only improve the performance and throughput but also enable safer, more environmentally sustainable and responsible mining.