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Newsflash - January 2017


·          P1183 Heap Leach Roadmap towards the Next Generation of collaborative heap leach technology and operations

·          P1167 In Situ Metal Recovery Roadmap – a global industry initiative

·          AMIRA International P1158: Process design options for refractory sulfide gold concentrates

·          Hackathon - Build the world’s first ‘end2end’ multiplayer 3D Virtual Mining Rehearsal Environment video game




P1183 Heap Leach Roadmap towards the Next Generation of collaborative heap leach technology and operations


Heap leaching is a very important part of many mining companies’ portfolio of options for economic development of low grade ore reserves. In the current hard economic times with cutbacks in both personnel and budgets, collaboration to address common issues focusing on heap leaching can provide significant return on investment.


AMIRA International is circulating a Prospectus which proposes to produce a Collaborative Heap Leach Roadmap (CHLR) which will achieve a collective consensus by stakeholders on those areas in heap leaching where gaps in technology, operating knowledge and environmental practices exist that are conducive to collaborative investment and prioritize them according to agreed criteria.


A twelve to sixteen month roadmapping process is being proposed to achieve the CHLR because it has been shown to be an effective mechanism to define a collective vision of the future, obtain industry-wide consensus on the issues and through engagement of all key stakeholders articulate impediments that need to be addressed to achieve the vision and identify what should be done to address all of them.


Focus of the Collaborative Heap Leach Roadmap will be on companies with operations in North and South America whose future profitability depends on heap leaching. Copper, gold and silver, nickel and uranium heap leaching will be the principal commodities of focus of the CHLR.


This initiative will deliver an industry-led heap leach Roadmap designed to identify and develop a plan to successfully accomplish through collaborative research and development improved metal recoveries, lower operating costs and focused capital investment for heap leach operations.


The initiative will succeed only if sufficient support is secured from a broad section of the industry and other stakeholders. This support is not only in the form of funding but critically also in the input necessary to define the Roadmap.


For further details please contact:


Terry Braden - AMIRA International Regional Manager, North America or +1 303 400 3982



P1167 In Situ Metal Recovery Roadmap – a global industry initiative


In Situ Metal Recovery (ISMR) has the potential to be a key enabling technology in the minerals industry, with the intention of extracting value from otherwise uneconomic mineral resources. To make this ideal a reality, a number of key technical hurdles need to be overcome. Unravelling some of the fundumental physio-chemical processes, as well as the development of various novel technologies, is still required for successful appliction of ISMR technology and this is considered to be a daunting task for individual companies.


An industry-wide collective approach using a roadmap is a proven methodology to define the vision and plan for complex and difficult multi-disciplinary problems facing an industry.


The benefits for sponsors of the project are;

  • Shared costs in developing the various technologies that are required,
  • Participating companies will be seen to be participating in innovative initiatives and have an influence in the outcomes,
  • The potential identification of a company’s immediate exploitable opportunities based on the current ISMR state-of-the-art, including contacts and information to support the development of such opportunities,
  • Participating companies will be first to benefit from the new technologies, and
  • A unified approach to government and regulatory bodies in garnering support for the initiatives.


AMIRA is developing, planning and running this initiative, which is seen as a complex issue that is critical to the Resources Industry’s future.


Dr Laura Kuhar CSIRO has been selected to be Project Leader for the technology aspects of the project. Laura has presented several papers in this space and is therefore eminently suited to this role for the project.


Commitments from Sponsors have already been received. If you would like to know more about ISMR and the Roadmap initiative looking to drive this industry shaping technology forward, please contact:

John Visser - AMIRA International Program Manager or +61 (0)409 776 781



AMIRA International P1158: Process design options for refractory sulfide gold concentrates

A significant contemporary challenge for many gold mining companies is to define economic process options for treating refractory and “double refractory” gold ore bodies. Refractory gold ores are those that do not yield high gold recoveries in conventional cyanide-leaching circuits, even when the ore is finely ground.


The AMIRA P1158 project will provide sponsors with quality processing information that can be the basis for Scoping to PFS level plant design studies. The deliverables from the project will be:

  • A benchmarking database for comparing roasting, pressure oxidation, bio-oxidation and Albion processing options,
  • A guide of procedures and test work protocols required for appropriate test work for each technology solution,
  • A plant process mass and energy balance for the appropriate technology; and
  • An interactive model to allow sponsors to compare the four technologies and generate CAPEX and OPEX for different scenarios to assist in their technology selection.


The benefits to project sponsors will be:

  • In the case of mining companies, they will acquire a low cost, pragmatic system for assessing which processing option is probably the best option for their ore, before embarking on a metallurgical test work program.
  • For engineering, technology and reagent supplier companies, they will secure a framework for assessing their product offering within the context of the overall processing options for refractory ores.
  • Exclusive use of the outcomes of the project for 18 months and royalty free, non-exclusive perpetual use thereafter, and they will therefore have a distinct advantage over competitors without access to similar information.


For more information on AMIRA International's P1158 please contact:

John Visser - AMIRA International Program Manager or +61 (0)409 776 781



Hackathon - Build the world’s first ‘end2end’ multiplayer 3D Virtual Mining Rehearsal Environment video game


Greetings everyone and a Happy New Year!

You may recall from a SPECIAL PAPER called Bringing Mining into the THIRD Millennium in our Newsletter of July 2016 that the Centre for Applied Neuroscience in Business is building a Multiplayer 3D Virtual Mine Emulation Rehearsal Environment


The Centre for Applied Neuroscience in Business has joined forces with the Sustainable Minerals Institute of the University of Queensland to hold a Hackathon on Friday 3rd, Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th February on the UQ campus in Brisbane. We are working with the Director of SMI, Neville Plint, a former Chair of AMIRA International and VP of Innovation at AngloAmerican’s Centre for Experiential Learning in Johannesburg.


What are we going to hack?


We are challenging the SMI students and faculty, leading programmer groups and Mining Industry participants to jointly develop and build the world’s first ‘end2end’ multiplayer 3D Virtual Mining Rehearsal Environment video game.


Many in the Industry believe that it is high time for Mining to integrate all the moving parts of the business into an articulated, interactive and flexible whole to help shift Mining from being the most laggardly adopter of technology and new ideas in the world, to moving into at least the top quartile.


It is also high time for all of the multiple research disciplines that are a part of and inform the Mining Industry to have a research and design tool that they can all use simultaneously with each other and across silos to improve mutual understanding of today’s problems and find workable solutions in this messy multistakeholder world.


Our Hackathon already has strong commitment, support and interest from BHP, Newcrest, AngloAmerican, Wenco Mining Systems, Dassault Systèmes, AMIRA International, Hatch, Colorado School of Mines, Hycroft Nevada, and we are expecting many more to confirm their attendance.


If you are a hard bitten and cynical GM, COO or CFO type or know of anyone who would benefit from this mind expanding experience, we could definitely use your industry insight and guidance. Yes, it would help if they were open minded but actually I would like to see what senior operational veterans make of our 3D mining video game Hackathon and our prototypes.


If this Hackathon interests you and you would like to know more, please contact me at or Neville Plint You may also want to check out this video on the application of neuroscience to solving mining and exploration problems.


We look forward to seeing you and your colleagues at our Hackathon.


Cliff Saunders



Clifford S. Saunders, BSc, MSc, PhD
Managing Director
Centre for Applied Neuroscience in Business
International Phone: +1 651 447 6447
Australia Phone: +61 (0) 487 133 006
Skype: cliffordstewartsaunders



AMIRA International Condolences


AMIRA International wishes to extend its condolences to the family and friends of the late Mr Jack Brady. Mr Brady was elected to the AMIRA Council (now Board) in 1977, and served till 1992. During this time, Mr Brady served as Hon. Treasurer, Vice-President and President.

AMIRA Head office:
Level 2, 271 William St, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia | Phone: +61 3 8636 9999 | Fax: +61 3 8636 9900