Applying Sigmafine in Mining & Metallurgy
As modern metal and mining companies work to implement full and rigorous metallurgical accounting systems, Sigmafine is a critical component in that implementation, providing a single metallurgical balance management tool accessible by financial accounting, mining, metallurgy, and operational departments.
Metallurgical accounting requires tracking all valued materials as they travel through the process. The question is not whether metallurgical accounting is imperative; it’s clear that it is. Rather, the question is how to make use of the metallurgical accounting process to achieve operational excellence. The answer is to implement a solution that accounts for and reconciles all metallurgical data at every stage in the process, empowering engineers and operators with the information they need to improve efficiencies, such as metal recovery and uptime. That reconciliation process is not without challenge. Those challenges include:
- Overwhelming amounts of information
- Low confidence and lack of data consistency
- Unbalanced flow rate and composition measurement data
- Complex information without the proper context
Additionally, that same system should also have user role-dependent data segregation capabilities to meet transparency and auditability requirements while protecting the established business rules from being changed without approval. Ultimately, the same system needs to deliver consistent flows of information while protecting that information from human bias. This segregation prevents any unapproved changes to business rules, which have to be aligned with the metallurgical practices and auditing controls.
Sigmafine empowers the mining and metallurgy industry with software to efficiently manage, validate, and reconcile information based on business rules and conservation principles set by accounting and international standards, such as the AMIRA standard. Beyond the features and functions that the platform gives to the end user, the Sigmafine solution enables a focal point to support the metal accounting process that serves as the source of information for operational systems as well as business systems, such as an ERP.
- Reduce KPI uncertainty
- Apply first principles and concentration laws to achieve data consistency
- Monitor and validate recoveries
- Track valuable materials across the process network
Comprehensive Metallurgical Accounting
Sigmafine provides a comprehensive metallurgical system that delivers validated, secure, auditable, and accurate information to financial systems and operation managers, allowing both to optimize efficiencies. Additionally, engineers and operators use data generated from Sigmafine to compute process recoveries or other KPIs with increased certainty.
Sigmafine is configured to perform metallurgical balances for the entire metallurgical complex using the component balance analysis rule. The component balance is a standard component of the Sigmafine server that implements powerful algorithms to estimate reconciled metal concentrations that comply with processing unit concentration laws across the entire process network.
As a first step, Pimsoft uses the PI Asset Framework to create “process templates” for the different processes and related equipment (mill, concentration, floatation cell, etc.). Next, a connectivity model is developed to represent the facility’s material flows. Finally, meters and analyzers are represented to receive information from the process data historian using out-of-the box connectivity.
The Benefits of Improved Data Quality
Improved data quality in the metals and mining industry are primarily associated with:
- Automating and validating metallurgical accounting
- Estimating and tracking stockpiles and bulk storage composition
- Accurately monitoring implemented production and environmental strategies
The Business Impact of Implementing Sigmafine
Many Sigmafine customers implement a standard metallurgical accounting tool across all their sites to safeguard production figures and metallurgical analysis, as well as make material quantity and availability data accessible. Furthermore, customers found Sigmafine-generated data led to other unexpected benefits, including:
- Improved production planning based on environmental strategies
- Maximized and optimized production according the company objectives
- Minimized environmental impact
Sigmafine References in Mining and Metallurgy
Abstract: See how Codelco implemented a metallurgical production balance to report validated and accurate production and bulk inventories as well as to validate the correct implementation of planned production and environmental strategies using Sigmafine mass and component balance with Composition Tracking.
Used for: Metal accounting; validating production and environmental strategies; estimating inventory stockpiles and inventories composition
Benefit: Automatic metal accounting; automatic daily monitoring of composition and quantities of inventories; AMIRA reporting compliance; More than 1% improvement in declared plant recoveryLearn More
Abstract: : Learn how Yanacocha, Peru’s largest gold producer, uses Sigmafine with mass and component balance configuration to implement the AMIRA standard for monitoring, auditing, and corporate reporting.
Used for: Production accounting, monitoring, and auditing
Benefit: Automatic production accounting; gold and water balance; incorporation of planned/forecast productionLearn More
Pimsoft Report: Overview of the Sigmafine LNG Extension
Abstract: Metals and Mining operators generally have poor data quality yet must adhere to operating standards; pushing them to use digital solutions condition their process data to meet production and environmental reporting guidelines.
Used for: Performance monitoring, real-time validated KPIs, loss monitoring (mass and energy) and unmeasured flow estimation
Benefit: Metal accounting, component balances, water balances, composition and quantity estimate of stockpiles