Cross-wise program:

Photo credit: SMI-ICE-Chile

Mine closure is an integral phase in the mining industry, although it is a global challenge. Research projects in this area consider the risks and opportunities associated with the complex dynamics between environmental and social issues related to closing a mine. The frameworks that analyse the risks and opportunities are developed and applied to site to support in the development of technologies and strategies for a successful and sustainable closure. We study the scope of social aspects in closure stages, the differentiated identification of impacts in communities, and the strategies to carry out initiatives that generate opportunities for development of territories. Likewise, we carry out study for the identification, characterisation and validation of available technologies and tools for sustainable closure of tailings deposits, gangue and leach pads that ensure physical and chemical stability of the deposits.

SMI-ICE-Chile carries out projects for the optimization of mine-plant operation including mine-plant integration; development, review and implementation of geometallurgical programs; and training of site staff in the different available software such as JKBlast, JKSimMet, JKSimFloat, and JKMetBal. These programs, respectively, allow the user to model and simulate blast, mill and flotation processes as well as carry out mass balances. The recently developed JKVBOC program allows to model the shift and dilution of minerals during blasting, which in turn allows for control of the mineral fed to the plant in value-based ore control. This is an area has direct contact with universities in Chile, where it offers academic versions of the software, free to use by future generations of mining professionals who can benefit from modelling and simulation capacities throughout the mining production chain.

Cross-wise program:

Photo credit: SMI-ICE-Chile. JKSimMet

Cross-wise program:

Photo credit: SMI-ICE-Chile. Minera Candelaria, Lunding Mining Chile

Greater energy efficiency is achieved through the correct characterisation of an ore deposit regarding its energy requirements for extraction and processing. Through the design of a plant and a control strategy operational variability minimised and the use of the installed capacity is maximised. And through the integration of am energy generation, distribution and consumption in order to maximise the use of potency at the mine site. The reduction of the carbon footprint of mining operations and the lower energy costs associated are the primary expected benefits of this work. SMI Australia is directly involved in work carried out in Chile on this topic through the Mine Energy Transformation and Integration Program (METI).
Recent work in this area is related to quantification and prioritisation of opportunities for greater energy efficiency in milling and classification. SMI Australia is directly involved in work carried out in Chile on this topic through the Mine Energy Transformation and Integration Program (METI).

Understanding, dialogue, and creation of a knowledge base about social aspects of resource extraction

Asymmetrical and transactional relationships between companies and communities have produced friction and disagreements that generate negative impacts for all stakeholders.
There is a need for the implementation of strategic solutions to achieve excellence in social performance through a deep and focused commitment to communities. 
Using a crosswise analysis and social risk management approach we promote operational transparency and shared value creation throughout the mine life cycle.


Photo credit: SMI-ICE-Chile, Pascua-Lama, Chile


Photo credit: Codelco, Radomiro Tomic Division, Chile

Integrated management, circular economy and ecosystemic protection

Minerals processing generates massive mine waste and contamination, which can produce negative impacts on the environment and people, becoming one of the primary challenges of the industry.
Understanding the dynamics, risks and the mining context allows for the identification of opportunities and generation of solutions to create value from mine waste as well as the rehabilitation of soils, aligned with the principles of sustainability and circular economy.
Through the development and integration of cutting-edge technologies, methodologies and strategies we generate innovative solutions that address the entire system in order to achieve transformational management.

Collaborative management, sustainable and resilient sources, and efficiency of use 

The effects of climate change, the exploitation of water resources, and low water quality are issues affecting socioeconomic development of territories and ecosystems. The disintegration of information, lack of collaboration and generalised inefficiencies of use maintain a state of crises related to water.
It is essential that the water crises be addressed by integrating every element, knowledge, and key player. Successful and sustainable solutions for the long term can be created through the integration of information and an effective collaboration.
We generate data and develop models and tools that provide an understanding of catchment systems and dynamics. The participation of industry, communities and local government allows us to connect all the elements and build local solutions to generate social, economic and environmental growth.


Photo credit: Codelco, El Teniente Division, Chile


Photo credit: Codelco, El Teniente Division, Chile

Safety culture based on data and on people

Despite the great advances in health and safety, organisational and cultural gaps in the mining industry do not allow companies to achieve operations free of harm and fatalities.
Foreseeing and managing new challenges, creating resilient, adaptable, and flexible organisations where health and safety are inseparable from mine operations and the values of people who work in them.
With technological integration and data analytics, alongside an in-depth cultural understanding of organisations, we provide possibilities of advancing toward a preventive-predictive approach to health and safety.

Exploration of critical metals, geometallurgical analysis, a basis for circular economy

The mining industry is facing a constant reduction in ore grades, an increase in potentially contaminating chemical element content, and greater metal demands which have socioeconomic and environmental relevance.
Understanding and taking advantage of the synergies between geometallurgy, geochemistry and applied minerology allows for efficient and sustainable solutions that add economic value, optimise processes, and mitigate socioenvironmental impacts throughout the mine life cycle.
Through the integration of analysis, interpretations and modelling of geological data with cutting edge technologies, methodologies and strategies we promote better decision-making processes, from exploration, production, mineral processing, up until the generation of mine waste.


Photo credit: Puquíos drillcores


Photo credit: Codelco, El Teniente Division, Chile

Operational performance, water and energy efficiency

High variability of minerals and the decrease in ore grades affects operational costs and intensifies the productive process, resulting in high energy and water consumption, as well as a higher volume of waste.
Understanding the dynamics of the mine life cycle from extraction to waste, allows for the design of specific solutions catered to each mine site and operational context.
The development and application of models and technologies connects the processing stages to the variables that affect them, generating an integrated management that increases performance and positively impacts the entire life cycle.

General Enquiries

+56 2 2307 9710


Sustainable Minerals Institute International Centre of Excellence Chile
The University of Queensland

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