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Black Chrome Mine

Black Chrome mine

Throughout the mining industry, TOMRA clients are now offered the chance to explore the benefits of digital sorting. In South Africa, Black Chrome Mine – part of the Sail Group – is doing so with the support of our local service team.

19 October 2020

TOMRA Insight is a subscription-based service that turns sorting machines into connected devices that generate valuable process data. This data is gathered in near real-time, stored securely in the cloud, and can be accessed from anywhere and across plants via a web portal available for desktop and mobile devices.  For Black Chrome Mine the platform is – in this early trial stage – being managed for them by TOMRA’s service manager Dean Labuschagne.

Remote data access for ease of use

“The ability to remotely monitor all sorting activities using a single interface, is particularly interesting for our customers in the mining industry,” says Dean Labuschagne. "With big distances between headquarters and mining site, this is exactly what companies such as Black Chrome Mine need to build a better collaboration between management and operations.”

"Mineral processors can now move from making decisions based on experience and local observations to decisions based on experience and hard facts. This means TOMRA Insight can help reduce waste rock and downstream processing costs, enabling processors to earn more dollars per ton.”

Fact-based decision making

TOMRA Insight machine overviewDean Labuschagne: “With TOMRA Insight, you have the ability to know exactly what your sorter is doing at any given time. Is it running? Is it running with or without feed? Are we feeding under- or oversized material? Do we need to intervene? The digital sorting dashboard captures and visualizes a wide variety of valuable performance metrics.”

Improved performance and cost-efficiency

Even in this early stage, data-driven optimization projects such as the one at Black Chrome Mine show that the mining operations’ cost-efficiency can be significantly improved. Downtime is reduced by monitoring machine health and performance in near real-time, identifying gaps in production and analyzing potential root causes. Maintenance management is made easier by moving to predictive and condition-based TOMRA Insight plant overviewmaintenance, and by preventing unscheduled machine shutdowns. Throughput is maximized by evaluating material grade variations and optimizing sorting equipment accordingly. And sorting to target quality is enhanced by having accurate material composition data which enables decisions to be based on more detailed information.

Future possibilities

To build on these already impressive benefits, TOMRA Mining is working closely with customers such as Black Chrome Mine to continuously develop TOMRA Insight. The future will bring the addition of more features and functionalities, which customers will automatically receive as part of their Service Level Agreement.

Dean Labuschagne: “I am convinced that digital sorting metrics generated with TOMRA Insight will rapidly grow into a strategic management tool with benefits from mining site to boardroom. A well-documented view of the sorting data will become an indicator for the mine’s overall performance. And a better insight into the volume and grade of both the deposit and the yield will become a determining factor for a more adequate mine management.”