MASTER S DEGREE PROJECTS

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1 MASTER S DEGREE PROJECTS THE BOLIDEN VALUE CHAIN Boliden is a base metals company with a commitment to sustainability. Our core competency lies within the fields of exploration, mining, smelting and recycling. Our roots are Nordic, but our business is 1global.

2 CONTENTS Working at boliden...4 Map...5 s for master`s degree exploration: EXPLORATION PROcessINg routine to handle disturbances from power lines, wind turbines and main ROAds in BolidEN s EM ground surveys PETROPhysicAL properties and INducED POLARIzATION of sandstones: implications for mineral exploration...8 Master s degree projects in mining engineering suggestions FOR AITIK OPEN-PIT MINE AUTONOMOus MINE ROAds IN UNDERGROUND MINE method FOR TESTING STRENGTH OF FILL withdrawal OF INTERMEDIATE LEVELS DURING sub-level STOPING AT LAPPBERGET ventilation SImuLATION IN RENSTRÖM MINE design OF PLANNING TOOLS AND CONTROL RULES FOR ROCK TRANSPORT IN KRISTINEBERG OPTIMISATION OF LOGISTIcs FLOW FOR ORE TRANSPORTS AND INBOUND DELIVERIES REducED NITRATE DIschARGE FROM EXPLOSIVES UNDERGROUND design OF MAJOR BLASTS (SLOT DESIGN) OTHER SUGGESTIONS FOR MASTER S DEGREE PROJECTS IN ENGINEERING...21 Master s degree projects in process engineering desulphurisation OF tailings OPTIMISATION OF REGRINDING IN A FLOTATION CIRcuIT LEAchING OF pyrrhotite PURIFICATION OF ACIDIC MINE WATER fine PARTICLE FLOTATION flotation OF TELLURIDE MINERAL fundamental parameters for flotation development OF LAB METHOD FOR FLOTATION TESTING flotation OF DISINTEGRATED ORE IN AITIK IMPACT OF SULPhuR AND COPPER CONTENT ON COLLECTOR REAGENT NEED AT AITIK PURIfyING CONTAMINATED WATER THROugh FREEZING functional PROCEss IMAGES

3 Master s degree projects in the environment ROOT penetration in protective and sealing layers IN tailings ponds no longer in use InvENTORyINg of the function and long-term effects of vegetation establishment with digested sludge method for mapping out nitrogen flows EvALuATION of alternative sealing layers as regards OXygen penetration OPTImisATION of physical properties of sedimentation PONds PhyTOREmedIATION EvALuATION of vegetation establishment at waste rock LANdfILLs with help of digested sludge creation of new industrial area in GarpenbERg...42 Master s degree projects at Rönnskär survey OF RÖNNSKÄR S WATER USAGE PuRIfyINg decopperised electrolyte THE EffECT OF CHLORIDE CONTENT IN ELECTROLYTE ON THE SULPhuR CONTENT IN CATHODE COPPER LEAchINg of gas cleaning dusts EvALuATION and implementation of copper converting model gravimetric SEPARATION OF SMELTED SLAG, MATTE AND SPEIss AS A FUNCTION OF THE SLAG S PhysICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES INCREASED PRACTICAL AND THEORETICAL UNDERSTANDING OF ANTIMONY DISTRIbuTION DURING CONVERTING waste WATER PURIFICATION REGARDING NICKEL AND ANTIMONY OPTIMISATION OF STEP 1 IN DECOPPERIZATION PLANT AssAYING OF INCOMING MATERIAL AT SAMPLING PLANT PROducTION OF ANTIMONY FROM INTERMEDIATE PROducTS EXAMINE THE EXISTANCE OF RARE ELEMENTS IN INTERMEDIATE PROducTS AT RÖNNSKÄR INVESTIGATION OF THE IMPACT OF ph ON ARSENIC PRECIPITATION AT RÖNNSKÄR WASTE WATER TREATMENT PLANT

4 WORKING AT BOLIDEN Boliden has a great need to recruit employees in the near future. Skilled and involved employees are a necessity in helping us to run and develop our operations. Within the upcoming five years, interesting jobs will be available in many of our approximately 200 (!) occupational categories. We need people with drive, creative thinking and cutting-edge expertise in different areas and we need a balance of experienced and new employees. Working at Boliden means that you are part of a group with greatly decentralised operations spanning many different countries. In many development areas, the work is carried out in project form or in small work groups. This creates the opportunity for exciting challenges for both specialists and leaders. Master s degree projects 2013 Performing your master s degree project and/or placement at Boliden gives you the opportunity to become acquainted with the industry and the company. Getting to know each other often leads to employment. You are holding in your hands a list of suggestions for technical master s degree projects for students. An updated list is found at Some master s degree projects can be carried out in English. Different compensation terms apply depending on where you do your master s degree project. Please contact us for more information: Janne Lindmark, Human Resources Department, Boliden Mines +46 (0) Emma Rönnblom-Pärson, External Environment, Boliden Mines +46 (0) Leif Båtsman, Work Environment, Boliden Mines +46 (0) Anders Forsgren, Forest & Land, Boliden Mines +46 (0) Andreas Berggren, Minerals Engineering, Boliden Mines +46 (0) Hans Årebäck, Exploration, Boliden Mines +46 (0) Staffan Sandström, Mining Engineering, Boliden Mines +46 (0) Marie Holmberg; Process Develop., Rönnskär, Boliden Smelter +46 (0) Boliden is a metals company with a focus on sustainable development. Scandinavian roots, global market. Our core competence lies within the fields of exploration, mining, smelting and recycling. Boliden has about 4,400 employees and an annual turnover of approximately SEK 40 billion. The stock is listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm, segment Large Cap and on the Toronto Stock Exchange in Canada. Read more at 4

5 Map Mining areas Tara zinc and lead Garpenberg zinc, silver and lead Boliden area zinc, copper, gold, silver and lead Aitik copper, gold and silver Smelters Kokkola zinc and sulphuric acid Odda zinc and aluminium fluoride Rönnskär copper, lead, zinc clinker, gold, silver and sulphuric acid Harjavalta copper, gold, silver, sulphuric acid and nickel smelting Bergsöe lead alloys and tin alloys Offices Stockholm group headquarters Stockholm business area Smelters Boliden business area Mines Neuss sales office LeamingtonSpa sales office 5

6 IDEAS FOR MASTER`S DEGREE EXPLORATION: 1. EXPLORATION In the Exploration Department we offer Master of Science (MSc) projects in several themes and geographic areas. The Exploration Department includes three main divisions: Near-mine Exploration, Field Exploration and Geophysics: Near-mine exploration is concerned with locating new ore bodies close to Boliden s existing mines and advanced exploration projects, including the Kristineberg, Maurliden, Renström and Kankberg mines in the Skellefte mining district (Västerbotten county, Sweden), Aitik mine (Norrbotten county, Sweden), Rockliden (northern Sweden), Garpenberg and Stollberg in the Bergslagen mining district (Dalarna, central Sweden) and the Tara mine at Navan (Ireland). Field Exploration is concerned with locating new ore deposits further away from Boliden s existing mines. We are currently working in the Norrbotten mining province, the Skellefte District, Bergslagen and the foothills of the Caledonide Mountain chain (all in Sweden) and in the Dublin Basin of Ireland. In these areas, Boliden can offer MSc projects in the disciplines of geology, applied geochemistry and geophysics. However, we can not offer projects in all the various geographic areas in the same year. The details of the specific projects vary from case to case, but often involve field work, followed by laboratory work and interpretation. Geological field work comprises field mapping and/or geological logging of diamond drill cores or percussion drill chips. The Geophysics group works in all of the areas described above, carrying out geophysical surveys in the field and in deep drill holes using geophysical probes. The group also develops and tests new equipment. Geophysical MSc projects may include field geophysical surveys using electrical, electromagnetic, magnetic and/or gravimetric techniques and interpretation of geophysical data. The Boliden Exploration Department has in recent years also been involved in seismic reflection surveys in mining areas. If you are interested in carrying out an MSc project (examensarbete in Swedish) in the Exploration Department please contact: Geology: Rodney Allen, Tel. +46 (0) Geochemistry: Rodney Allen, Tel. +46 (0) Geophysics: bertil Sandström, Tel. +46 (0)

7 2. PROCESSING ROuTINE TO handle DIStuRBANCES from POwER LINES, wind turbines AND MAIN ROADS IN BOLIDEN s EM GROuND surveys Boliden s own developed electromagnetic (EM) ground survey has enabled the exploration department to search for and discover deposits that were, are and will be in production. Every year a large amount of EM ground surveys are performed. Therefore the method has a very high importance for exploration. Even though Boliden s EM ground survey has been successful, the method is in continuously improvement. Measurements are disturbed by power lines, wind turbines and sometimes by main roads. Therefore there is a need to define a standard processing routine to handle noisy data, especially when interesting anomalies are located under the sources that cause the disturbances. The master candidate would develop a mathematical and physical routine to handle the interferences. The proposed method will be tested with real data, including modelling and interpretation. The developed routine will be included in the processing of Boliden s EM ground surveys when handling of disturbances is needed. Geophysics: bertil Sandström, Tel. +46 (0) , Boliden 7

8 3. PETROPhySICAL PROPERTIES AND INDUCED POLARIZATION of SANDSTONES: IMPLICATIONS for MINERAL EXPLORATION The Dorotea field is known for several sandstone-hosted Pb-Zn mineralizations in the Lower Allochthon of the Swedish Caledonides. This region has been shown to be particularly challenging for geophysical prospecting. Generally the only applicable method is the Induced Polarization (IP) method. Boliden has invested substantially in field IP measurements and is currently developing a multifrequency IP system. The IP response in sandstones due to different sources is still difficult to interpret, and the cause of anomalies is known only after testing with diamond drilling. Bedrock in the Dorotea area is very heterogeneous; sandstones and siltstones commonly contain clay minerals in the matrix. Pyrite is also common. In this master thesis project, the candidate would investigate petrophysical properties of various sandstones in a laboratory and model the IP response that a Pb-Zn mineralized sandstone would give. The outcome of the thesis would greatly help the future exploration in the Caledonides and elsewhere. The ideal candidate is a geophysics major student, who has a good understanding of the physics of the electromagnetic fields and phenomena. Especially the geoelectric methods and the concepts of complex resistivity/ spectral induced polarization (SIP) should be familiar to them on a basic level. Boliden does not have a petrophysics labaratory, thus the candidate s department needs to provide the instruments to measure SIP responses from the core samples. Also a supervising geophysicist with experience in the SIP method is expected. We encourage interested candidates to contact Boliden together with their proposed supervisors. Geophysics: Katri Vaittinen, Tel. +46 (0) , Boliden 8

9 MASTER s degree projects in mining ENGINEERING 4. SUGGESTIONS FOR AITIK OPEN-PIT MINE Boliden s open-pit mine in Aitik currently produces about 36 million tonnes of ore and the same amount of waste rock with an extremely low average content of approx. 0.2% Cu. To make the mining profitable, there must be thorough content control and effective utilisation of mine resources. Important elements behind this are modern machines, effective maintenance and effective production planning and control. In upcoming years, there will be opportunities to perform master s degree projects in a number of different areas. Some examples are found below, but this is not an exhaustive list. Other relevant ideas will be gladly considered. In most cases, a large part of the project can be performed in Aitik and Boliden. Computers and tools for studying different aspects are available in Aitik and in Boliden, but data/tools can be copied to local computers if the scope permits this. Depending on the focus, the work can be presented as a report, proposal for continued work, computer models or prototypes. These master s degree projects should be considered as suggestions that can be used as the basis for discussion. Geology The open-pit mine in Aitik has a basic design, but this can be influenced continually by new data, particularly from geology and rock mechanics. Ore is a financial concept governed not only by the grade, but also by the properties of the rock and the degree to which it is affected by blasting. The properties of the rock, particularly grindability and fragmentation, affect the cost of processing the ore while grade affects income. To optimise production and ore base, the block model of the mine can be supplemented with grade data from production drilling, historic throughput data from concentrators, Measure-While-Drilling (MWD), rock type mapping and fragmentation data. Currently, it is mainly drill cutting samples from production holes that are used to improve the block model. But, there are ideas to supplement with several other methods to improve the data. Possible projects: Improved geological models and data based on both exploration and mapping/sampling in the mine Utilise on-line sampling from drills Utilise MWD (Measure-While-Drilling) Combine explosion models with fragmentation and throughput Modelling of older waste rock dumps that may contain ore quantities historically considered waste rock. Modelling will require retrieval of data on the ore s original position, which can be obtained from older mine maps and/or trucks GPS positioning in the 2000s. Rock mechanics The rock mechanics work in Aitik is used to create a basic design. Historically, this has been based on geology and information on rock conditions, such as strength and structures, as well as on the geohydrological situation and the affect of blasting damage on the possibility of shaping the slopes according to plan. Parts of this work are performed on a running basis. For this reason, any master s degree project is best described based on the current situation. Possible assignments can be defined in the following areas: 9

10 Methods for continually monitoring slope stability Slope stability Geohydrology for impacting slope stability through water lowering Slope design Follow-up of blasting results when blasting against remaining slope Maps, GIS and open-pit mine design Nowadays, it is possible to measure the mine through traditional measurement, laser scanning, 3D photos, aerial photos, etc. By using modern measurement methods in combination with GIS and various background data, it should be possible to generate good data for decision making and planning for rock mechanics and others in the form of crack maps, content models, quality maps for height maintenance, etc. Planning and control To double the production tempo without having to double the number of loaders, etc., machine utilisation must be improved and production disruptions minimised. This can be achieved through methods such as optimising the mining plan for anywhere from the upcoming day to a few weeks in advance. The mining plan must be updated continually to account for ongoing production and disruptions. In 2008, Aitik implemented a production planning tool for this purpose. A possibility to further improve optimisation and facilitate planning is to refine the process with production plans based on simulations or optimisation algorithms that support the production planner with suggestions. Optimal fragmentation Blasting results depend on rock types, rock & blasting plans, etc. In addition, it affects loadability, loader wear and concentration results. Aitik has worked for a number of years to find the optimal combination, taking into account both costs for fragmentation and the impact of its results. There are a number of possible assignments in this area: Models for blasting and fragmentation, e.g. to divide the mine into domains. MWD to determine rock properties during drilling. Affect on loadability and loader wear. Flow model for material from the mine crusher and through plant to trace how different fragmentations affect concentration results. Production system, drilling In the area of drilling, testing is in progress with autonomous drills as well as automated on-line drill cutting sampling. Production system, loaders Aitik will produce a total of 72 million tonnes per year using 4 large loaders. Well-planned and disruption-free production is required to be able to achieve this. There are a number of possible assignments in this area: Suggestions for how loading can improve measures on and around the loader. The project can be performed as an activity study with a focus on the work site. Evaluation of operator training simulator. Refer to the planning and maintenance sections. 10

11 Production system, transport For transport from loaders to the crusher or dump, Aitik has over 20 trucks that must be allocated optimally. This is handled in real time via the dispatch system MineStar based on the required tonnage from the respective loader. At present, autonomous trucks are in use in research trial projects abroad. There are a number of possible assignments in this area: Calculation models for optimising truck usage. Optimisation of refuelling and preventive maintenance. Potential of autonomous trucks in Aitik. Maintenance Aitik s open-pit mine uses 5 large loaders, 4 large drills, about 30 trucks and many smaller machines and vehicles, all of which require maintenance. There is a need for improved maintenance planning and follow-up methods. Several machines and trucks are equipped with onboard computers for motor monitoring, etc. that should be put to better use. There are a number of possible assignments in this area: Map out existing routines for a machine or machine type and describe what areas can be improved Develop calculation method for planning maintenance activities and risk analysis. Here, risk analysis refers to assessing spare parts stock, early component replacement, etc. Develop methods/calculation models for assessing machine service life s Mining engineering: Production/Planning Arne Renström, Tel. +46 (0) , Rock mechanics: Per-Ivar Marklund, Tel. +46 (0) Optimised fragmentation: fredrik Jonsson, Tel. +46 (0) Aitik: Geology Aitik greg Joslin, Tel. +46 (0) Production planning Erik Jänkänpää, Tel. +46 (0) Production preparation/ drilling/blasting Peter Palo, Tel. +46 (0) Production loading daniel Bergius, Tel. +46 (0) Maintenance manager, mine Magnus Fjellström, Tel. +46 (0) Gällivare 11

12 5. AUTONOMOUS MINE Boliden has initiated development of an autonomous mine the first step towards the goal of no employees working at the mine face. We already use video-controlled autonomous loaders. In the upcoming years, we expect to gradually increase the use of autonomous mining in our mines. A master s degree project could be to participate in the evaluation of various machine designs and/or use simulation to calculate consequences and potentials of automation. Master s degree project possibilities in this area will be adapted to current projects. Mining engineering: Production/Planning Arne Renström, Tel. +46 (0) , Boliden 12

13 6. ROADS IN UNDERGROUND MINE Boliden mines have an extensive road system that requires resource-intensive and costly maintenance to maintain good road longevity. Road surfaces in the mine ramp systems quickly become worn and rutted from the heavy vehicle traffic. The worn and rutted road surface increases wear to vehicles, resulting in increased maintenance needs. Maintenance costs for roads and machines can be reduced by improving the quality of the road surface and the design of the road structure. Use of road material with good bearing capacity and the right distribution of granule size along with various hardening additives and a properly drained road structure can increase the durability of a mine road. The objectives of the master s degree project are: Provide suggestions for how road surface quality can be improved and the best way to build a road based on prevailing conditions in underground mines Test road material properties Examine whether additives such as cement or fly ash increase the surface life of the road surface at a reasonable cost The project is expected to consist of the following components: Literature studies. Methods for improving road surface quality, e.g. paving or hardening with cement. Road construction in mining environment with high moisture level, high inflow of water and heavy vehicle traffic. Sampling and measurement of ballast properties. Test of methods to increase road durability. Evgeny Novikov, Tel. +46 (0) , fredrik Jonsson, Tel. +46 (0) Boliden 13

14 7. METHOD FOR TESTING STRENGTH OF FILL In extremely flat ore bodies or where the ore is broad, Boliden sometimes uses horizontal cut-and-fill mining. With this method, chambers are mined next to each other without leaving a column between them. So as not to create large spans, the chambers are refilled with cement-stabilised hydraulic fill before mining of the adjacent chamber is started. The purpose of the fill is to support the walls and ceiling. The strength of a fill is primarily determined by the amount of cement in it. This amount should be sufficiently high that the fill remains vertical when the adjacent chamber is mined. A problem with this type of fill is that it often becomes stratified and the strength is therefore not uniform. The stratification is due to factors such as draining of the fill, separation in fill lines and the geometry of the mining chamber and makes it difficult to measure and evaluate strength. At present, we use an extremely simple method of inserting a knife into the fill at a number of uniformly distributed points and noting the depth of insertion. However, the results of this method are extremely dependent on the person performing it and do not actually constitute a true strength value of the fill. To optimise the amount of cement and measure improvements to fill quality, we want to find a better way to evaluate the strength of the fill. Different instruments for testing strength in soil clay and concrete are currently available on the market. The idea behind the master s degree project is: Investigate whether any existing measuring instruments (with or without modifications) can be used to determine fill strength. Develop a method to describe the strength of the fill in a statistically reliable manner. The method must be simple, quick and applicable in field conditions. The objective is to find a method that can be used to determine fill strength in the field. Field studies of fill in Boliden mines Literature study and description of existing instruments/methods for determining strength in the field Lab tests of fill using different methods Development of a statistically reliable measurement method in the field Test of the method in the field daniel Sandström, Tel. +46 (0) , Boliden 14

15 8. WITHDRAWAL OF INTERMEDIATE LEVELS DURING SUB-LEVEL STOPING AT LAPPBERGET Sub-level stoping is run simultaneously on several levels in Lappberget in Garpenberg. The mining of intermediate levels between the working levels occurs under difficult rock conditions due to greatly elevated rock stress. Stoping chambers above the intermediate levels are either filled with paste fill that has a specific strength and enables the intermediate level to be mined or filled with waste rock that requires that an ore level be left to prevent waste rock from caving into the stoping chamber. How do we maximise ore extraction in these intermediate levels? Another part of this master s degree project involves describing how residual mining of the remaining ore columns at the bottom of the level Lappberget 1080 can be performed. Develop methods for mining the intermediate level when the stoping chamber above the intermediate level is filled with paste fill or waste rock. This includes, among other things, calculation of what strength the paste fill must have to be able to mine the stoping chamber up towards a paste-filled stoping chamber. Develop a mining plan for residual mining of the ore columns at Lappberget Create mining plans for intermediate levels in Lappberget, where stoping chambers above the intermediate levels may be filled with paste fill or waste rock. Develop a mining plan for residual mining of the ore columns at Lappberget Through literature studies, investigate how intermediate levels are mined in sub-level stoping mines around the world. Utilise the mining experience available at Lappberget to understand the rock conditions at Lappberget (interplay between mining method, rock quality and stresses). Create drawings/plans that describe withdrawal of intermediate levels (geometry, reinforcement, fill technique, risk analysis, etc.). Calculate strength requirements for past fill when a stoping chamber is created under the fill. Residual mining of the ore columns at Lappberget 1080 is a special case that can utilise knowledge from the described work of withdrawing intermediate levels. Anders Nyström, Tel +46 (0) Garpenberg 15

16 9. VENTILATION SIMULATION IN RENSTRÖM MINE The ventilation system of the Renström mine is large and complex. The system must be redesigned as the mine will be deepened to the 1400-metre level while at the same time new areas will be opened above the 800-metre level. In 2011, studies will be conducted to examine how the new sections should be mined. With the help of ventilation measurements and map data, create an updated ventilation model in the Renström mine that can be used when dimensioning ventilation flows in the mine. The objective of the master s degree project is to build a calibrated ventilation model in the VentSim Visual simulation program that the mine can then use when planning new production areas. The project is expected to consist of the following components: Literature studies. Methods for measuring air flows and air pressure, calculating system friction plus the VentSim Visual manual. Measure the existing ventilation system. Design and calibrate a simulation model fredrik Jonsson, Tel +46 (0) Boliden/Renström 16

17 10. DESIGN OF PLANNING TOOLS AND CONTROL RULES FOR ROCK TRANSPORT IN KRISTINEBERG Kristineberg s strategic plans will lead to a production increase to 800,000 tonnes of ore and preparation to make such production possible. A development project has been running at Kristineberg in several areas to achieve the intended production increase. Planning and control of rock transport in the mine is an area that has not yet been investigated and developed to the scope we feel is necessary. Improve planning and control of rock transport in the Kristineberg mine. The purpose of the master s degree project is to monitor parameters such as stock levels and lead times for rock transport in the mines and to look at how to optimise these. Find simple tools for performing checks and standardise of the procedure for this. Create simple planning parameters for optimised rock management. Formulate control rules. Implement the tools and procedure. The project is expected to consist of the following components: Literature study. Suitable methods for analysing and determining planning and control rules. Supplementary investigation and flow study for rock transport. Development of tools and rules. Implementation of the procedure. fredrik Jonsson, Tel. +46 (0) Thomas Theolin, Tel. +46 (0) Boliden area/ Kristineberg 17

18 11. OPTIMISATION OF LOGISTICS FLOW FOR ORE TRANSPORTS AND INBOUND DELIVERIES The Boliden area consists of a concentrator and a number of mines (one open-pit mine and 3 underground mines), all within approx kilometres of each other. The ore is mined in the mines and transported by truck to the concentrator. At the concentrator, the ore is dressed into a number of products (concentrate) that contain gold, silver, copper, zinc, lead and tellurium. Concentration is performed in campaigns, where one ore is dressed at a time. The lengths of the campaign vary from a few days to up to one month. The ore production in the mine with stock situation, ore transports, stock situation of the inbound delivery at the concentrator together with campaign planning are all associated with high costs that should be reduced and a certain degree of error management that should be avoided. An investigation of the logistics related to the mine s ore production and stocking, aspects related to ore transports, the stock situation of the inbound delivery at the concentrator together with campaign planning. Create a dynamic simulation of the entire system to enable testing of different improvement suggestions. Lower costs for logistics related to ore management in the mine and concentrator. Avoid error management. The project is carried out at Boliden s office in Boliden and in the Boliden area. The work is preferably performed by an engineer with a background in logistics. A category B driving license is required as there is travel to and from the mines Torbjörn Viklund, Tel. +46 (0) , M malin Rosenius, Tel. +46 (0) Boliden area 18

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