CTI in Mining
CTI in Mining
EVOLVING THE INDUSTRY
RF energy delivered via CTI could be used for the thermal fracturing of rock, to improve extraction and crushing at the start of the mining process, for the drying of mining ore at the end of the refining process, and for tailings pond remediation.
The use of heat in mining processes has been documented back to first century BC, when gold miners built fires against a rock face to be mined, resulting in fracturing of the rock. Natural gas or propane powered conventional heating is now typically used. To reduce GHG emissions and improve economics in mining, the potential benefits of microwave or RF energy has been broadly recognized (microwave and RF are both forms of electromagnetic (EM) energy that can be used to produce heat, though distinct differences exist relative to industrial drying or heating applications).
Like in the drying of bulk solids, microwave use in mining demonstrated shorter drying times and higher energy efficiency compared to conventional drying. Testing showed substantial improvements in fracturing and, crushing, reduced waste and even yield improvements on a wide range of minerals. However, the use of microwaves also demonstrated economic and scalability limitations.
We believe cti can resolve these economic and scalability issues
CTI, due to its unique ability to scale from 100 kW to 10 MW, could economically support even very large mining operations by delivering up to 10x the power of microwaves, and at a much lower operating cost, while significantly reducing or even eliminating direct GHG emissions. Other potential benefits of RF via CTI in mining include:
- The lower operating frequency of RF versus microwave heating means the energy could penetrate further into the rock, fracturing a greater volume of material.
- The improvement in fracturing and crushing could significantly reduce energy requirements and cost. Those improvements would contribute to higher yield as the target mineral can be more readily liberated from the surrounding rock structure.
- Drying via RF has been demonstrated to yield a higher quality product with less waste.