Developing a model to quantify social impact of metal extraction for complex resources using the Boomtown Toolkit


The aim of the proposed work specifically concerns building the links between process responses and mine social impacts using an existing tool, the Boomtown Toolkit. Successful outcomes of the work would fill in gaps in social understanding, develop flexible process chain to manage social risks as things change, help understand the effects of process responses in technical, environmental and other risks, and contribute to the final integrated process prediction.

In the past century, mining ores of declining grade and with more complex mineralogy has become possible with small incremental technological developments. However, there are still a large number of deposits that are undeveloped due to technical challenges, environmental concerns, or social issues. Mining is beset with such risks, and these risks change with the process of how metals will be extracted. There is, thus, a pressing need to seek for transformation of the entirely new mining and mineral processing processes with the strategy of integrated process prediction.

The proposed integrated framework predicts the response of a processing chain to changes in ore type or processing options and in turn evaluates the risk profile in response to the process performance. This framework would enable a balanced assessment of various risks as processes or ore type change, by leveraging existing models and tools and it will allow identifying gap of our knowledge and model for future research and development.