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MEI Online: Froth Flotation: Latest News: February 9th 2017


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:: Flotation Process Audit and Bottleneck Identification


In flotation operations, the metallurgical team follows daily production and is prepared to act on any changes to the process in order to maintain the concentrate quality at the specified level and to maximize recovery. Common questions during daily operations are: “What are today’s recovery and grade?”, “Are the mills run with maximal throughput?”, and “Are we within budget?”. What is often forgotten is: “What could be the recovery?”, “Where are we losing valuable minerals?” and “Is the equipment operating at its best?”. To answer these questions, a process audit coupled with laboratory scale tests is required. When combined with process modeling, this procedure can be used to evaluate the possible benefits of plant modernizations.

Carrying Out Process Audits

In order to assess the metallurgical performance of a process in detail and to identify its bottlenecks, an in-depth process audit is required. The objective of the audit is to collect data from the process, generate mass balance, and analyze the performance of the process from the established mass balance. The data required for the mass balance includes throughputs, solids contents, as well as chemical compositions of the process streams. Part of the data can be collected from the automation system or the daily production reports, but most of the data needs to be based on a sampling campaign.

The objective of sampling campaigns is to collect samples from the selected process streams giving solids and water balance for the assessed process or part thereof. Prior to commencement of a sampling campaign, it is necessary to define the scope and identify the limitations. The most important stage during planning is the identification of sampled streams, of the most suitable sampling locations and of the sampling methodology.

Read the full article at the Outotec website here: www.outotec.com/en/Minerals-processing-newsletter/




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