Mineral processing operations are complex systems that must be flexible enough to manage often highly variable feed material. Continuous improvement is always needed to ensure that the process circuit is delivering the best results for the operator and valuable metals are not lost to the tailings stream. Process optimisation encompasses a range of cases, from troubleshooting complex problems affecting recovery to improving overall performance of the flowsheet to exceed design expectations.
MinAssist aims to improve your process optimisation capacity through our extensive experience by injection of new ideas, exposure to new technologies and methods. We work closely with operations teams to complement their skills and drive valuable improvements with minimal outlay.
- Problem Definition
- Implementation Support
Advantages of plant optimisation
Plant optimisation should be a routine practice for all mineral processing operations. Some of the advantages to be gained from optimisation of your process include:
- Improved recovery of primary and by-products;
- Reduced processing costs;
- Improved overall process economics;
- Improved asset performance;
- Increased product quality;
- Improved resource utilisation;
- Reduced risk levels;
- Framework for rapid re-evaluation of life-of-mine strategies to reflect the economic environment;
- Reduced energy consumption;
- Trend based analysis for prediction of process changes.
Who have we helped?
MinAssist has performed process optimisation projects for 20 years, working globally on both small scale and Tier 1 operations. Some examples include:
Assessment of potential for beneficiation of gold from oxide ores. Detailed scrubbing and screening program defined that significant upgrade of gold grade could be achieved using a simple scrubbing and screening process. This was coupled with an audit of cross-belt samplers to ensure that gold grades were not under-reported in the process.
Mineralogical characterisation and assessment of lead-zinc flotation behaviour.
Characterisation of material types, which were then related to observed process performance. Based on this it was defined that a proportion of ore types contained very fine grained lead and zinc bearing minerals, while a proportion contained very coarse grained lead and zinc minerals. Optimisation of mine plan and process parameters to allow for differing flotation behaviour was completed resulting in significant recovery increase.
Characterisation of gold associations and deportment was used to predict gold recovery to copper concentrate. Allowing inclusion of gold and silver as a payable by-product in the Spence Growth Option project, adding significant value to the project NPV.
Completed characterisation of associations and deportment of gold in flotation tailings streams.
Operational mineralogy program that led to optimisation of distribution of material between oxide and sulphide recovery circuits. Led to overall total copper recovery improvement of 5%.
Assessment of water recovery and treatment technologies.
Characterisation of gold associations and deportment for use in development of processing optimisation strategies.