Tin is an often overlooked commodity that is gaining increasing importance as a battery mineral. While tin is used in tinplate, for food storage etc the principle use of tin in today’s economy is in electronics as the primary component of lead free solder. With the increasing prevalence of electric cars and general electrification of our economy tin is become a much more important metal.

The grain size of cassiterite is an important factor in tin processing, as if the grain size drops much below 0.15mm gravity processing becomes less efficient and production of high grade concentrates becomes difficult.

Tin is predominantly hosted in cassiterite, a tin oxide mineral. Tin processing has historically focused on gravity concentration of cassiterite to a concentrate containing between 50% and 60% Sn. This concentrate is then smelted to produce tin metal.

Process circuits now often include cassiterite flotation to recover more of the fine grained cassiterite and increasingly more efficient gravity concentrators are reducing the effective minimum grain size for processing.

MinAssist has experience in development of both conventional gravity tin concentration circuits and flotation circuits. In addition, we have undertaken research with clients for hydrometallurgical extraction of tin, which promises to provide a more efficient option for tin recovery.


  • Sampling audits
  • Geometallurgical modelling of vanadium resources
  • Mine to mill studies
  • Operational mineralogy
  • Circuit auditing and optimisation
  • By product optimisation
  • Process flow sheet development
  • Process simulation
  • JORC competent person

MinAssist's Projects

MinAssist has completed a number of significant tin projects:

Cleveland Tin Project, Tasmania

MinAssist undertook detailed mineral characterisation for Cleveland tailings material and fresh ore for Elementos Ltd. The grain size of cassiterite in the Cleveland tailings is very fine, often less than 15 micron, requiring a different processing configuration to a conventional tin gravity circuit. Working with Elementos MinAssist developed a process flow sheet focusing on fine cassiterite recovery using a combination of flotation and fine gravity separation.

How can we help you?

  • Geometallurgical model development
  • Mine to mill studies
  • Circuit audits
  • Tin by-product characterisation and circuit optimisation

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