Analytics and in-stream information with particle size for flotation plant optimisation.
This project is about using ultrasonic techniques to measure particle sizes in mineral processing streams using a novel flow-through measurement unit and in-line detection of slurry characteristics and particle size distribution. Mineral processing depends significantly on particle size in almost all methods of separation and concentration. In the heart of mineral processing, flotation recovery depends on the particles’ size (optimally between 10 and 50 microns) and the liberation of the particles (i.e., each particle is solely one mineral). Also, the particle size, and thus the available surface area, critically influences the leaching rate in material for hydrometallurgical extraction. Furthermore, downstream of the process, effective treatment of tailings depends on the size of the waste particles. Small particles in the tailing stream are less likely to undergo rapid settling and require more flocking agents to improve sedimentation or filterability.
The sensing platform designed in this project will be integrated with the pulp chemistry monitor system – MagoPulp developed by Magotteaux – to give combined size/pulp chemistry information, which will be used as a means of advanced process control to optimise the flotation.