Froth based control in flotation plants - state of the art.

CIM MineSpace 2001
Gianni Bartolacci, Ahmed Bouajila,
Abstract Flotation has been and is still the most widely used mineral concentration method. Because of its complexity, the flotation process required the development of robust control strategies which was facilitated by the introduction of on-line sensing instruments such as x-ray fluorescence (XRF) on stream analyzer (OSA), gamma density gauges and electromagnetic flowmeters. The interest in developing control strategies has persisted because the benefits to be gained in terms of improved metallurgical performance are substantial. As, the flotation control becomes more and more difficult due to the emergence of low grade and complex ore cases, other control strategies have to be introduced. Froth based control is one of the emerging useful control strategies addressed in the last decade.

This paper will focus on the state of the art in the froth based control domain. The on-line froth characterization as obtained by numerical image analysis will be particularly covered. The technology of machine vision provides a novel solution to several of the problems encountered in conventional flotation systems for monitoring and control and, constitutes a powerful tool for the investigation and interpretation of the effect of various flotation parameters as driven from the froth phases.
Keywords: Image analysis, Froth flotation, machine vision, control strategies
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