Utilizing ore quality variability and real time on-belt elemental analysis to improve mill feed quality

CIM Vancouver 2016
Mr Henry Kurth (Minerals Consultant - Scantech International)
Pre-concentrating ore to reduce waste processing seems like a logical step in the mine to mill process. Compositional variability can be utilized to aid selective removal of undesirable components prior to further processing. The quality of process feed depends on the natural variability of the “ore” and additional impacts of the mining process including: ore losses, dilution, mis-allocation of ore as waste and vice versa. Processing material supplied from the mine therefore needs to be flexible. One proven method to measure the quality variability and moderate its impact on the processing and final product quality involves real time measurement and reactive and pro-active responses to quality variability.
Measuring composition representatively and accurately irrespective of particle size, dust, layering, mineralogy, belt speed and flow rate in real time allows minute by minute grade control. Conveyed increments of as little as a few tonnes up to hundreds of tonnes can be diverted from the plant feed flow or redirected to other processes. Certain qualities of the material may relate to crushing and grinding performance. Examples will show some typical quality variations seen in mined resources and how real time analysis has been used to improve quality.
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