Computer Control of Flotation At the Ecstall Concentrator

Ecstall Mining Limited, a subsidiary of Texasgulf Incorporated, operates the Kidd Creek mine, a 10,000-tpd base metal producer, near Timmins, Ontario. Two different ore types are mined and milled : copper-zinc and silver-lead-zinc. At the highly automated Ecstall concentrator, the ores are processed by selective flotation in three individual circuits. One of the most important metallurgical tools for process control is a sample system incorporating continuous onstream X-ray analysis. Recently this system was further automated by adding computer control of reagents for two copper-zinc flotation circuits. The computer programs, utilizing optimum seeking methods and smelter contract terms, have increased copper recovery 0.8% and zinc recovery 1.6%, and reduced reagent costs by 12%. Although not anticipated, copper and zinc concentrate grades were improved modestly as well.
Keywords: Control, Controls, copper, Copper Flotation, copper sulphate, Cu Reagents, Metallurgical Laboratory, Zinc Flotation, flotation, Reagents, zinc
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