Tuning flotation circuit operation as a function of metal prices

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 93, No. 1044, 2000
Claude Bazin and Daniel Hodouin, Université Laval, Sainte-Foy, Québec
Abstract This paper examines the economic advantages of tuning the operation of a differential Cu-Zn flotation circuit as a function of metal prices. Three operating strategies are considered in the analysis: 1) the operation of the circuit at planned copper and zinc concentrates grade with maximum recovery of both metals; 2) the operation of the Cu circuit at maximum copper smelter return per ton of ore and of the Zn circuit at a maximum zinc smelter return per ton of ore; and 3) the operation of the circuit at maximum copper and zinc smelter return per ton of ore. The second strategy tunes the copper circuit independently from the zinc circuit, while the third strategy tunes both circuits simultaneously.
Keywords: Cu-Zn flotation, Metal prices, Net smelter return, Optimization.
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