The development of process mineralogy at Falconbridge Limited and application to the Raglan Mill

Assessment of opportunities to improve mineral processing performance in existing concentrators and in describing undeveloped orebodies is key to improving the business case of a mining company. This assessment has traditionally been performed using the distinct and separate inputs from mineral processing and mineral science. More recently, process mineralogy has been used to integrate these two disciplines. This trend has been driven by the need to develop and process more challenging ore deposits, and has been assisted by the availability of modern automated instruments. Together with the acquisition of a QemSCAN (quantitative evaluation of materials by scanning electron microscope) from CSIRO in Australia, and with the use of a supporting SEM with EDX/WDX capabilities and an XRD, the development of process mineralogy at Falconbridge commenced in 1997.
The sampling challenges in presenting a QemSCAN with representative sample material at the polished section level are significant, but have been effectively addressed. The full description of this aspect is beyond the scope of this paper. It is shown that, by use of this approach, the set nature of an orebody can be best exploited with selected flowsheet changes in a concentrator which address the generic characteristics of the orebody. In this way, the flowsheet provides a process that more effectively fits the mineral processing requirements of the ore. This leads to clear and tangible improvements in grade and recovery.
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Summary: Gas dispersion in flotation defines the efficiency of the process once the chemistry has been established. There are three measurements, superficial gas velocity, gas holdup, and bubble size, which along with the derived quantity bubble surface area flux, are used to define “gas dispersion.” Sensors for measuring gas dispersion in industrial machines have been developed. This communication describes the working principle of the techniques and illustrates their potential to detect problems and...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): C.O. Gomez, J.A. Finch
Issue: 1066
Volume: 95
Year: 2002
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Summary: Predicting the effect of wear can lead to improved control strategies that can possibly minimize the risk of catastrophic failure due to wear while maximizing useable life. In the field of geological exploration, diamond drill rod wear illustrates just such a case. Wear conditions vary with geological formations and compositions. The objective of this paper is to determine a general relationship, based in theory and practice, that will approximate drill rod wear and therefore predict...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): P. Radziszewski, R. Laplante, P. De Ciccio
Issue: 1066
Volume: 95
Year: 2002
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Summary: The iron ores of the Kiruna mine in Sweden are of exceptional quality except for the phosphorus content in certain zones of the orebody. The prevention of mixing ores high in phosphorus with those low in phosphorus has always been of significant economic importance. The ongoing introduction of tele-mining and automatic haulage by LHDs requires new means in the field of quality control underground, as the experienced miner as well as the underground laboratory assistant no longer are involved...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): Å. Kruukka, H.F. Broicher
Issue: 1066
Volume: 95
Year: 2002
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Summary: Aggregation, i.e., the tendency of particles to cluster, can be expected to influence flotation selectivity. In this paper, a method of measuring aggregation is introduced and used to conduct plant surveys. Aggregation is measured using settling rate and turbidity converted to an aggregation index (AI) where 0 corresponds to most dispersed and 1 to most aggregated over the range of conditions tested, normally pH. Surveys of Cu and Zn flotation stages at four concentrators showed the AI...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): E. El-Ammouri, M. Mirnezami, D. Lascelles, J.A. Finch
Issue: 1066
Volume: 95
Year: 2002
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