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Operating Challenges and Solutions: Mineral Processing

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Operating Challenges and Solutions | Mineral Processing

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This event will feature presentations on test work campaigns and their impact on full scale design, flowsheet development and a path forward for the development of the Lynn Lake project.

Those presentations will be valuable to Mineral Processing Engineers, people involved in concentrator design and flowsheet development as well as operators who are interested in new technologies, or the principals involved in running successful pilot campaigns.

PRESENTERS:

Lance Christodoulou, Global Product Line Manager - Flotation, FLSmidth

A summary of pilot testing campaigns using the Reflux Flotation Cell showing enhanced kinetic performance

The new Reflux Flotation Cell (RFC) is an innovative flotation system that is proving to transform the hydrodynamics of traditional flotation. This system was developed by The University of Newcastle in collaboration with R&D partner, FLSmidth. Enhanced kinetics are achieved by increasing operating bubble surface area flux by as much as tenfold to what is possible with existing technologies. The cell operates to maximize recovery while producing a high-grade flotation product. This is achieved by operating an effective sparging system to promote bubble-particle attachment by producing optimum bubble sizes at high shear rates. The addition of wash water allows for grade control/rejection of slimes and ensuring positive bias flow in the separator to maximize separation efficiency. Recent pilot scale trials on industrial operating facilities show that plant performance can be equaled in terms of grade and recovery at 10-15% of the industrial scale flotation volume. Kinetic performance results are repeated independent of the site. Direct comparison to plant performance as well as conventional laboratory flotation kinetic tests will be discussed along with the impact of these results on the implementation of this technology on full-scale flotation circuit design.

Damian Connelly, Principal Consulting Engineer, METS Engineering Group Pty Ltd

Copper Nickel Separation Challenges and Flowsheet Development

The Lynn Lake copper nickel deposit was mined between 1953 and 1976 producing a bulk copper nickel concentrate. Going forward the aim was to produce separate concentrates for shipment to a smelter or process a bulk concentrate on site. The feasibility of selling a mixed copper nickel bulk concentrate to a smelter is not considered economical on the basis that the value of either copper or nickel is not reimbursable when selling to a nickel or copper smelter. It is clear that this option would not be economical. There are limited smelters or facilities that could process this concentrate. This paper describes the testwork undertaken to produce separate copper and nickel concentrates and flowsheet options including downstream processing. Previously a separation on Lynn Lake ore could not be achieved however recent testwork was successful using new flotation techniques which provided an option of selling directly to copper and nickel smelters. The testwork sought to increase copper and nickel concentrate grades to saleable levels.

As a separate option the production of a bulk concentrate with processing on site was looked at. Apart from CAPEX and OPEX we looked at the lowest technical risk option for the Lynn Lake project. As a separate option If acceptable concentrate grades cannot be to optimize the production of a bulk concentrate for downstream processing. The preferred method of processing the bulk concentrates would be pressure oxidation or bacterial leaching.

Based on the results of the testwork and Study a clear strategy for project development was established.

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