Process Mineralogy Today

A discussion resource for process mineralogy using todays technologies

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Category: iMin Solutions


iMin (mineral) – building operational mineralogy capability for minerals processing

160516_IMG_Kansanshi mill

The iMin(mineral) package was developed by Dr Will Goodall at MinAssist as a tool for minerals processing operations to effectively access routine mineralogical information generated on-site.  The tool has subsequently been developed through iMin Solutions to allow for more focused development and marketing.

 

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The use of trend based mineralogy in continuous process improvement

The analysis of daily composite samples forms the core component of any operational mineralogy program.  This provides a snapshot of the daily activity in the processing plant and will generate a step change in the level of understanding of the drivers for process performance as well as provide site personnel with a valuable tool for decision making.  To generate the maximum value from routine mineralogical data daily composite data can be used to create data trends over time in order to monitor process response, rather than just snapshots in time.

 

Figure 1 - Variation in copper mineralogy with time for flotation final concentrate from copper mine

Figure 1 – Variation in copper mineralogy with time for flotation final concentrate from copper mine

 

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The iMin Workbench – A framework for predictive control with mineralogy

Since the introduction of automated mineralogy almost 40 years ago the holy grail has been to bring the capability to operational sites.  Having mineralogical information at our fingertips in a form simple enough to be used in day-to-day decision making is something that is well established in bringing huge benefits to operations, but it is only now, with the introduction of ruggedised SEM systems and cloud based expert support becoming a reality.  Pioneers such as Wolfgang Baum with Phelps Dodge and Robert Schouwstra with Anglo Platinum, among a swathe of others have highlighted the positives that integrating mineralogy into process optimisation can bring when applied on a project basis.  More recently the success that we have had at Kansanshi Copper Mine is testament that this can be extended to the day-to-day operation of large complex sites.  Now that this capability is at our fingertips it is time to start thinking about how all this extra data can be useful for operations, without overwhelming the site personnel and becoming more trouble than it is worth.

 

After the introduction of iMin Solutions I wanted to introduce the framework in which we are developing not only generation of mineralogy on-site but the support structures that need to be in place to make the most value from that investment.  Today I will introduce the iMin Workbench, which is the framework in which we will tie the generation of mineralogy information on-site with how it can be integrated with existing datasets to bring true predictive analytics to our operations.

 

How the iMin Workbench can be implemented to add revenue to your operation

How the iMin Workbench can be implemented to add revenue to your operation

 

 

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What are the key goals of an operational mineralogy program?

Operational mineralogy key goals

Many operations deal with orebodies that are highly variable in metal grade, ore mineralogy, gangue mineralogy and processing behaviour. Ore with complex mineralogy, for example, where the target metal is hosted in many different minerals, needs complex flowsheets and means that defining the parameters for ‘good’ operation is hard to do. In this  situation the target is not the recovery of metal directly, but rather recovery of the metal bearing minerals. The distribution of metals in different host minerals is typically not consistent and building an understanding of what minerals are best recovered in which circuit has a significant influence on the targets for recovery and grade.

 

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Introducing iMin Solutions – a new way to build mineralogy capability in operations

iMin-on-White_1592x1000

We are pleased to announce that MinAssist, along with Petrolab have teamed up to establish iMin Solutions, a company focused on bringing greater mineralogical capability directly to the mine site and mineral processing plant.  The driving influence of iMin Solutions is to provide accessible mineralogy solutions for operations, with a focus on data integration and remote support to generate more value from an improved understanding of mineralogy.

 

iMin Solutions provides tools to mineral processing operations to improve profitability through better use of processing data. In doing this iMin Solutions focuses on facilitating on-site personnel to make use of data through accessible expert support. This is achieved with the use advanced technologies to enable generation, communication and analysis of data in minerals processing operations.

 

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