University of Oulu

The validation and use of a predictive geometallurgical model in plant process design

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Author: Bilal, Danish1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Technology, Oulu Mining School, Geology
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 7.3 MB)
Pages: 154
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : D. Bilal, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-07-05
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Sinche Gonzalez, Maria
Liipo, Jussi
Reviewer: Sinche Gonzalez, Maria
Liipo, Jussi


Geometallurgy is more often used for a concentrator plant design. Geometallurgy determines the metallurgical response of ore before the ore is feed to a plant. In a processing plant, the feed keeps changing due to the heterogeneity of ore deposits. There is ore variability in different parts of a deposit, so the optimum blending is critical to provide a constant feed. The study of different blends enables to predict the plant performance.

The thesis’ main objective is to study the effect of ore variations and blends on flotation performance. The productivity of HSC Chemistry ®’s flowsheet simulation module for the prediction of flotation kinetics for blends, is studied. The second objective is the investigation of the effect of ore pre-sorting on flotation kinetics.

This thesis work is conducted using four samples from Sotkamo Silver Oy: malmi, sorter feed, sorter product, and ore 60. The experimental part includes crushing, grinding, sample splitting, grinding calibration tests, flotation tests for each sample, simulation of flotation tests, blends preparation, blend flotation tests and simulation of blend flotation.

In terms of grindability, the sorter feed and sorter product samples are similar. The specific grinding energy of the malmi is 10% less than the sorter feed and sorter product. Ore 60 is the softest in terms of grindability. Both galena and sphalerite in the Malmi sample are oxidized, while Ore 60 has oxidized more completely as compared to the malmi. Sorter product is least oxidized while sorter feed is slightly higher oxidized than sorter product. Sorter feed and sorter product are similar in terms of flotation kinetics, having similar recoveries. Malmi sample also has good recoveries of galena and dyscrasite. Ore 60 has the lowest recovery of galena and the highest recovery of pyrite. The flotation in ore 60 is complex due to oxidation and the presence of slimes. The experimental and simulated recoveries of blends are close to each other. The blend of malmi and sorter product resulted in higher experimental grades of valuable minerals and lower grades of gangue than the simulated grades. The blends of ore 60 with malmi and sorter product have a higher experimental grade of gangue and lower experimental grade of ore minerals than simulated grades. The predictivity of simulation is close to the experimental results; hence HSC’s simulation module tool is productive to predict the kinetics of blends.

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