Improved Flotation Performance At Karee Platinum Mine Through Better Level Control
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Jan 1, 1999
Mintek has developed a level-control system, FloatStar, for use in flotation circuits. Instead of controlling levels separately in each unit, the controller monitors levels throughout the circuit. It can thus take account of the global effects of any control actions. A collaborative project between Mintek and Karee Platinum Mine has begun, looking at aspects of flotation control. Karee plant was chosen as the site for this work because of its good existing control infrastructure. As a first stage of the joint project FloatStar was installed. Analysis during installation and running of the FloatStar has illustrated how circuit design and measurement technology can affect process control. Severe interactions have been observed in the levels of adjacent banks. The effect of FloatStar on flotation performance was tested and an improvement in level control was observed. Similarly, a faster settling of the plant after start-ups was observed. Both the improved level control and faster start-ups lead to higher platinum recovery.