Mass Balancing Flotation Circuits Using Jkmultibal - Preprint 09-001

Schwarz, S.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 5
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2009
Analysing a flotation plant?s operating performance requires accurate metallurgical sampling. Typically, the aims of performing flotation plant surveys are to establish a consistent and accurate understanding of the operation of the circuit as well as to identify potential areas for improvement. Once the data have been collected, a mass balance is required to provide a consistent set of data from which plant performance can be assessed. Mass balancing is a key skill that many metallurgists and mining industry professionals are familiar with. Mass balancing reconciles the feed and product streams throughout the plant and is sometimes used for accounting of the material entering and leaving a system (eg. JKMetAccount). However more common reasons for mass balancing are: better understanding of the flowrates within a system, assessing the quality of data obtained from sampling and surveys, and providing a key dataset for assessing and improving the performance of unit operations. Mass balancing requires practice and experience to determine if the results are reasonable. There are various software programs available to assist in the mass balancing and understanding of processing plants. This paper is focused on JKMultiBal initially developed by Gay (1993), and then later commercialized by JKTech. JKMultiBal in its current release is for balancing data in both one and two dimensions, i.e. balancing data on either sized or assay bases as well as size-by-assay. With the recent trend in flotation circuits becoming more complex, JKMultiBal has been used to gain a better understanding of the processes occurring within the circuit. This paper provides a description of the program as well as several case studies where the two-dimensional mass balancing has resulted in improvements in plant performance.
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