Pilot Plant Testing in Mineral Process Plant Design

Dunlop GA,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1990
Pilot Plant confirmatory testing of the treatment route developed in the Metallurgical Laboratory is an essential factor in the development of complex ore bodies. Objectives should be well defined to permit the efficient planning and cost effective operation of the pilot plant project. The primary objective for the pilot plant should be to confirm the viability of the developed flowsheet on a continuous basis, examining only major variables such as ore types, quantum changes in grind, comparison between bulk and sequential flotation circuits, use of flotation columns, evaluation of autogenous grinding and production of samples of concentrates for market evaluation. Secondary objectives may include the collection of engineering design data and the production of a comprehensive report to Bankable Document standards to provide technical support for capital financing. The complexity of the ore body and the scale of the final operating project together with the pilot plant objectives will determine the extent of the pilot plant operations. The level of expenditure associated with a pilot plant can vary, in total cost and as a percentage of the total development capital investment required to take the prospect from exploration to a producing mine. Factors contributing to expenditure are discussed. Associated with cost considerations is the level of confidence mining company investors can have that their capital investment will return dividends.
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