Laboratory Testing for Gravity Concentration Circuit Design

Aubrey, W. M. Jr. ; Stone, R. L.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 21
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1986
INTRODUCTION Most metallic minerals and some industrial minerals have a relatively high specific gravity and most have at one time or another been concentrated by gravity methods. The principles of gravity concentration are straightforward, well documented and easy to understand, but in practice there are many pitfalls that await the engineer in the development of an integrated flowsheet. Gravity concentration equipment has a long history of use and there is a great diversity available. The equipment is capable of treating material over a broad size range, only falling off in efficiency in the very fine sizes. Gravity concentration is also inexpensive, generally free of environmental problems, and commercial equipment can process large tonnages of ore with a minimum of capital cost. As might be expected of an efficient and low cost process, the bulk of the tonnage quickly and inexpensively. Another obvious application is treating mineral deposits such as hematite and manganese ores that are sufficiently liberated after a minimum of crushing to allow production of a coarse concentrate that will meet market specifications. Except for hand picking and mechanical sorting, there is no competing process on coarse size material. Conversely, it is sometimes obvious that gravity concentration does not warrant consideration. Examples are ores that require very fine grinding to attain liberation, for ores where the minerals of interest have a gravity similar to the gangue, and ores that are strongly magnetic. Actually a mineral processing engineer may not know if gravity is the best way to concentrate an ore, but he should have little difficulty recognizing when gravity concentration deserves consideration based upon specific gravity differences and liberation gravity concentration has wide use. size. His challenge then is to At times its selection as the identify and test the applicable primary concentration process is processes, to develop a obvious. Low grade placer deposits metallurgical balance and flowsheet of tin, gold and beach sands usually for the best process, to estimate are only profitable because gravity production rate over the life of concentration is able to throw away the deposit and to make equipment
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