Digital Simulation of a Flotation Circuit for Design--Case Study

Mular, A. L. ; Chen, Z. M. ; Cheng, K. K.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 16
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1986
INTRODUCTION Since the nineteen fifties, process engineers have been seriously concerned with process models for various purposes (1,2,3). Models serve as subroutines to mathematical flowsheets which simulate circuits of interest. Simulators can serve to increase process know- ledge, assess circuit performance, investigate flowsheet modifications, evaluate new flowsheets, perform off-line optimization, and compare alternative control strategies. This chapter describes a methodology to develop a simulator of a bulk Cu-Mo circuit comprised of roughers, scavengers and 3 stages of cleaning. The simulator was employed to evaluate the influence of water addition at circuit points and to estimate the optimal number of cells for each stage in the circuit. DESCRIPTION OF CIRCUIT Figure 1 is a flowsheet of the Brenda Mines Ltd. (located near Peachland, B. C.) bulk Cu-Mo flotation circuit as simulated prior to an expansion/renovation which involved the installation of large, new flotation cells. Referring to the flowsheet, feed to rougher cells includes fresh feed, scavenger concentrate and 1st cleaner tailing. Rougher con, 1st cleaner (sect ion 2) con and 2nd cleaner tailing are fed to 1st cleaners (section 1). 1st cleaner (section 1) concentrate and 3rd cleaner tailing serve as 2nd cleaner feed, while 2nd cleaner concentrate is fed to the 3rd cleaners which produce a final bulk concentrate. Table 1 lists cell types and specifications important to the circuit. DEVELOPMENT OF MODELS To develop flotation cell models a systematic procedure was employed (4). This involves the selection of responses and factors, proposing models to be fitted, the acquisition of raw data, the statistical adjustment of raw data, fitting models to adjusted data and testing the adequacy of fitted functions. Responses and Factors Responses of interest included recoveries, concentrate grades and concentrate solids/water flow rates for each stage. Factors that influence these responses, such as reagent addition rates, air flow rates to cells, solids and water flow rates to stages and feed grades were not manipulated during the sampling period. Thus, the investigation was limited,
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