Use of MIMO models in spreadsheets for the control of a column flotation circuit

Terhaar, K. ; Martin, C. ; Prisbrey, K.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 3
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2002
The objective was to determine operating protocols for a lead and silver column flotation cleaner being considered for installation at Sunshine Precious Metals Inc. 's Kellogg mill in Northern Idaho. In this column, tetrahedrite and galena were floated, and pyrite and other gangue minerals, including siderite and silica, were depressed. The procedure was to develop a dynamic simulation using a linear transfer function approach. The transfer function related cause-and-effect variables such as the influence of collector and depressant dosages on recovery and grades. Bench-scale flotation tests followed by pilot column testing provided the data used to develop a linear transfer function. The transfer function was derived using a spreadsheet. This model was applied to simulate how the flotation column could be made to respond to disturbances in feed grade. The results were that xanthate, zinc sulfate and sodium cyanide were found to be suitable controls for grade and recovery. Simulations showed the best sequence of manipulations of these reagents, and these sequences are useful for future operator training. The conclusion was that linear transfer functions were able to simulate lead and silver recovery, develop scenarios for operator training and provide a foundation for future on-line control.
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