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The compositional distribution of a population of particles is often referred to as the liberation spectrum. The challenge is to sensibly represent the vast amount of information contained in the liberation spectrum in a format that can be interpreted in a processing context. This paper describes one approach that can be used to represent the liberation spectrum, from compositional data obtained from automated SEM-based systems, and discusses how ore characteristics, such as mineral grade and grain size and distribution, can be interpreted. Ores from five different locations are compared using pyrite as the mineral of interest to demonstrate the approach. How this data might be used in a mineral processing context is also discussed, specifically with reference to how this approach may be used to determine grinding targets for sep...
Liberation is a key requirement for efficient separation in mineral processing. As a consequence of this an understanding of the inherent textural features of an ore is no longer possible since during the process of liberation, texture is destroyed. Knowledge of key textural features, such as mineral grain size and distribution, prior to breakage processes provides the opportunity to understand the textural drivers for ore hardness. Modern characterisation methods, including automated SEM-based techniques, provide the possibility of measuring mineral characteristics at a range of scales. This paper discusses how textural features of two different ore types in a porphyry copper deposit can be measured and interpreted at a number of scales. Standard breakage tests conducted on the ores indicate that one of the ores can be character...
There are a number of disciplines in the minerals industry for which concern has been expressed regarding the sustainability of human capital. The boom-bust cycles that occur in the industry, the trend in tertiary education towards consolidation or in some cases cessation of minerals related programs and the increasing frequency of fly-in fly-out operations can all contribute towards a decline in the number of professionals with basic skills in process mineralogy. This paper describes approaches taken by the authors to incorporate process mineralogy into three levels of education, namely undergraduate, recent graduate and experienced professionals. The primary objective in designing the learning activities is the development of authentic learning experiences that provide participants with relevant skills in process mineralogy. Se...
Flash flotation plays an integral role in many of the gold and sulfide mineral concentrators around the world, and yet despite this widespread use, very little information on this unit process is available in the published literahrre. For operations to maximise the performance of their flash flotation circuits, understanding how these cells operate, the nature of the particles they target and how to predict whether a flash flotation cell should be used on a specific ore type is of vital importance. This paper provides a sununary of the key findings of a large flash flotation research project based in the operating environment of a refractory gold concentrator. The influence of key flotation performance criteria including gas dispersion, residence time and particle segregation within the cell will be discussed and recorrunendation...
Recent advances at JKMRC in modelling mineral liberation required the development of a method to measure ore textural characteristics such as the mineral grain size distribution and the spatial location of mineral grains in three dimensions. This paper describes the development of this method which uses X-ray micro-tomography to provide three-dimensional (3D) measurement of the grain size distribution and spatial location of the minerals in an ore. The methodology was developed on a gold-bearing pyrite ore and used to quantify the textural characteristics which are key inputs for modelling mineral liberation in this ore during comminution. The measurement and image processing steps required to quantify the grain size distribution of the mineral of interest, pyrite, are described together with the image analysis method. The quanti...
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