Industry symposium – Operational mineralogy: integrating mineralogy in the mineral processing plant

Operational mineralogy: integrating mineralogy in the mineral processing plant

Symposium sponsored by ZEISS Microscopy

Date: Thursday 16 August 2018
Time: 1230-1330
Location: Room 216
Cost: Included in registration
Lunch: Included

The ZEISS Microscopy sponsored lunch symposium is limited to 100 attendees. Register your attendance at the Thursday lunch symposium when you register online for IMA2018.


Will Goodall PhD BEng(chem) CP(metallurgy)

Minerals processing operations are undergoing a shift in expectations of what can be achieved with data available from process monitoring and control systems. A requirement is now placed on understanding and managing variability of feed material through geometallurgical modelling. This leads to a greater expectation for predictive forecasting and more rigorous reconciliation between modelled forecasts and actual process performance. To achieve this more focus on the use of datasets available within the process is required.

Operational mineralogy encompasses the practice of generating high frequency mineralogical data within the operational context. This provides the framework for use of mineralogical particle based data in day-to-day decision support and to integrate with existing process monitoring datasets. The collection of high frequency mineralogical data also allows for mineralogical trends to be correlated with process performance and geometallurgical prediction, providing a powerful basis for reconciliation of predicted process parameters.

A case study at a large African copper concentrator operation will show how use of the ruggedised Zeiss MinSCAN automated mineralogy system has been used to integrate operational mineralogy into routine decision support. The case study will demonstrate how use of a combination of on-site metallurgical personnel, with structured support from remote experts resulted in successful implementation of a sustainable operational mineralogy program. This supported approach allowed the operation to access the expertise required to successfully utilise the mineralogical information generated, while up-skilling internal personnel to gradually take on data analysis themselves. It was shown that this approach resulted in integration of mineralogical analysis into the operational culture, leading to significant ongoing process improvements.