Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 0038-223X
Mining and plant practices can benefit from preconcentration of UG2 platinum ores in a dense medium separation (DMS) plant. The main benefit of DMS is the selective discard of waste from the feed stream, thus improving project economics while reducing the power and water requirements for processing. On the mining side, with the correct combination of variables, implementing DMS as a pre-concentration step can reduce cut-off grades and, as a result, increase ore reserves. In addition, the use of DMS technology gives the mine team the opportunity to consider alternative mining methods for an operation. The challenges of balancing the mining tonnage, methods, and resulting grades with the process plant size, recoveries, and DMS discard volumes have resulted in the development of a model to optimize value on new projects or existing operations. This paper will focus on these benefits from a mining and plant perspective, quantifying the water and power savings, and look at the economic benefits of preconcentration and the effect of metal prices, plant feed grade, and DMS efficiency in different mining environments.
Keywords : preconcentration; DMS; operating cost; capital cost.