Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
RABE, J. A simple framework for developing a concept beneficiation flow sheet. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2014, vol.114, n.7, pp. 547-558. ISSN 2411-9717.
Tasked with developing a flow sheet for a new resource, one typically turns the experts for help. The advice of an expert can be invaluable in reducing the time and costs associated with characterizing an ore (not to mention extracting maximum information from limited samples). While guiding and optimizing a metallurgical concept study requires a certain skill set, selling a project is something different. The metallurgical specialist is usually not responsible for sharing the results of investigations with potential investors. However, the person responsible for selling the project can ensure that a metallurgical concept study is conducted thoroughly and responsibly without having the ability to do the work, while being sufficiently familiar with the metallurgical aspects to authoritatively sell the project. The process of identifying suitable process routes through to constructing a concept flow sheet and mass balance is discussed as a basic example. From basic mineralogical information and a thorough literature survey, the most likely beneficiation routes can be identified and targeted testing conducted. The final top size will depend on the required product properties (mainly grade), the selected beneficiation technology, and the ore's liberation properties. Once the required top size has been identified, comminution options can be evaluated. Once again, literature surveys can be used to supplement concept-level comminution property information, and select possible equipment and circuit configurations. Marketing, material handling, and logistics-related information can be used to determine required dewatering technologies. At this stage, enough information is available to develop a concept mass balance and conduct basic equipment sizing.
Keywords : comminution; ore beneficiation; characterization; titanomagnetite; Conceptual flowsheet.