Erin Legault-Seguin and her co-authors presented a paper at SAG on the role of dense medium separation in pre-concentration. In their paper, the authors list a number of benefits of pre-concentration.
Legault-Seguin, E; Mohns C; Rylatt M. Dense medium separation - an effective and robust pre-concentration technology. SAG 2016.
Lower mining costs; allowing selective mining
Lower process capital and operating costs: reduced grinding, flotation, fines disposal etc.
Increased ore reserves, potential to treat lower grade ore
Increased mine production without expansion of the existing plant or concentrator
Use of reject as by-product e.g. underground backfill or aggregate, and reduction of overall tailings impoundment.
Improved efficiency of downstream processes e.g. silica removal in electric arc furnace feed, removal of softer sliming minerals prior to grinding
Applicable to brownfields and greenfields
A green process option due to
• Reduced processing energy consumption
• Increased stage metal recover (higher grade feed)
• Increased mill meatal output
• Application of plant with small footprint underground, reducing surface plant, tailings dump and tailings pond requirements
• Applicable for the retreatment of old tailings dumps to recover metal values and reduce environmental impacts (e.g. dissolved metal run off, acid damage etc.)
What other benefits have you found from pre-concentration?