B Wong and T G Vizcarra
14thAusIMM Mill Operators’ Conference, 29-31 August 2018, Brisbane, Australia
Optimisation projects are regularly undertaken without knowing the root cause of an issue. It is all well and
good to trial a multitude of flotation reagents, change the operating characteristics of your flotation cells, or
add more media into your ball mills, but time and again, root cause analysis traces issues back to the
performance of hydrocyclones. In JKTech's experience, hydrocyclones are poorly operated and maintained
(in both primary grinding and regrind circuits), exacerbating issues that many operations commonly
Recent case studies are presented where JKTech has been engaged to improve the process only to
discover that the hydrocyclones were the main issue. At one operation it was found that the hydrocyclone
feed density gauge was reading significantly lower to the actual density. Following re-calibration of the
gauge, and with further improvement of cyclone operational and design parameters using JKSimMet, a
significantly sharper efficiency curve was achieved. This resulted in improvements to downstream recoveries
while alleviating pumping capacities that were previously constrained by fines and water caught up in
Several other case studies are presented which may seem to be relatively basic, but many basics seem to
be getting lost in the day-to-day responsibilities of the modern plant metallurgist. Simple fixes to
hydrocyclones can result in significant production increases, but more focus is needed in monitoring these to
sustain the benefits.
B Wong (1) and T G Vizcarra (2)
CEEC acknowledges and thanks The Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy for organising the 14thAusIMM Mill Operators’ Conference (MillOps 2018).
Abstracts can be found at the MillOps website.