What category cyclone is devastating your plant?

B Wong and T G Vizcarra

14thAusIMM Mill Operators’ Conference, 29-31 August 2018, Brisbane, Australia

Australia

ABSTRACT

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

experience.

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

recirculating loads.

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.

 

AUTHOR DETAILS

B Wong (1) and T G Vizcarra (2)

  1. AusIMM, Operations Manager, JKTech Pty Ltd, Brisbane QLD 4113. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  2. Process Specialist, JKTech Pty Ltd, Brisbane QLD 4113. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

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.

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