Mineral froth flotation is the largest tonnage industrial separation process in the world used for extracting valuable mineral contents in mining. A new simple, low cost, retro-fittable and field proven control system developed by engineers from Imperial Collage London, provides incremental improvement in productivity of the process. Field tests conducted in the prototype systems implemented in more than 20 sites around the world has also confirmed the significant improvement.
The technology developed is a control method that is able to increase the quantity of mineral recovered by maximising air recovery using the relationship between airflow and air recovery. Using the data from the height and velocity of the froth overflowing, the length or perimeter of the cell and the air flow rate into the cell, air recovery is monitored, measured and controlled non-intrusively. The parameters are measured or calculated by the help of image analysis techniques, which improves performance with respect to both the grade and recovery of the concentrate compared with known methods.
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