Mining Experts EP1: Process control

Posted on Thursday, 1 October 2020 at 10:10

Mining companies have different ways to assess the efficiency of their classification processes. Some are doing it by manual sampling, others are using instrumentation combined with an advanced process control.

In this first episode of our series “industry experts talking”, we interview Sandro Marino, who is business development manager at Interfusao in Brazil. He shares his experiences with on-site process control at plants. Sandro has studied Mineral Processing (Flotation) at the University of Utah. He has a lot of experience in the mining and mineral processing industry and is regularly visiting mining plants.

Manual assessment of the density can be done by Marcy Scales. This is a traditional method, which can be very time consuming and does not allow for a real-time process control. The density can be sampled and checked within five minutes, however this needs to be done three or four times per shift. Considering two or three shifts, this would take about 40 minutes a day and would require many people involved per shift. The reliability of the results is compromised as each individual sample and analyze the density differently.

When companies are applying on-line instrumentation, the number of manual samples will be reduced drastically. In this case, samples are only used to verify the density readings of the instrument. When adjustments are needed, this will generally take only a few minutes per density meter.

The use of online instrumentation allows for significant savings ($). Operators generally love the use of on-line instrumentation, because it improves the efficiency of the operation and saves time spent on manual sampling. The instrument helps to operate at a proper density level and can also prevent events like clogged pipes. Enough reasons to start with implementing further automation in the process.

Check our interview with Sandro Marino (expert in mineral processing) to learn more about this subject.