Blog: Measuring density in the flotation process (3/4)

Posted on Thursday, 11 June 2020 at 14:07

In the last blogs we described the purposes and benefits of measuring density at different applications in froth flotation. In this blog, we discuss the role of the flotation operator and instrumentation for an efficient enrichment process. Also, we will give an example of an issue that could occur in the flotation cells and how to prevent it. An efficient operation in the flotation circuit can only be achieved if the operator understands the process well and interprets the measuring data correctly to make the right choices for process control.

Efficient enrichment

Optimal flotation means reducing the amount of gangue that is sent together with valuable minerals to further stages of the process. An enriched product should be produced with the lowest energy costs, containing most valuable materials (the concentrate). Decreasing the amount of gangue can improve the quality of the concentrate.

Instrumentation plays a crucial role in this enrichment process, because it is the base for all process control. Automation can lead to a high level of performance in the circuit.

Besides density, the air injection and dosing of reagents should be monitored and controlled for efficient product enrichment. Smart air injection could solve problems with froth levels without using too much reagents.

The correct choice of instrumentation can only be achieved if a detailed understanding of the operation and application of the required instrument is acquired within a given process (Laurila et al., 2002).

Installing sensors is important, but the sensor itself will not guarantee continued performances. Having a skilled team is also essential. The flotation operator should be capable of interpreting and understanding the measurement data. The operator is critical in order to make the most out of the collected process data. Advanced process control is needed to support the operator and to achieve good performances in the entire flotation circuit (Di Sandro, 2017).

Hierarchy in the flotation control system

Falling slurry level

The pulp level inside the cell can fall due to an increase of ore feeding (XinHai, 2020). In this case, the flotation operator should decrease the feed density, adjust grinding and classifying processes or adjust the reagent dosing or air injection to keep the slurry level at a certain point. An in-line density meter can be used to check in real-time the amount of ore in the feed (XinHai, 2020).

Flotation cells at a Moroccon processing plant

More information?

You can also read our other blogs or request our whitepapers to learn more about density measurement. We have written several blogs about the grinding circuit and thickening process:

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