Application of a Computer to a Flotation Process

CIM Bulletin, 1971

C. L. LEWIS, Manager, Process Control, Falconbridge Nickel Mines Limited, Toronto, Ontario

The development of computer process control at the Lake Dufault concentrator is reviewed and t he on-stream X-ray analysis - computer system is described briefly. Some applications of the computer in metallurgical process control are described. The computer sequences slurry sample streams to the analyzer and translates the analytical results from voltage signals to elemental percentages. The required flotation reagent flow rates are calculated from analyses and millfeed tonnage rates and the reagent feeders are set automatically to provide such flow rates. X-ray calibration time has been reduced from about 45 minutes to 15 minutes by the use of a computer program. Metallurgical and operating personnel have acquired the ability to program the computer and have extended the system capability to allow the calculation of recoveries, averaging of mill data, application of ore specific gravity in grinding control, control of oxidized ore flotation and the development of an economic recovery program.
Keywords: ball mill, copper, specific gravity, unit cell, zinc, Computer, Computers, Control, Controls, copper, Ore, Reagents