BILMAT: An algorithm for material balancing mineral processing circuits, Applications to comminution, desliming and flotation circuits

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 74, No. 833, 1981

D. HODOUIN, T. KASONGO, E. KOUAME and M.D. EVERELL, Le Groupe de Recherche en Automatisation, Appliquée a l'Industrie Minérale,, Université Laval, Québec, P.Q.

To properly operate a mineral beneficiation plant it is often necessary to have systematic evaluations of the performances of apiece of machinery, of one of the processes or of the plant as a whole. The state of a process can be described from a collection of data: flow-rate values, particle-size distributions and chemical compositions of the various streams of the circuit studied.However, the obtained raw data are generally redundant and inconsistent from a material balance viewpoint, due to natural disturbances, sampling errors, unreliable instrument readouts and laboratory analysis inaccuracies.BILMA T is a computer program which upgrades mineral processing data, adjusting them in a least-squares sense in order that they may verify material conservation constraints. As a consequence, the program is able to calculate the best values of unmeasured flow rates (such as circulating load ratios). BILMA T is a very general program in the sense that it can accept various data from any type of mineral processing circuit, and its usefulness is demonstrated here for three processing circuits of a pyrochlore concentration plant: grinding, desliming and flotation.
Keywords: BILMAT, Mineral processing, Material balances, Algorithms, Comminution, Desliming, Flotation, Computers, Cyclones, Grinding circuits, Niobec.