Computer Control of Flotation At the Ecstall Concentrator

CIM Bulletin, 1973

M. P. AMSDEN, Mill Superintendent, C. CHAPMAN, Assistant Mill Superintendent, and M. G. READING, Senior Metallurgical Engineer, Ecstall Mining Limited, Timmins, Ontario

Ecstall Mining Limited, a subsidiary of Texasgulf Incorporated, operates the Kidd Creek mine, a 10,000-tpd base metal producer, near Timmins, Ontario. Two different ore types are mined and milled : copper-zinc and silver-lead-zinc. At the highly automated Ecstall concentrator, the ores are processed by selective flotation in three individual circuits. One of the most important metallurgical tools for process control is a sample system incorporating continuous onstream X-ray analysis. Recently this system was further automated by adding computer control of reagents for two copper-zinc flotation circuits. The computer programs, utilizing optimum seeking methods and smelter contract terms, have increased copper recovery 0.8% and zinc recovery 1.6%, and reduced reagent costs by 12%. Although not anticipated, copper and zinc concentrate grades were improved modestly as well.
Keywords: Control, Controls, copper, Copper Flotation, copper sulphate, Cu Reagents, Metallurgical Laboratory, Zinc Flotation, flotation, Reagents, zinc