Simulation models for mineral processing plants

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 84, No. 953, 1991

J.W. Merks, Matrix Consultants Limited, Vancouver, British Columbia

Simulation is the process of designing a computerized model, of a system or procedure, for the purpose of understanding its behaviour and developing strategies to control its operation. Simulation models are rapidly becoming an effective tool for mineral processing plants. Powerful software and fast hardware are more readily available than a basic understanding of the theory of mathematical probability and applied statistics that process simulation models demand. Simple spreadsheet software can be used to develop simulation models that take into account any set of conditions at a mineral processing plant. In addition to an unbiased estimate for each variable in the set on which two-and three-product formulas are based, reliable variance estimates for all variables are required. How to estimate variances, effectively and at the lowest possible cost, and how to compute variances for simple functions such as the metal content of a quantity of ore or concentrate, or more complex functions such as the percentage recovery at a mineral processing plant, are the key to useful simulation models.
Keywords: Mineral processing plants, Simulation models, Models.