Application of a dynamic material balance program to an industrial flotation circuit

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 88, No. 995, 1995

C. Bazin, Department of Mining and Metallurgy, Universite Laval, Quebec A.R. Trusiak, Brunswick Mining and Smelting (Mining Division), Bathurst, New Brunswick, and D. Hodouin, Department of Mining and Metallurgy, Universite Laval, Quebec

The On-Stream Analyzer has proven, and is still proving to be, an extremely valuable tool for the control of flotation circuits. This paper examines the possibility of going further in the utilization of the analyzer results by using a real-time material balance program to calculate the mass flow rates within the streams of a circuit for process control, analysis and optimization as well as for the detection of sensor malfunction. The material balance algorithm improves measurements and give good estimates of unmeasured variables during normal operating conditions. The potential and limitations of the method are illustrated using results of an application to the Line 3 flotation circuit of Brunswick Mining and Smelting, New Brunswick.