Characterising the reasons for the difference in performance of two ore blends in early processing at OZ Minerals Prominent Hill operation

Bradshaw, D. J., Wightman, E. M., Evans, C. L. and Triffett, B. (2012). Characterising the reasons for the difference in performance of two ore blends in early processing at OZ Minerals Prominent Hill operation. In: Peter Hills (Conference Chair), Proceedings: 11th AusIMM Mill Operators' Conference 2012. 11th AusIMM Mill Operators' Conference 2012, Hobart, Tasmania, (273-278). 29-31 October 2012.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Bradshaw, D. J.
Wightman, E. M.
Evans, C. L.
Triffett, B.
Title of paper Characterising the reasons for the difference in performance of two ore blends in early processing at OZ Minerals Prominent Hill operation
Conference name 11th AusIMM Mill Operators' Conference 2012
Conference location Hobart, Tasmania
Conference dates 29-31 October 2012
Proceedings title Proceedings: 11th AusIMM Mill Operators' Conference 2012
Place of Publication Carlton, Victoria
Publisher AusIMM: Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Publication Year 2012
Sub-type Fully published paper
ISBN 9781921522734
Editor Peter Hills (Conference Chair)
Start page 273
End page 278
Total pages 6
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract/Summary During the commissioning phase of Prominent Hill, periods of reduced recovery were experienced with higher-grade ore blends. This was unexpected and as part of the process to identify the cause, surveys were conducted in May 2009, with two different ore blends (copper grades: 1.94per cent Cu (blend 1) and 2.49 per cent Cu (blend 2)). Metallurgical performance was assessed in terms of rougher recovery and grade with consideration of both pulp and froth effects. In addition, hydrodynamic measurements (gas hold up, bubble size, superficial gas velocity) as well as measurements of bubble load and top-of-froth grade were taken during the surveys and full mineralogical assessment of selected streams completed to characterise the nature of the differences. The metallurgical results showed that the lower performance was obtained with blend 2 which contained the higher amount of chalcocite and was higher-grade. Analysis of the survey data showed that for both ore blends more than half of the copper loss occurred in the +38 Jlm size fractions. Almost 30 per cent of the copper in the +38 Jlm fractions that reported to the rougher tails during processing of blend 2 was liberated compared to less than five per cent for blend 1. Additionally almost 60 per cent of the copper in the +38 J.Lm fraction of blend 2 was chalcocite compared with approximately 20 per cent in blend 1. This paper discusses the sensitivity of the chalcocite-to-surface chemistry effects causing marked reductions in recovery either through reduced pulp recovery or froth phase (detachment) effects. The reagent suite and operating conditions were subsequently changed and the recoveries increased substantially and the sensitivity to ore changes eliminated. It should be noted that subsequent optimisation work, which focused on recovery improvement, has led to copper recoveries of over 90 per cent being achieved.
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Mon, 05 Nov 2012, 15:34:33 EST by Karen Holtham on behalf of Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre