Pathfinding Tests

Flowsheet Development Series - Tips and Tricks

Over the past few weeks, we have reviewed how to approach the daunting task of developing a new or revamped flowsheet for your minerals processing plant, and discussed some industry best practices.

Now you are ready to start testing!

This week in our series, we offer some tips and tricks to get your testing phase of flowsheet development up and running:

Start small!

  • Perform small, path finding tests before performing larger bulk runs. Use them to first determine the proper technology to utilize, then what model/configuration is best suited, and lastly, the best operating conditions for each step. Items you should consider, for example with a RER, would include: loading, roll speeds, magnetic configuration, feed point, etc.

  • If needed, perform several small path finding tests that transcend the circuit you are considering, sometimes to the end of the flowsheet. These may be helpful in solving for separation challenges. Examples: Do you need to use a wet magnet? Where do you need to place the density separator in the gravity circuit? Should the high-tension electrostatic step come before magnetic separation in the dry mill?

Take your time

  • Take time to test the conditions for each process step in order to best gauge performance ranges.

Does size matter?

  • Particle size can greatly impact a process. The effects of a deposit’s particle size-range should always be considered at the beginning of testing. Additionally, you might also need to reconsider particle size effects several times throughout the flowsheet. Remember: A simple sizing step, often overlooked, can be a great way to improve recovery through mass reduction of fractions that are void of valuable minerals. Often, final specifications for high purity silica sands can be made with a final screening step to remove trace feldspathic components.


Be thorough

  • Perform plenty of path finding tests throughout the flowsheet development process. This will help you avoid making massive changes during large bulk sample runs.

Next week we will discuss progressing your testing from initial pathfinding to proving out theories with larger, bulk tests.

We know embarking on such a critical project for the success of your operation can be intimidating. At IMSC Group, our goal is to develop true partnerships with our clients’, helping them be successful through the life of their operation. You don’t have to go it alone! Reach out to our team with any questions you may have. Minerals processing is our passion and we love to see you succeed! 










Misty DobbinsComment