Bulk Testing

Flowsheet Development Series - Tips and tricks

Whether starting with a greenfield plant or looking to breathe new life into a brownfield operation one thing is certain: Proper technology selection, tailoring and placement are critical to yielding profitable mineral products.

Determining where to begin, and what path to take in developing a processing flowsheet can be down-right intimidating. Luckily, the ideal design for each deposit can be easily discovered if you better understand the process.

In our Tips and Tricks series over the past few weeks, we have been discussing the process from beginning to end. This week, we have arrived at running larger bulk samples to prove out what you discovered during your initial pathfinding tests.

From pathfinding to running larger bulk samples


  • Take samples during bulk runs to confirm and validate (and occasionally improve) the path finding test results.

Scavenge first

  • Go down the scavenging “legs” of a flowsheet before moving on to the concentrating stages. This will allow scavenged material to be combined and moved forward, a better representation of true flowsheet conditions.

Fine tuning

  • Often, the results obtained during bulk runs are better than path finding runs. This is because of several factors: process stabilization over time, temperature level consistency and minimization of short-term variables.

  • This can force occasional flowsheet modifications from what was decided during pathfinding tests. That is to be expected: This is where you look for ways to simplify and fine tune the flowsheet.

  • Your goal now is to further improve performance.

Consider middlings

  • Where should you place your “mids” or “cat/dog streams?” If testing permits, make educated guesses on mids placement and include these streams in bulk runs when appropriate.

 Next week, we will close out our series with final steps. We hope you have found our discussions to be helpful. Remember, if at any point you have questions or need a helping hand, IMSC Group has a team of experts to guide you in your efforts and an in-house testing facility where we can run tests for you. You don’t have to ‘go it’ alone! Contact Us with any questions.

 Want to read more from this series?

Week 1: Introduction to flowsheet development

Week 2: Best practices

Week 3: Pathfinding tests


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Misty DobbinsComment