March 2019
Volume 71    Issue 3

Grinding and flotation optimization using operational intelligence

Bascur, O.A.; Soudek, A.


Full-text paper:
Bascur, O.A. & Soudek, A. Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2019) 36: 139.

In recent years, metal-producing companies have increased their investment in automation and technological innovation, embracing new opportunities to enable transformational change. Transformation to a digital plant can fundamentally revolutionize how industrial complexes operate. The abundant and growing quantity of real-time data and events collected in the grinding and flotation circuits in a mineral processing plant can be used to solve operational issues and optimize plant performance. A grade recovery model is used to identify the best operating conditions in real time. A strategy for increasing the value of instrumentation in current plants is reviewed. An optimal Gaudin size distribution model provides augmented information from traditional sensors to find the optimal grind cut size to reduce metal losses in the flotation circuits. Sensors in flotation circuits enable an estimate of the recovery and determination of the optimal froth depth and aeration using an air hold up flotation model. A strategy of classifying data for online generation of insights to using operational intelligence tools is described. The implementation of a recovery/grind strategy with industrial examples in nonferrous mineral processing is presented.


Follow these easy steps if you are an SME member:
  • Go to . Sign in with your email address and password.
  • Hover your mouse over “Publications and Resources” in the top banner. Click on “Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (MME) Journal” in the pull-down menu.
  • Scroll down and click on the “Read the MME Journal Online” button, which will take you to the Springer site as an SME member who is eligible for free access. (To see published papers on the Springer site, click on “Browse Volumes & Issues” in the blue banner.)
If you are not an SME member, go to for paid access. Or join SME at