Dense medium separation: An effective and robust preconcentration technology

CIM Journal Preprint, Vol. 8, No. 3, 2017

E. Legault-Seguin and C. Mohns
SGS Canada Inc., Lakefield, Ontario, Canada

M. Rylatt
Independent Consultant

With energy costs increasing and ore grades diminishing, the role of preconcentration in hard rock mining operations has gained greater interest. Dense medium separation (DMS) is a robust process that can be conducted at particle sizes as coarse as 250 mm and as fine as 500 μm with high separation efficiency, depending on liberation characteristics of the value minerals. Pilot plant campaign case studies conducted at the SGS Lakefield site are presented, which include a variety of mineral systems such as spodumene, sulfide-bearing gold ores, and complex sulfide ores. These case studies demonstrate that for amenable ores, mass rejection of 20–60% is possible while maintaining recoveries of greater than 90% in most cases.

Keywords: Dense media recovery, Dense medium cyclone, Dense medium separation (DMS), Densification, Densifier, Ferrosilicon, Lithium, Magnetite, Preconcentration, Sulfide ores, TriFlo, Wemco drum