Evaluation of Level Control System of Cleaner Flotation Columns at Miduk Copper Concentrator

Additonal authors: Abasi, S.. Book title: Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019. Chapter: . Chapter title:

Proceedings, Vol. Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019, 2019

Massinaei, M.

Reliable measurement and control of the pulp-froth interface (froth depth) in the flotation columns is critical to achieve the desired metallurgical performance. Shallow froths result in a reduction of grade because of particle entrainment and deep froths reduce recovery because of the drop back of entrained and weak hydrophobic particles to the pulp zone. The cleaner circuit at Miduk copper concentrator consists of three parallel MicrocelTM flotation columns 4 m in diameter and 12 m in height. The interface level of the flotation columns is measured by two pressure sensors located at 1.4 and 2.4 m from the cell lip (in the collection zone). In this study the performance of the level detection system at different operating conditions was evaluated. A calibrated float-ultrasonic location system was used for measuring the actual froth depth. The results indicated that the existing level control system was subject to considerable error. The absolute error was found to be 33.27 cm. This was mainly attributed to the constant set-point value assigned to the froth density (ρf=0.3 g/cm3), which actually varies with the operating conditions. The actual froth density at different conditions was calculated and its average value (ρf=0.12 g/cm3) was re-set in the control system. This resulted in substantial reduction in the level-detecting error. Recommendations for more accurate measurement of the interface level were presented. INTRODUCTION Froth flotation is a complicated process because of many involved variables. One of the most significant controlled variables in the flotation process is the pulp-froth interface (froth depth). The froth depth has a profound influence on the metallurgical performance parameters (i.e. grade and recovery). Shallow froths result in grade reduction because of particle entrainment and deep froths reduce recovery resulted from the drop back of entrained and weak hydrophobic particles to the pulp zone (Finch and Dobby, 1990). Various techniques have been developed for measuring the interface level of the flotation cells in the last few decades. These techniques can be classified as: Techniques based on hydrostatic pressure measurements (Finch & Dobby, 1990), Techniques based on the density gradient (float) (Moys & Finch, 1988), Techniques based on conductivity measurements (Uribe-Salas, 1991), Techniques based on temperature measurements (Moys & Finch, 1989).
Mots Clés: Copper 2019, COM2019
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