Laboratory Testing & General Mineral Processing Engineering

Laboratory Testing & General Mineral Processing Engineering2017-04-04T06:57:51-04:00
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Knelson concentrator throughput (1 reply)

1 month ago
rockape888 1 month ago


I am evaluating test work completed on a circuit where gravity tails are put through a float circuit. i.e. concentration of the rougher feed. Gravity circuit is likely a Knelson concentrator. Is it possible to scale up this type of circuit to 5 Mt pa or is that not practical? If the former, which operations currently run that type of circuit? Thanks in advance. 

Gene Cheeseman
1 month ago
Gene Cheeseman 1 month ago

Hi Rockape,

5Mtpa is approximately 600 tph.  The largest Falcon or Knelson concentrators top out at around 400 tph.  If more capacity is needed multiple units are used in parallel - some plants have as many as 40 x 400 tph concentrators operating simultaneously.

These units are typically installed within the grinding circuit.  In small operations they often treat 100% of the ball mill discharge or cyclone underflow.  In larger plants, typically a portion of this recirculating load is treated as multiple concentrators add a lot of water to the grinding circuit. 

Gold grinds very slowly and preferentially reports to the cyclone underflow. So even if only 1/3 of the cyclone underflow is treated, chances are that eventually the gold particle will see a concentrator before it reports to the overflow.

From my experience the majority of gold flotation plants these days install gravity circuits as the payment for gold in bullion is much better than gold in flotation concentrates.  Furthermore, very coarse and very fine (overground) gold does not respond well to flotation and having gravity within the grinding circuit mitigates this signficantly.


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