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Metallurgical process control test works in a Gold Plant (2 replies)

6 months ago
Tererai 6 months ago

What are the metallurgical process control test works that  can be done in a gold processing plant, in trying to improve efficiency and reduce production cost? Starting from when ROM enters the plant till its at slimes dam

Dizzy Flores
6 months ago
Dizzy Flores 6 months ago
1 like by Tererai

Hi and welcome to 911Met,

it is important to know the gold recovery process because there are several options and the control can be different, please try to be more specific on your question.

Craig Lockhart
6 months ago
Craig Lockhart 6 months ago
3 likes by Tererai, Bill Fraser and David

Hello Tery,

I agree with Dizzy in that much more information is required to deliver a meaningful answer.  Besides the process itself, the level of instrumentation in the plant (levels, temperatures, pressure, speed, etc.), automation (e.g. variable speed drives, actuated valves), and the capabilities of your control system or DCS can all play a role in what you can expect to achieve for improvement.  In general however, here are a few points for you to consider:

  • Determine what aspect of your process has the potential to yield the most benefit if improved (e.g. higher throughput, finer grind size, power consumption, reagent dosage, media consumption, etc.) and focus first on those.
  • Most plants will benefit from operating in steady state.  Make sure all of your control loops are tuned to minimize circuit disturbance. (e.g. if a pump is tuned to avoid spilling the feed box, it probably isn't tuned best for the process).  If a system is too chaotic, it will not be possible to gauge the benefits of your inputs. 
  • Make sure that if you change the way a unit operation behaves, make sure operations upstream and downstream are not adversely affected and adjust accordingly.
  • Make sure the benefits are worth the effort - if you spend the benefit on the cure, you achieve nothing.
  • Look for better ways to control unit operations.  E.g. If a classifier system works best at constant feed rate, consider fixing the feed pump speed to the inlet pressure and control the pump box level with water addition.  E.g. (2) if maximum power achieves best results, consider operating the motor by winding temperature target rather than amp or power draw target.
  • Decide in advance what the control system should do in the event a critical instrument fails or a signal is lost.
  • Do not implement expert system control until your plant is already capable of operating in steady state without it.  If your plant will not operate in steady state, then it likely does not have sufficient automation and control capabilities to benefit from expert control.

Good luck and feel free to elaborate on your question.


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