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Development and validation of an integrated, low-cost methodology for evaluating the applicability of preconcentration and its impacts on comminution

Grant number: 23/13203-9
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: February 01, 2024 - January 31, 2026
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Mining Engineering - Ore Beneficiation
Principal Investigator:Maurício Guimarães Bergerman
Grantee:Maurício Guimarães Bergerman
Host Institution: Escola Politécnica (EP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers:Arthur Pinto Chaves ; Carina Ulsen ; Carlos Otávio Petter ; Homero Delboni Junior

Abstract

The use of more complex mineral comminution and concentration operations has grown due to the drop in grades and the greater complexity of available ores. An alternative to face the high costs of installing and operating mineral processing plants is pre-concentration, using methods such as screening, magnetic separation, density separation and high-technology sensors (ore sorters). The benefits generated by the use of pre-concentration are significant, among which we can mention: the increase in the production of metal contained in the ore to be processed in a mill, and the reduction in costs with the disposal of finer waste in dams. Despite the different benefits that this technique can bring, its evaluation requires a significant mass of ore, often not available in the initial stages of a project. Furthermore, significant positive impacts that can be observed in comminution, such as reduced hardness and abrasiveness of the ore that will feed the plant, are normally not evaluated. The objective of this research project is to develop and validate a simplified and low-cost methodology with the purpose of evaluating the applicability of pre-concentration operations and their main impacts on the comminution circuit. The laboratory tests will seek to reproduce the techniques used industrially, on a smaller scale. Considering that pre-concentration is based on the heterogeneity of the samples, it is understood that simplified laboratory tests that allow the identification of differentiating properties of the particles are an excellent indication of the industrially expected result. Furthermore, tests to evaluate grindability and abrasiveness with the need for little mass, developed by the proposing research group, made it possible to evaluate the impact of such an operation on comminution. (AU)

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