Mineral processing modeling: a review
Ortiz, Julian M.
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Mineral processing comprises several stages including comminution, as crushing and grinding, and concentration through froth flotation. Complementary equipment is utilized to control particle size between stages. Models describing each stage and equipment were reviewed in terms of their formulation, being all of them valid for steady-state operations. It is also noted the nature of the models studied, fluctuating from phenomenological, empirical, and populations balance models. Besides, the models used in residence time distribution (RTD) determination are presented separately since their structure depends on equipment dimensions instead of process performance, and include time progress. The importance of RTD modeling lies in the likelihood of using this data to estimate the blending effect in mineral processing. Consequently, with the wide spectrum of models reviewed, it is possible to ground the proposal of building an integrated dynamic simulator capable of representing the plant performance and giving concentrate and tailings composition as an outcome.