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Advanced Methods in Monitoring and Control of Ore Concentration

In this project, monitoring and optimization of the unit process chains of mineral concentrating plants is studied. Practical cases are located in three mineral processing plants in the middle and northern Finland:

  • Kemi mine - Outokumpu Chrome Oy
  • Pyhäsalmi mine - Pyhäsalmi Mine Oy (Inmet corporation)
  • Siilinjärvi mine - Kemphos Oy

The process monitoring and optimization is based on the information provided by on-line process analyzers. The concept is to apply control strategies for grinding process to achieve the optimality of the subsequent concentrating plant. Control of the grinding circuit is partly based on the information provided by on-line slurry particle size distribution analyzers.

Grinding Mills

The main objectives of the project are

  • better control of grinding circuit and subsequent concentrator
  • increased throughput of the grinding circuit
  • enhanced usability of on-line mineral particle size distribution measurement
  • improved monitoring of the concentrating plant

Goal in the optimization of the concentrating plants is to maximize the profitability and thus to find optimal operating parameters for each sub-process. In mineral concentration plants, the performance is typically dependent on several aspects such as the feed ore type, grade-recovery dependency, energy price, product market price, etc. However, in addition to this list the efficiency of the mineral enrichment is often strongly affected by the mineral particle size. Thereby, the aim is to control the mineral grinding mills in order to achieve better operation of the concentration plant. The monitoring and control concept includes among others: data based process modeling, detection of process disturbances and evaluation of the process control performance.

Kemi mine

The research is supported by Tekes.

  • Keywords: mining, mineral grinding, particle size analysis, data mining, soft sensors, process control, process monitoring
  • Duration: 2007-2009
  • Research area: Process Control, Operations & Maintenance
  • Related projects: ChaCo, ÄKSY, VÄSY, ERHE
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Industrial Partners