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Québec, Canada

Gover D.,Cliffs Natural Resources | Berton A.,SOUTEX | Norrgran D.,Eriez
Separation Technologies for Minerals, Coal, and Earth Resources

The Wabush Mines concentrator has been in production since 1965 producing a hematite concentrate. The concentration process incorporates gravity separation to concentrate the hematite followed by electrostatic separation to reject the residual silica. Over the years, high levels of manganese in the ore have resulted in higher than acceptable levels of manganese in the hematite concentrate. This has resulted in a more selective mine plan that has significantly reduced the life of the deposit. A high intensity magnetic separation process has been developed that replaces the electrostatic separation process. This process magnetically collects the hematite while rejecting both the silica and manganese. A 120 LTPH production line incorporating a three stage magnetic separation process was implemented in the Concentrator in March 2010. This project is termed the "Manganese Removal Project." Te metallurgical results from the magnetic separation production line indicate: • A feed rate of 120 LTPH is sustainable with acceptable rejection levels of SiO 2 and Mn. • The manganese rejection is approximately 50 percent with the higher manganese levels in the feed range responding with higher rejection rates. • The cut-off grade for the manganese in the mine plan can be significantly increased. The installed production line represents the first of a total of eight conceptual lines. The development, installation, and testing of the magnetic separation production line are addressed. Source

Berton A.,SOUTEX | Jubinville M.,Rio Tinto IOC | Hodouin D.,SOUTEX | Hodouin D.,Laval University | And 2 more authors.
Minerals Engineering

Stockpiling ore within a storage facility located between the mine and the concentrator can help damp production fluctuations originating from either the mining operation or the ore processing operation. To increase ore production rates, additional equipment is often installed within concentrators and mines. However, ore storage facilities may create bottlenecks in the production chain, if they are not properly redesigned. This paper proposes a mine-to-mill simulation method to determine the limitations of existing ore storage facilities and help their resizing in a context of production expansion. The modeling method combines three simulators to evaluate the production losses attributed to ore storage facilities: (1) a dynamic simulator of the 2D distribution of a storage facility filling profile, (2) a dynamic logistic model to simulate mine production and (3) a Monte Carlo simulator to emulate mine and concentrator equipment downtimes. The resulting overall simulator is able to provide answers to a very practical and critical industrial question: is an existing ore storage facility capable of handling increases in the production rate? Results of an application of this simulation technique to an iron ore processing plant helped reorient the plant expansion prefeasibility studies. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Bazin C.,Laval University | Sadeghi M.,Laval University | Bourassa M.,SOUTEX | Roy P.,SOUTEX | And 4 more authors.
Minerals Engineering

Spirals are gravity concentrators used for the concentration of coal, iron oxide ore and heavy minerals. As in any gravity concentrators the separation of minerals in a spiral is based on particle size and specific gravity. The size recovery curves of minerals in mineral processing equipment provide an efficient way to analyse the operation of spiral concentrators. However unlike other gravity concentrator equipment such as hydrocyclones or hydraulic classifiers a drop of recovery in the region of coarse particles is observed for spirals. This decrease of recovery of coarse particles is observed for the valuable and gangue minerals of roughing, cleaning and re-cleaning spirals of two Canadian iron ore concentrators. Any improvement in the recovery of coarse iron carrier particles can lead to a significant increase in the plant revenues. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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