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Simulation assisted performance improvements in iron ore processing plants

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2009, Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 41-48

Ersayin, S.; Bond, W.M.; Arola, J.; Strukel, R.J.; Kettunen, B.


 In 1998, the Concentrator Modeling Center was established within the Coleraine Minerals Research Lab, Coleraine, Minnesota, to develop models for simulation of iron ore processing plants, and to assist plant operators in improving performance of their aging plants. The short-term objective was to develop necessary models for reliable simulation using conventional techniques, while the long-term objective was set as liberation-based modeling and simulation of these plants. The short-term objective was achieved in 2002 after the development of models for magnetic separators, hydroseparators and fine screens. A project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy was carried out to demonstrate the capability in improving iron ore processing at the Minorca plant. As a result of this study, a 10% improvement in throughput at the plant was obtained, and simulation became a desired tool for plant operators. A significant step in the long-term objective was reached in 2005 with the development of a liberation model. This was followed by incorporation of models capable of processing liberation data into the software. By early 2007, the Concentrator Modeling Center had the capability of performing liberation-based simulation of entire plants.