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Online Particle Size Monitoring Increases Efficiency of Mineral Processing Operation

A new publication co-authored by experts from Malvern Instruments and specialist mineral processing technology provider Outotec, examines how minerals processing can be made more efficient and cost-effective by the continuous monitoring of particle size using online laser diffraction analysis.

Designed for minerals processing applications, the PSI 500 from Outotec includes automatic flushing, sample dilution and an Insitec laser diffraction measurement head

Minerals processors use milling to reduce mined ore to an optimal particle size. Over-milling to produce excessively fine particles increases energy consumption and accelerates equipment wear, whereas too coarse a particle size may result in valuable material going to waste as tailings.

Traditionally minerals processors have relied on offline, manual particle sizing to monitor milling. However the intermittent nature of manual sampling and data generation, the possibility of operator bias, and the time required to return information, are limiting from the point of view of process control. There is therefore considerable interest in automated online measurement.

The authors of ‘Analyzing slurry size on line’ explore how fully automated online particle size analysis can increase throughput, support the stable production of more optimally sized particles, reduce plant down-time, lower costs and improved process efficiency. They also examine the suitability of laser diffraction for minerals application, and how it is being tailored to the analysis of the concentrated slurries that are typical of the industry.

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