Boosting Metal Recovery with Scientific AI: A Sneak Peek into the Powerful New Flotation Optimizer

Maximize Flotation Outcomes by Setting your Desired Targets

.The Flotation Optimizer is a central feature of Flotation Optimization Application that allows Operators and Metallurgists to optimize their flotation process in real-time.

Given the feed rate and material properties of ore fed to Flotation, the Flotation Optimizer employs best-in-class modeling methods to generate control setpoints that will maximize the metal recovery at the target product grade.

The Flotation Optimizer performs hundreds of simulations of a Flotation circuit using Digital Process Models (virtual sensors), which determine the solution that best aligns with the ‘Value Driver(s)’ (a configuration of desired objectives set by the users). The optimizer provides ‘Control Variable’ setpoints as ‘Recommended Setpoints’ (RSPs) that can be manually applied by operators or fed directly into lower level Control Systems.

The Flotation Optimizer’s Quest

The Flotation Optimizer addresses a fundamental question:

“What is the optimal way to operate a specific flotation circuit with a given feed to achieve its performance objectives?”

Let’s break down this question to understand the intricacies.

1. What is the optimal way to operate

The Flotation Optimizer isn’t a stabilizing control system; it’s a Scientific-AI optimization system determining the best operating conditions at steady-state based on the feed. It then provides optimal setpoints to operators or directly into lower-level control systems for achieving and maintaining the recommended conditions.

2. A specific flotation circuit

The Flotation Optimizer focuses on optimizing a flotation circuit within the constraints of its existing design, configuration, and instrumentation. We uniquely use Scientific AI – a combination of ‘Physics’ based models with Machine Learning – to cater for mineral processing complexities and drive greater accuracy of predictions.

3. With a given feed

The material properties of the feed ore and the feed rate are considered to be given, outside the scope of the Flotation Optimizer, emphasizing the importance of accurate and recent data for optimal performance. OurMaterial Handling feature allows for the accurate tracking and prediction of ore material properties and their effect on the process in real-time from Stockpile through Flotation and beyond.

4. To achieve its performance objectives

This is dependent on the user-defined Value Driver(s), that outlines the circuit’s goals. The Value Driver(s) includes setting optimizer rewards for ‘Performance Variables’ and limits for ‘Control Variables’. For example, deciding whether to maximize metal recovery or keep the final concentrate metal grade above ‘x’ g/t.

Improve Overall Cu Recovery by 1% ($38M)

A Practical Industrial Example 

In one of our prime AI-driven Flotation projects at one of the world’s largest copper mines in Chile we implemented a Digital Process Model for a circuit with more than 125 cells (totalizing 1,100 hydrodynamic and kinetic virtual sensors) alongside our Flotation Optimizer functionality.

With that, operators and metallurgists can now track flotation process parameters in real-time and pinpoint operational ranges for individual cells that would optimize the entire circuit’s overall performance.

Findings in the rougher circuit showed a significant increase in copper recovery, exceeding 1.1%. This improvement is estimated to positively impact the overall copper recovery of the plant by +1.0% (median), resulting in a $38 million annualized gain.


Are you Ready for a ‘Game-Changer’ in Flotation?

The Flotation Optimizer capability is a game-changer for the mining industry, paving the way for precision and efficiency in flotation operations. Its ability to optimize key variables ensures that mining processes align with performance objectives, unlocking a new era of excellence in mineral processing.

Real, tangible value can be quickly delivered that will guarantee a boost in mineral production to fuel the energy transition.

Interested in knowing more?

Mine to Market: Value Chain Optimization

The Stockpile & Inventory Optimization Application is one of a suite of real-time decision-making applications that uses AI to optimize each process; from mine to market.

Our Material Handling model connects these applications to drive even greater efficiency.

Our process optimization apps can be deployed on a specific process bottleneck or expanded across the entire value chain. They are powered by our Industrial AI Decision Intelligence Platform,

Stockpile and Inventory Optimization

Stockpile & Inventory Optimization

Grinding Optimization App

Grinding Optimization

Thickener Circuit Optimization

Thickener Optimization

Flotation Circuit

Flotation Optimization

Solvent Extraction Optimization App

Solvent Extraction (SX) Optimization

Leaching Optimization App

Leaching Optimization