Achieve Maximal Separation Efficiency of the Feed Stream’s Thickener Optimization application guides metallurgists, operators and lower level control systems to achieve maximal separation efficiency of the feed stream, while stabilizing the product stream and minimizing the flocculant usage.

The Challenges Faced by Thickener Circuits

Thickener circuits are solid-liquid separation processes, sending settling solids to the underflow, and clear water to the overflow. They are used both on concentrate and tailing streams. Thickening process challenges include: 

  • Constantly changing ore properties
  • Consistently achieving target underflow density or overflow clarity
  • Different operational modes depending on the operator’s shifts
  • Unexpected solids build-up (seen as sharp rises in rake torque or bed pressure) or fines in the overflow (that contaminate downstream processes)
  • Excess use of flocculant to compensate for uncertainties, which negatively impacts downstream processes

Knowing the current state of the Thickener circuit enables predictions of future states to meet objectives and adhere to equipment limits, reducing isolation events and increasing thickener performance.

The Solution’s Thickener Optimization Application, powered by our platform, has been built to directly address these challenges: 

  1. Predictive Decision-Making: The Digital Process Model underpinning the Thickener Optimizer provides operators with proactive recommendations on what they need to do to maintain operational stability and desired performance
  2. A Configurable Value Driver: Users can stipulate the process objectives and operational limits that guide what “optimal” means for a specific thickener circuit
  3. Upstream Connection:’s Material Transport & Influence Model can account for variables like mineralogy and particle size in recommending proactive changes to the process

A Solution Panel in the Thickener Application showing an overview of the process in real-time

The Added Chemistry from our Partnership with BASF

BASF are a world leader in the supply of process chemistry designed to achieve the most from a thickener. They have significant experience in the operation of thickening circuits and have a deep understanding of the upstream and downstream impacts that influence their operation.

We have embedded that knowledge and chemical interaction directly into our Thickener Optimisation Application, which when combined with our advanced data analytics and AI has produced a synergy of effect unlike anything in the industry today.

BASF and Partnership

The Performance Solution Panel in the Thickener Application providing predictions and optimization as well as giving the ability to simulate the impact of different control variable set points.

The Value Gained from Optimization

The IntelliSense Thickener Optimization Application will:

  • Stabilize and maximize underflow density and/or overflow clarity
  • Prevent isolation events and other undesired stoppages
  • Ensure optimal flocculant usage (often decreasing usage)
  • Protect rakes and pumps from damage

Up to 2% increase in throughput, 18% reduction in rake torque and 16% reduction in flocculant usage

”Significant progress in the stabilization of operation of thickeners was achieved.”

Superintendent – Development

Antofagasta Minerals

Mine to Market: Value Chain Optimization

Powered and connected together by the platform, the Thickener Optimization Application is one of a suite of real-time decision-making applications that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to optimize each process; from mine-to-market.

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

The Application Portfolio