2007 – Mining 2007, Brisbane Qld
Bench scale metallurgical ore characterisation test programmes are required because each ore body is unique even though there are typical process routes for metals contained in minerals.
The sample selection, representivity, sample size, cost and test methodologies under well controlled conditions are discussed hereafter including typical tests included in any programme.
Aspects of test programmes ranging from sighter tests through to full feasibility development programmes are discussed.
The development of the comminution, extraction and variability Testplans is a critical step in developing a flowsheet, predicting metal recoveries and for cash flow predictions. The progression from bench scale to pilot scale confirms the flowsheet and allows for material and energy balances, equipment selection and plant design.
A well designed metallurgical test programme minimises process risks associated with commercial development and provides a level of bankability.