Title

Understanding the Agglomeration Behavior of Nickel Laterite and Gold Ores using Statistical Design of Experiments

Abstract

The drum agglomeration of nickel laterite and gold ores has been optimized through the design of experiments (DOE) using a Taguchi L16 (45) orthogonal array to determine the optimum conditions for maximizing average agglomerate size and minimizing the amount of fines. The effects of controllable operating factors including moisture content (nickel laterite ore: 34-37%; gold ore: 7-10%), retention time (2-3.5 min), drum speed (15-45% critical speed), drum load (nickel laterite ore: 8-32 %; gold ore: 6-22%) and acid concentration (150-600 g/L) on the performance of the agglomeration process were studied. For nickel laterite ore, maximum average agglomerate size and minimum percent fines (-1 mm) occurred under the following conditions: drum load (23.7%), moisture (36.5%), time (3 min), drum speed (30% critical speed) and acid concentration (150 g/L). Under the studied nickel laterite ore conditions, the most effective parameters for maximizing average agglomerate size and minimizing the amount of fines were found to be drum load and acid concentration, respectively. Drum speed had a statistically significant effect on minimizing the amount of fines. Maximum average agglomerate size and minimum percent fines (-1 mm) for gold ore occurred under the following conditions: drum load (19.3%), moisture (8.5%), time (2 min 15 s) and drum speed (40% critical). The most significant factors for maximizing average agglomerate size and minimizing the amount of fines for gold ore were found to be drum load, time and moisture.

Department(s)

Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Agglomeration; Crushed ore; Drum load; Moisture; Optimization; Taguchi method

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0747-9182

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Citation

File Type

text

Language(s)

English

Rights

© 2014 Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, All rights reserved.

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