Mining and Minerals Engineering

CSMM437 - Mineral Process Design and Modelling (2020)

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MODULE TITLEMineral Process Design and Modelling CREDIT VALUE30
Number of Students Taking Module (anticipated) 10
DESCRIPTION - summary of the module content

Mineral process design and modelling is the second of two core technical modules for the Professional PG Dip / MSc Minerals Processing. The module would cover the selection, design and operation of unit operations and circuits in mineral processing and extractive metallurgy. It will include preliminary testing, data analysis and simulation of processing circuits up to the creation of process flow diagrams. It will not cover further stages of design such as process and instrument drawings/design (e.g. CAD drawing, valve and pipe sizing) or construction of processing plants.

The module will include laboratory and pilot scales tests typically used to characterise material behaviour in a process as well as the models and software used to predict performance. Areas discussed will include comminution, flotation, physical separation, materials handling, dewatering, waste management and aspects of hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy and electrometallurgy. The latest innovations and current practices will be discussed alongside the Importance of variability in mineralogy across a deposit on the success of processing.

The health and safety implications related to industrial practices will be discussed. This will include discussion of the dangers of working with different mineral types, controlling and handling of chemicals, safety aspects of industrial processes and safe lab practices.

Prerequiste modules: CSMM177, CSMM178, CSMM179, CSMM180

AIMS - intentions of the module

The module aims to advance your understanding of the basic minerals processing principles taught in the Year One ‘Mining Life-Cycle’, and the detailed understanding of the fundamental principles of extraction in the year 2 ‘Principles of minerals process engineering’ module, by providing you with the technical skills required for a career in minerals process engineering.

Practical, hands-on activities using case studies, industry standard software and data from process plants will improve your key skills in selecting equipment, designing circuits and modelling and optimising processes using software. The module will cover comminution, flotation, physical separation, materials handling, dewatering, waste management and aspects of hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy and electrometallurgy. Modelling will focus on comminution circuits which represent a significant portion of capital and operating costs in mining operations.

INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES (ILOs) (see assessment section below for how ILOs will be assessed)

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

Module Specific Skills and Knowledge

1.Design appropriate test programmes using representatively collected samples of spatially variable deposits to gather data for the appropriate selection of processing routes to effectively recover a variety of minerals.
2. Critically analyse test and plant data to select suitable and appropriately sized equipment and determine optimal processing routes to effectively recover a variety of minerals.
3. Use appropriate software tools and input data to model comminution and classification circuits.

Discipline Specific Skills and Knowledge

4. select and use appropriate ICT based computational and visualisation tools for working on large data sets, to interrogate data and model engineering problems
5. present ideas clearly and concisely, debate alternative ideas and concepts
6. prepare company style reports and research project reports addressing extractive minerals industry related topics.
7. demonstrate competent IT Skills for accessing additional, computer-based independent study resources
8. work safely in laboratory, field and industrial environments

Personal and Key Transferable / Employment Skills and Knowledge

9. communicate complex information and high-level arguments effectively in both written and verbal forms appropriate for different academic and business audiences
10. plan and manage self-study and learn independently; including reflecting on your own performance; identifying and managing your own personal development needs and goals.


SYLLABUS PLAN - summary of the structure and academic content of the module

Unit 1 Comminution, flotation and physical separation topics

1. Introduction to the link between mineralogy of an ore and the selection of a mineral processing circuit.

2. Typical comminution circuits and innovative approaches for different minerals and commodities will be discussed. Standard laboratory and pilot scale testing for prediction of plant behaviour will also be covered alongside testing of grinding media, and methods of comminution circuit process control.

3. The selection of screening surfaces and determination of correct equipment size for fixed and vibrating screens will be covered alongside discussion of typical and innovative classification equipment and the methods to select and size these for processing plants.

4.The design, selection and sizing of mechanical and pneumatic flotation cells as well as flotation circuits will be covered. Methods of modelling flotation behaviour in plants and control strategies for flotation circuits will be included as well as current research and innovations in flotation plant design.

5. The selection of physical separation equipment using standard laboratory tests and models will be covered.

Unit 2 Extractive metallurgy topics

1. An overview of hydrometallurgy, biohydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy and electrometallurgy in the context of the extractive minerals industry. The basic methods for the selection, design and operation of metallurgical operations for a variety of minerals of economic interest will be covered.

2. The effects of mineralogy and upstream mineral processing options on extractive metallurgy will be discussed, as well as typical preparatory techniques such as agglomeration, pelletising and briquetting.

Unit 3 Materials handling, dewatering and waste management topics

1. Introduction to the techniques used to store and move material when dry and wet.

2. The use of dewatering (solid-liquid separation) equipment in the extractive minerals industry will be covered. This will include discussion of the selection, design and operation of thickeners, filters and dryers and the latest developments in dewatering technology.

3. Overview of the various methods used to dispose of material streams designated as having no economic value. This will include the use of tailings ponds and backfill including paste backfill as well as re-processing options.

Unit 4 Geometallurgy topics

1. Overview of the role of geometallurgy in the mineral extraction industry. Including the general principles and techniques associated with geometallurgy and the links to process mineralogy.

2. Introduction to geostatistical techniques used to model the spatial distribution of key processing properties in a geometallurgical framework.

3. Discussion of the latest innovations and trends in geometallurgy, including critical interaction with relevant research manuscripts and conference proceedings.

Unit 5 Process modelling and optimisation topics

1. An overview of circuit modelling and reconciliationapproaches will be given. Different software used for modelling will be compared alongside expected future trends in this field.

2. Introduction to the JKSimMet software package with JKSimMet supported exercises including optimization of a grinding and classification circuit.

3. Process control: introduction to the basics of process control and how this can be adopted to improve stability in a processing plant.

Unit 6 Sampling practice and data analysis topics

1. Practical sampling techniques for field, drill core, stockpile and conveyor belt sampling will be included.

2. Methods of analysing laboratory test and plant data will be discussed.

Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities 100.00 Guided Independent Study 200.00 Placement / Study Abroad 0.00
Category Hours of study time Description
Scheduled learning and teaching activities 100 Residentials, Group work, site visits, field trips, discussions, activities, presentations and assessments
Guided independent study 200 Using online resources with help and guidance from UoE staff, includes e-activities and discussion boards


FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT - for feedback and development purposes; does not count towards module grade
Form of Assessment Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
On-line e-activities 1-5 hours (several short activities) 1-3, 7, 10 electronic
Discussion boards variable 1-3, 5, 7, 9-10 electronic


Coursework 45 Written Exams 35 Practical Exams 20
Form of Assessment % of Credit Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Assignment 1 15 1,500 word equivalent 1-2, 4-7, 9-10 Electronic
Assignment 2 30 3,000 word equivalent 3-10 Electronic
Presentation 20 15 minutes 1-10 Written and verbal
Examination 35 1.5 hours 1-2 Personal Tutor


DETAILS OF RE-ASSESSMENT (where required by referral or deferral)
Original Form of Assessment Form of Re-assessment ILOs Re-assessed Time Scale for Re-assessment
Assignments Assignments All Approx. 6-8 weeks after residential
Presentation Recorded and annotated Powerpoint presentation All Approx. 3 weeks after residential
Examination Examination All At next residential



All referral marks are capped at 50%.

INDICATIVE LEARNING RESOURCES - The following list is offered as an indication of the type & level of
information that you are expected to consult. Further guidance will be provided by the Module Convener

Basic reading:




Web based and Electronic Resources:

Other Resources:


Reading list for this module:

There are currently no reading list entries found for this module.

ORIGIN DATE Wednesday 18 December 2019 LAST REVISION DATE Wednesday 18 December 2019
KEY WORDS SEARCH Minerals Processing (Professional), principles of minerals processing, thermodynamics, mass and heat flow, fluid mechanics, comminution, physical separation, flotation, extractive metallurgy, fundamental principles and forces