Analysis of the Effects of Grind Size on Production of Copper Concentrate: A Case Study of a Mining Company in Zambia


The trend did not attain terminal values, an indication that further increase in the fineness of grind may still result in improvement in the copper recovery as compared to the current plant recovery of 87% achieved at the grind of 40% passing 75microns. From the results obtained, the researchers recommended that further tests can still be carried out at finer grinds until optimal recovery values are obtained.

A mining company treats underground ores of complex mixture of copper sulphide and small amount of copper oxide minerals. However, a number of flotation parameters have not been optimized to meet concentrate standards and grind size is one of the parameter. The purpose of this research project was to analyze the effect of grind size on concentrate production at a mining company in Zambia. The researcher set objectives which were to determine the current grind size and the output obtainable and also to determine the grind size and range of grind size that will produce the most concentrate. Literature relevant to answer the research questions was reviewed. The research design used was experimental in which direct observations and laboratory experiments were used to gather data. Samples from the ball mill feed were collected for the investigations at the mine laboratory. Laboratory flotation tests were carried out at various levels of grind; namely 15.33%, 19.52%, 28.16%, 39.47% and 51.51% passing 75microns sieve aperture, For each test, timed flotation concentrates were collected at intervals of 0.5, 1, 1.5 and 4 minutes. Natural pH level was maintained for all the tests. The results have shown that increase in the fineness of grind was accompanied by improvement in the recovery of values. The highest recovery of 94.482% was obtained at the finest grind (51.51% passing 75microns) used in the tests.


Analysis; Concentrate; Grind Size; Production.

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