Operating costs and product quality and yield
are critical concerns in the mining sector, but much of the potentially
useful material which is mined today still goes back to landfill
because of the difficulty of separating it out from unusable material.
Conventional recovery techniques include magnetic separation and
dense media separation.
This project aimed to improve the valorisation
process for waste from magnesite mining. Partners developed a sophisticated
new technique using the Reticon Camera sorter, an optical separator.
The results demonstrated potential improvements in operating costs,
as well as in product quality and yield, meaning increased competitivity
for European mines. The environmental benefits of extracting a maximum
of usable material during mining are obvious.
Part of the research was carried out via
simulation and partners believe the use of simulation in such optimisation
exercises could spread rapidly given the major gains demonstrated
for the mining industry. Much of the credit for the success of this
project goes to the collaboration shown between research and industrial