Computer optimisation of a shaking table
This paper describes work undertaken, under the 3rd. EC Raw Materials Programme in collaboration with Carnon Consolidated Ltd. (CCL) and Beralt Tin and Wolfram SA (BTW), on the development and application of a mathematical model of a shaking table concentrator. The first part of this paper describes the model and the background to its development. Within the model, the major innovation was the introduction of explicit ranking and band width functions for the constituent size/SG fractions, which related their point of discharge from the table (and therefore their recovery) by abundances as well as rank order. This new approach competition between individual size/SG fractions to be modelled directly. This, and other, new features (eg. implicit handling of feed classification, a switch parameter to account for table duty and geometry etc.) gave the model increased robustness and more general validity over a wider spectrum of table applications than could be achieved with previous models. The new model was validated on the table operations at BTW and CCL and also an pilot scale separations at WSL and elsewhere. The second part of the paper describes the application of the model to the optimisation of the primary gravity circuit of the Wheal Jane plant of CCL. The application described here was part of a longer term simulation study, which has already recorded significant benefit at the plant . The application illustrates the role of modelling and simulation in providing quantitative decision support for metallurgical development.