CSIRO's Mr Kevin Davey installing accelerometer modules on a production-scale SAG mill.
Mineral processing and agglomeration
CSIRO's research in mineral processing and agglomeration is helping operators improve their profitability and environmental performance.
18 January 2010 | Updated 24 September 2012
Mineral processing generally involves complex sequences of steps, carried out under widely varying conditions. Improving this sequence is challenging, since a small change in one step may affect the other steps.
We use our scientific, engineering and technological expertise to improve the performance of a range of these 'steps' or 'unit processes', which include:
- agglomeration, sintering and pelletising
- physical separation, including:
- magnetic separation
- gravity concentration
- solid–liquid separation
- solvent purification/solvent extraction
- tailings disposal.
CSIRO is supporting the mineral processing industry by providing a unique range of world class expertise that extends from detailed mineralogical, beneficiation and agglomeration evaluations, to predicting the process performance of sinter, pellets and lump in the blast furnace.
CSIRO’s capabilities in mineral processing and agglomeration include:
- ore characterisation – determining an ore’s properties and processing potential to assist with resource evaluation and process development decisions
- sintering – developing more efficient methods of sintering low-grade iron and manganese ores
- pelletising – transforming fine powders into a form that allows downstream processing
- briquetting – compacting fine particles or powders from iron ores, coal and other concentrates and materials into a denser form by using pressure and/or binding agents
- flotation – recovering valuables, or removing minor or toxic elements from slurries to improve grade and recovery
- chemical processing – combining hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy and mineral processing skills to help solve complex flowsheeting problems
- iron ore beneficiation – separating valuable iron ore minerals from waste material, for further processing or direct use
- image analysis – developing novel and efficient optical image analysis techniques to characterise complex iron ores and help predict downstream performance
- magnetic separation – providing the expertise and equipment required for difficult separation at small and large.
Our mineral processing expertise has resulted in many world-recognised innovations.