Modelling and Simulation of the Santa Rita Mine Milling Circuit

Abstract

The Santa Rita Mine, located in the State of Bahia, was the first Mirabela Mineração operation in Brazil.

Started in 2009, the nickel sulphide processing plant has undergone constant modifications, aiming to adapt to the changes in the ore. Main modifications included autogenous grinding converted to semi-autogenous, as well as the installation of a desliming stage aiming to remove ultrafine minerals which reduced the nickel recovery in flotation.

A full survey and ore characterization campaign was carried out to assess alternatives for increasing grinding circuit capacity. Experimental data were balanced and used to calibrate mathematical models which were the basis for simulation exercises.

This paper describes the main aspects related to circuit modeling and simulation, as well as assessing alternatives for increasing the grinding circuit capacity.

Keywords:
grinding; simulation; nickel

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