Particle sorting allows partially liberated minerals to be separated prior to energy intensive fine grinding. Sensors select particles for separation and air, water or mechanical ejectors are used to physically deflect those selected. To achieve effective separation there has to be sufficient liberation, accurate detection and presentation of a separated monolayer of particles. These three physical constraints determine the particle size limits, the sorting technology utilised, the separation efficiency, and the throughput that can be achieved. The combination of all these factors controls the effective limits on the degree to which sorting can reduce the specific comminution requirements and increasing energy efficiency. This paper will explore two case studies: the application of sorting in base metal mining and precious metal mining.
Ballantyne, G R, Hilden, M, Bartram, K and Souto, V, 2018. Characterising energy efficiency of particle sorting, in Proceedings 14th AusIMM Mill Operators' Conference 2018, pp 531–540 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).