Modelling and Performance Analysis of Hydrocyclones: The Case of Buzwagi Gold Mine
Keywords:Grinding circuit, Hydrocyclone performance, Partition curve, Hydrocyclone Modelling
The performance of hydrocyclones at Buzwagi Gold Mine (BGM) was investigated in three full scale survey campaigns. Thereafter, several empirical and theoretical hydrocyclone models were used for prediction of hydrocyclone performance. The survey data revealed poor performance of the grinding circuit caused by a circulating load higher than the design. Further, the poor performance of the grinding circuit had consequences on hydrocyclones overflow particle size (i.e. a much coarser product, xP,80 > 200 µm) than target (125 µm). In addition, the operation indicates overloading of the hydrocyclones due to feed rates being 10–18% above the design capacity. Apart from their deficiencies, BGM hydrocyclones can be categorized as very good or excellent separators in terms of separation efficiency based on partition curves, T(x). The modelling of BGM hydrocyclones revealed that Nageswararao’s model can well describe and predict the operation and is recommended for future simulation and optimization of the operation. Based on the survey data, there are opportunities to improve current operation through adjustment of operating conditions like dilution of hydrocyclone feed for improved classification efficiency.
Keywords: Grinding circuit; Hydrocyclone performance; Partition curve; Hydrocyclone Modelling