Research is conducted on mineral separation by froth flotation, and is primarily focused in the following areas:
Modelling and simulation of industrial flotation processes
A substantial research effort is underway with respect to the modelling and simulation of industrial flotation circuits, in close collaboration with the Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre at the University of Queensland, Australia. The primary aim of the work is the development of a computer simulation programme that can be used by metallurgical engineers to optimise physical design and operation criteria of industrial flotation plants. The long term aim of the research is the development of practical procedures, within a computer based simulation framework, for the modelling and optimisation of the process chemistry in full scale flotation circuits, and for the ab initio design of flotation plants to process new ore deposits. Work is at an advanced stage to incorporate the latest flotation modelling procedures that have arisen out of this work into the JKMRC commercial flotation simulation package JKSimFloat.
Scale-up of laboratory and pilot scale flotation data
It is frequently not feasible to conduct test work on full scale processes. This research is focused on the development of scientifically sound, yet practical, procedures to scale-up information generated in laboratory or pilot-scale equipment for application in the optimisation of industrial scale flotation operations.
Understanding the froth phase in flotation
A number of projects are being conducted that are aimed at unravelling some of the complexities of physical and chemical interactions in flotation froths in different types of flotation equipment. An insufficient understanding of this aspect of the flotation process has represented a significant barrier to progress in flotation research for many years.