Thickener Circuit

Optimum efficiencies and minimum costs

Thickener Circuit Optimization Application

The Thickener Optimization Application guides metallurgists, operators and lower level control systems to achieve optimal separation efficiency of the feed stream and optimising the flocculant usage, as well as bringing process stability across the full chain.

The Problems Faced by Thickener Circuits

Thickener circuits are solid-liquid separation processes, sending settling solids to the underflow, and clear liquor to the overflow. They are used in both Concentrate and Tailings streams as well as in Counter Current Decantation circuits (CCD).

Thickening process challenges include:

  • Constantly variable ore properties
  • Issues with consistently achieving target underflow density or overflow clarity
  • Different operational modes depending on the operator’s shifts
  • Unexpected solids build-up (seen as sharp rises in rake torque or bed pressure) or fines in the overflow (contaminating downstream processes)
  • Excess use of flocculant to compensate for uncertainties/instability, which negatively impacts downstream processes

The BASF Solution

The BASF Intelligent Mine Thickener Optimization Application, powered by the platform, addresses the above challenges:

Predictive Decision-Making: The Digital Process Model underpinning the Thickener Optimizer provides operators with proactive recommendations on actions to maintain operational stability and desired performance.

A Configurable Value Driver: Users can stipulate the process objectives and operational limits that guide optimal specifications for a specific thickener circuit.

Upstream Connection: The Material Transport & Influence Model can account for variables like mineralogy and particle size in recommending proactive changes to the process.

Our Material Flow Model connects these applications together to drive even greater efficiency gains.
Thickener circuit optimisation

Knowing the current state of the thickener circuit enables predictions of future states to meet objectives and adhere to equipment limits, reducing isolation events and increasing thickener performance.

The Value Gained from Optimization

The BASF Intelligent Mine Thickener Optimization Application:

  • Stabilises and maximises underflow density and/or overflow clarity
  • Prevents isolation events and other undesired stoppages
  • Ensures optimal flocculant usage (often decreasing usage)
  • Protect rakes and pumps from damage

Value Chain Optimization from Mine to Market

Powered and connected together by the platform, the Thickener Optimization Application is one of a suite of real-time, Artificial Intelligence driven, decision-making applications to optimize each process from mine to market.

Thickener App screenshot

Screenshot from our Thickener Circuit optimisation App

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