Although chemical methods of concentration and extraction dominate the industry, the physical separation methods are ubiquitous. Whether it be gravity concentration, classification or dewatering, the principles of separation are essentially the same, and there is no mining operation in the world which does not make use of the density differences between solids and liquids somewhere in the flowsheet. Magnetic and electrical methods also have important roles to play when methods such as flotation fail.
With the need to reduce energy and water consumption, sensor based automatic ore sorting is becoming increasingly important in comminution circuits, in order to remove waste and sub-marginal grade material and produce a coarse upgraded preconcentrate early in the flowsheet, and reduce the volume of final tailings.
MEI's 5th Physical Separation conference will therefore bring together researchers and operators who have common interests.