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Minerals 2018, 8(2), 44; doi:10.3390/min8020044

A Posteriori Analysis of Analytical Models for Heap Leaching Using Uncertainty and Global Sensitivity Analyses

1
Mining Technological and Scientific Research Center (CICITEM), Antofagasta 1240000, Chile
2
Department of Chemical and Mineral Process Engineering, Universidad de Antofagasta, Antofagasta 1240000, Chile
3
Department of Mines and metallurgical engineering, Universidad Católica del Norte, Antofagasta 1240000, Chile
4
Department of Mines Engineering, Universidad de Antofagasta, Antofagasta 1240000, Chile
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*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heap Leaching: The State-of-the-Art)
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Abstract

The heap leaching of minerals is one of the more commonly used processes in the mining industry. This process has been modeled by many authors. However, the validation, verification, and implementation of these models are difficult since there is uncertainty about the operating conditions and the leaching model parameters. This work uses the uncertainty quantification, based on uncertainty and sensitivity analysis, for studying the model strength against uncertainties in heap leaching. The uncertainty analysis (UA) is used to quantify the effect of the magnitude of the uncertainties of the input variables on the recovery of heap leaching. Global sensitivity analysis (GSA) is used to study the nature of connections between the recovery and input variables of the leaching model. In addition, GSA facilitates the detection of whether a leaching model is over-parameterized. The information obtained allows studying some applications of the kinetic model. The Mellado et al. kinetic model is used as an example. The UA results indicate that the kinetic model can estimate the recovery behavior considering the full range of uncertainties of input variables. The GSA indicates that the kinetic model is over-parameterized on the uncertainties range considered; this conclusion contradicts the results when the local sensitivity analysis is used. However, the model shows a good correlation between the results of GSA and the kinetic behavior of heap leaching. In addition, the kinetic model presents versatility because it allows the determination of operating regions for heap leaching. View Full-Text
Keywords: heap leaching; modeling; uncertainty analysis; global sensitivity analysis heap leaching; modeling; uncertainty analysis; global sensitivity analysis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Mellado, M.E.; Cisternas, L.A.; Lucay, F.A.; Gálvez, E.D.; Sepúlveda, F.D. A Posteriori Analysis of Analytical Models for Heap Leaching Using Uncertainty and Global Sensitivity Analyses. Minerals 2018, 8, 44.

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