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Article

Toward the Operability of Flotation Systems under Uncertainty

1
Escuela de Ingeniería Química, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Valparaíso 2340000, Chile
2
Unidad de Equipamiento Científico (Maini), Universidad Católica del Norte, Antofagasta 1240000, Chile
3
Departamento de Ingeniería Metalúrgica y Minas, Universidad Católica del Norte, Antofagasta 1240000, Chile
4
Departamento de Ingeniería Química y Procesos de Minerales, Universidad de Antofagasta, Antofagasta 1240000, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Lev Filippov
Minerals 2021, 11(6), 646; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11060646
Received: 31 March 2021 / Revised: 14 June 2021 / Accepted: 15 June 2021 / Published: 18 June 2021
The purpose of this work was to analyze the requirements for the operational feasibility of flotation systems as well as the effects of the selection of flotation equipment and metal price uncertainty. A procedure based on mathematical optimization and uncertainty analysis was implemented to achieve this aim. The optimization included flotation and grinding stages operating under uncertainty, whereas the uncertainty analysis considered the Monte Carlo method. The results obtained indicate a small number of optimal flotation structures from the economic point of view. Considering the relationship between the economic performance and metallurgical parameters, we established that these structures exhibited favorable conditions for operating under uncertainty. Such conditions were proportional to the percentages representing each structure in the optimal set; i.e., a higher percentage of a structure implied a greater capacity to face operational and metal price changes. The set of optimal structures included configurations implementing cell banks, flotation columns, or both, indicating the influence of the flotation equipment type on the optimal structures. We also established the influence of metal price on the number of optimal structures. Therefore, the results obtained allowed us to separate the design of the flotation systems into two stages: first, a set of optimal structures exhibiting favorable conditions for facing uncertainty is determined; second, the optimal operation is established via resilience/flexibility approaches after the previous determination of the equipment design parameters. View Full-Text
Keywords: design; flotation systems; uncertainty analysis; selection of equipment; grinding design; flotation systems; uncertainty analysis; selection of equipment; grinding
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lucay, F.A.; Acosta-Flores, R.; Gálvez, E.D.; Cisternas, L.A. Toward the Operability of Flotation Systems under Uncertainty. Minerals 2021, 11, 646. https://doi.org/10.3390/min11060646

AMA Style

Lucay FA, Acosta-Flores R, Gálvez ED, Cisternas LA. Toward the Operability of Flotation Systems under Uncertainty. Minerals. 2021; 11(6):646. https://doi.org/10.3390/min11060646

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lucay, Freddy A., Renato Acosta-Flores, Edelmira D. Gálvez, and Luis A. Cisternas 2021. "Toward the Operability of Flotation Systems under Uncertainty" Minerals 11, no. 6: 646. https://doi.org/10.3390/min11060646

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