Dense medium separation circuit design and optimisation using enhanced process modelling and simulation

Dense medium separation circuit design and optimisation using enhanced process modelling and simulation

Apr 21, 2021 | Process simulation

USIM PAC process simulator offers the ability to manage, in one tool, the full processing flowsheet and a detailed description of the ore phase in terms of size distribution, density distribution per size class, mineral composition per density class and chemical composition, all associated to their physical parameters. Find below the abstract of an article written for the International Mineral Processing Congress, IMPC 2020 that presents the main advantages of USIM PAC to model and simulate dense medium separation circuit.


Dense Medium Separation (DMS) technologies are used for light (coal, lithium) or heavy (chromite, iron ore, diamonds) minerals concentration, but also for ore pre-concentration (Pb/Zn) or waste (plastics). Dense media are mainly formed from a suspension of magnetite or ferrosilicon in water.

Such DMS circuit design or optimisation requires a full and detailed material balance which can be obtained by the aid of modelling and simulation tools. This balance is not limited to ore and its valuable minerals, but also the recovery of the dense medium itself. If the density is the main property used for separation, the particle size plays a non-negligible role, and, more precisely, the liberation classes which can be associated to the washability curve.

The paper presents how the modelling and simulation platform USIM PAC can answer this challenge with the set of models for DMS operating units such as drums or cyclones, and their associated screens (drainage, rinsing) and magnetic separators for medium recovery. Some examples for mineral concentration will illustrate this approach.


  • Introduction
  • Unit operation modelling for DMS circuit
  • Modelling of dense medium separation with drum
  • Phase modelling
  • DMS circuit simulation
  • Conclusion


Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Organizing Committee of the IMPC 2020, scheduled to be held in Cape Town, have decided to cancel this conference as a face-to-face event. Nevertherless, papers that have successfully gone through the peer review process have be published in a set of formal IMPC 2020 Congress Proceedings. The full article of the current abstract is part of these proceedings.

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