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Work Packages

WP1 Project Management and Scientific Coordination

To set up the organizational framework to execute the project as foreseen in the Description of Work.
Assure the achievement of objectives and tasks and if necessary take corrective measures.
Coordinate the common technical and administrative reporting and managing the overall quality assurance.
Provide and maintain the infrastructures and logistics for virtual and present information exchange among members and the European Commission.

WP2 Ore production documental and system analysis

Models and techniques are evolving rapidly in the field. For such, the purpose of this WP is to benchmark the starting point of the project with the most advanced State of the Art technologies available, including a constant SoA and market watch in order to assure that the project development is always ahead of current techniques and provides a clear advance.
Also, this WP will include the selection of the most suitable technologies for the project execution as well as studies on its requirements.

WP3 Crushing modelling

The main objective is to obtain comminution models for crushing machinery and for tungsten and tantalum processing. Such models are based on equipment type, operational mode and ore, specific parameters will be found and characterized for best accurate performance, including:

  1. forecast energy consumption;
  2. forecast on size distribution;
  3. forecast mineral liberation.

WP4 Milling Modelling

The grinding objective is to reduce the size of the minerals below 1 mm with wet or dry methods. The aim of the work package covers all the grinding modelling operating with grinding equipment parameters and with the processes applied to tantalum and tungsten ores. There will be laboratory tests and real scale process by validation and refinement of the model and its parameters. Also it will the energy consumption and the release of ore for each parameter characteristic of the ore processed will be studied.

WP5 Improved models for gravity separation using quantitative mineralogy

The main objective is to develop improved models for gravity separation equipment commonly used in tungsten and tantalum processing. Separation performance will be linked to quantitative mineralogical information produced by QEMSCAN. The developed models will be used to audit a number of mineral processing operations by comparing expected performance from ore mineralogy with actual performance.
The modelling work will be used to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of existing separation techniques and indicate how best to combine processes for treatment of low grade ores.

WP6 New models for magnetic separation using quantitative mineralogical analysis

The main objective is to develop a new model for magnetic separation equipment commonly used for tungsten and tantalum processing. The proper identification of the ore variety such as Hübnerite, Wolframit or Ferberite in case of tungsten ores is important for the success of magnetic separation performance. So the model will be linked to quantitative mineralogical analysis produced by stereoscopic microscopy in combination with Mineral Liberation Analysis (MLA). The developed model will be verified by certain laboratory tests with a wethigh gradient magnetic separator as well as by comparing its results with the actual performance of number of mineral processing operations.
Moreover, dry magnetic separation tests for tungsten and tantalum ores shall show the applicability of this technology, which might increase the separation performance in particular with fine particles as well as substantially reduce the environmental impact of the operation.
The modelling work will be used to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of existing separation techniques and indicate areas where the magnetic separation of fine ground low grade ores is aviable option.

WP7 Froth Floating Separation Models

Froth flotation represents one of the most widely used processes for mineral separation. Even though its basic principles are quite well understood, it is difficult to quantitatively predict the process result, due to the complexity of the different occurring micro-processes, which may interact synergistically or antagonistically. Thus, the objective of this WP is the development and evaluation of a predictive approach for froth flotation equipment and reagent regimes commonly used for the beneficiation of typical tungsten and tantalum ores.
Froth flotation process parameters and results will be influenced by ore properties, including particle size, mineral texture and liberation. In this case liberation has to be defined as liberated surface per over all surface of any mineral particle. Therefore, the process performance will be linked to quantitative structural, mineralogical and chemical information provided by Mineral Liberation Analysis (MLA) and Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-OES). To obtain proper data for modelling, test work will be performed using laboratory-scale flotation cells and well-defined process parameters. The applicability of the developed model will be verified by comparing the process performance achieved for the chosen tungsten and tantalum ores with expected results based on the ore properties and process parameters.
The modelling work will be used to evaluate existing separation techniques and indicate suitable process improvements for the beneficiation of low grade ores by froth flotation.

WP8 Intelligent control and design software development

Models provides a deep understanding of the process principles and working operational but for proper control it is necessary to include different parameter decision tools which operate under such models assumptions and which will be able to decide the best parameter values set, including specific parametrical adaptation to each given environment and based on past input-outputs and past experiences (involvement of case based reasoning).

With all this different sub-process understanding and control, a complete simulation model will be generated which makes possible the evaluation of decision strategies, analysing its viability based on the available sensors and to generate the best process decisions taking into account yield, mineral quality, energy and energy and water consumption. 

WP9 System Integration & Validation

The objective is to integrate the hardware and software elements for validation and further validation carried out in the field. The validation will be carried out in three stages:

  • Virtual simulated environment using proprietary software and expertise; 
  • Pilot test plant facility provided by Wardell Armstrong International (UK);
  • As many existing mine operating sites as possible;
  • Support for the Penouta Tantalum Project under development b Strategic Minerals Spain.

WP10 Dissemination and Exploitation

This work package will co-ordinate exploitation strategies and project-wide training, communication and dissemination activities in order to ensure project awareness, knowledge sharing, and dissemination of project results to the mining machinery production. The work package will use a variety of communication means to engage with and influence the target groups, understand and address their needs and deliver appropriate communication at appropriate times. Communication with relevant actors within the field of mining production systems will be pursued, meanwhile access to them through associations and relevant actors will be developed. The project results are expected to be provided as free knowledge access through publications. 

Exploitation and Dissemination are two relevant parts of the project, but given the high number of WPs it has been agreed to merge both into this single WP.

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