What are the right extraction and benefication processes for a specific ore? Understanding the value proposition of mineral production value chains and the heterogeneity of a particulate bulk material form the basis for selecting the right processes and equipment.
Physical separation is historically the oldest separation process, apart from hand-picking. The most popular reference is the quest for the Golden Fleece, which was a contemporary story in Homer’s Odyssey and other famous Greek epics. Physical separation is exploiting heterogeneity of particulate ore systems. Heterogeneity is of course a function of the mineral deposit to be exploited; heterogeneity also influences on industrial size-reduction processes. The effects from heterogeneity must be manageable and controlled. Understanding the heterogeneity, optimising it by selecting the right size reduction processes and physical separation processes in relation to a given business case is at the core of SIX-S methods and processes to maximise customer value.