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A formula is derived which expresses the basic efficiency of concentration when
the constituents of a two-constituent mixture are separated.


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= (1oo ~ c).


----r--f) .cio0::-7)
x loo


which transforms to





. ooo-=~ 7J x 1oo

or to


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?XTENSION DIVISION. Recent advances

Derivation of a Basic Efficiency Formula for

Concentrating Operations*


MI~IERE. Statistique de l'industrie

mmerale, annee 1960. Paris: lmprimerie Nationale, 1962. 157 p.
tabs. 20 NF.

~ISON, H. L. H. Alluvial mining for

tm _an~ gold. London: Mining
Pubhca~10ns, Ltd., 1962. 313 p.,
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20t~ Sess10n, Mexico, 1956. Sym-

September 1962





P~~.R. Annual report of the Mines

Dzvwon . . . for the year 1960-61.
Lagos: F.ederal Ministry of InformatiOn, Prmtmg Div., 1962. 58 p.
tabs. 9d.





An'!ual report, vol. LXX: Statistical

revzew of the mineral industry for 1960
by T. J. Kelly. Mining operations i~
1960, , by ~- S. Riddell. Toronto:
Queens Prmter, 1962. 160 p., tabs.

where C is the weight of concentrate, expressed as a percentage of feed weight;

c, the valuable mineral contained in the concentrate, expressed as a percentage of
concentrate weight; j, the valuable mineral contained in the feed, expressed as a
percentage of feed weight; and R, percentage recovery.
If c and/ represent chemical assays, the last term must be modified to (c~ax


where Cmax is the assay grade of a 100 per cent pure concentrate.
This basic efficiency formula is logically derived, is applicable to all grades of
feed and gives consistent assessments of any one operation, whether calculated on
the basis of the concentration of values or of gangue.
By contrast, the limitations of the formula for expressing concentration efficiency
referred to by Fle~ing, and dealt with in more detail by Stevens and Collins, are
shown, particularly"'!n its application to high-grade feeds.
Examples are given demonstrating the use of the basic efficiency formula in
sizing and dewatering operations.

IN A RECENT PUBLICATION 2 the inadequacies of the various efficiency

factors in use at the present time for assessing the efficiencies of concentrating operations are discussed. In an attempt to produce an expression
which would overcome many of these deficiencies, Stevens and Collins
defined the following six basic requirements for any expression designed
to assess concentration operations:
(1) the number of terms required to make a quantitative assessment
should be reduced to a minimum;


fo~ the year 1960. Perth: Govt

Printer, 1962. 30 p., tabs. (Extract
fro_m the Report of the Department of

*This paper is Crown copyright; it was received by the Institution of Mining

and Metallurgy on 6th June, 1962, and published on 6th September, 1962; for
discussion at a General Meeting on 15th November, 1962.
tD.S.I.R. Warren Spring Laboratory, Stevenage, Herts.
'etc. See references at the end of the paper.



(2) simplicity: it is considered that there can be no fundamental basis for

any single quantifying expression and therefore such an expression
should be reduced to the simplest terms and no attempt should be
made to stress some part of the data more than another;
(3) any quantitative expression should be applicable to all concentration
operations and should present no obvious anomalies between one set
of results and another;
(4) the limits of such an expression should be (a) a minimum for any
sampling operation (i.e. nil concentration should correspond to nil
percentage efficiency of concentration) and (b) a maximum for an
operation resulting in 100 per cent recovery at 100 per cent grade.
Variations in grade of head should also be accommodated and the
assessment should be applicable to all multi-component systems;
(5) any efficiency expression compares the results obtained with the
maximum theoretically possible and does not attempt to measure the
ease or difficulty of attainment; i.e. no attempt should be made to
measure the operating variables but only the results obtained;
(6) no attempt should be made to include economic considerations in the
technical assessment of a concentration operation.
On the basis of these requirements, they fashioned an expression for
'Concentration Efficiency'* and one for a 'Concentration Index't. (See
also Fleming. 1 )
The effectiveness with which these expressions can be applied to
various concentrating operations, and their superiority over existing
efficiency expressions, is cogently argued. They are, however, formulated
on a completely empirical basis and as a result produce adequate representations of the concentration achieved only when applied to low-grade
A new efficiency expression put forward in the present paper is a
fundamental and logically derived formula which subscribes to five of the
six basic requirements already mentioned (excluding (2)) and appears to
be completely unrestricted in its application. It also satisfies a further
necessary requirement, namely that when a two-constituent feed is treated
in one operation, the efficiency with which the first constituent is separated
from the second should be equal to the efficiency with which the second
constituent is separated from the first. As one operation only is involved,
the two separations must be considered together; one cannot be effected
without achieving the other.



_jc ~) x R

(emax -f)


~ -



where e is the percentage mineral or element in the concentrate; j, the percentage

mineral or element in the feed; emax, the maximum possible percentage mineral or
element (lOO per cent concentrate); and R, percentage recovery.





. For t~e purpose of this analysis ~he concentrating operation is considered m tw.o stage.s, a zero-efficiency sampling operation giving a
percentage weight spht of C and 100 - C, followed by the simultaneous
movement of the values from the tailing fraction into the concentrate and
the gangue from the C units of concentrate into the tailings. The move:Uent
of values governs the final recovery, while both this and the movement of
the gangue influence the concentrate grade to a similar degree.
Both of these ~ransfer .operations can be expressed in simple terms.
The extent to which each IS effected can be related to its maximum value
thereby indicating its efficiency, the overall efficiency being the produc~
of the two individual operation efficiencies.
Normally, concentration is assessed either by chemical assay or by
reference t? the percentage content of a particular mineral. In this paper
the latter IS used as the initial basis for deriving the efficiency of concentration, while in a later section modifications which account for its
conversion to chemical assay are indicated.
The block diagram shown in Fig. 1 illustrates the three fractions to be
considered; the feed (ABDE), the concentrate (AFGE), and the tailing
(FBDG). It c~n be seen that the concentrate fraction has been up-graded
from f to c, with the resultant depletion of tailings from f to t.





contoinfld in

!hfl concentrolfl (os o pflrcflnlogfl




Vo!uob!" minrzrol contoinfld in thfl

Wrzight of concflntrotfl os a
przrcvntogfl of fflfld Wflight.

""" Voluob/fl minflro/ contotnfld in thfl

toil (os a pflrcflnlogfl of toil Wfltght)

fflfld (os o ~rcflntogrz of frzfld IWig/'11.)

Fig. 1.-Block diagram.

The relative proportions of the two mineral constituents contained in

any one of these fractions is indicated on the vertical axis while the
indi~idual fraction weight, as a percentage of the feed, is shown on the
abscissa. The pro~uct of percent~ge mineral content and fraction weight
represents the weight of the particular mineral contained in the fraction
un~er consideration. For example, the feed comprises 100 per cent of the
wei.ght,fper cent ofwhich is valuable mineral, (lOO- f) per cent gangue,
while the concentrate contains c per cent values in C per cent of the
feed weight.


With respect to a sampling operation, the percentage weight of values

transferred into concentrate = C . (c


Total percentage weight of values available for transfer = (lOO- C)

.. Efficiency of transfer of values = (

c--=- C). ~-n

-- f -- X



To demonstrate the inherent differences in expressing efficiency between

the basic efficiency formula presented here and the formula of Stevens and
Collins, theoretical examples are cited from the hypothetical mineral
balance shown in Table I.


TABLE I.-Balance for the separation of constituents A and B from a mixture of

A and B


Percentage weight of gangue discarded from concentrate = C (c

Total percentage weight of gangue available for discard = C



(10~0~ n

I Constituents

I o,~ Wt. ~--- --~-- -

(c- f)


:. Overall concentration efficiency= eq. 1 x eq. 2

(c- f) (c100
= c100 =cy -~-- c100 - /) x

c7), c and f;






%A [



I 95 I 5





B o;,,


I 95


TABLE !I.--Comparisons of calculated efficicncies

Basis of calculation:

~-n ~-n
Efficiency of concentratiOn = ( 100c -=-:]) . - - . (Too ~/) x 100

Concentration of ""
Concentration of B
(into A tail)

An alternative form, in terms of R, C, c, and/, can be obtained by replacing

(Basic efficiency

(Stevens and Collins

(loo-=- f) R



(c - f )

(c -f)

-=-c) ~f- 000 _ n x 100


For low-:grade feeds the two formulae are in close agreement; this is
borne out m al~ the examples quoted in the Stevens and Collins paper.
However, for high-grade feeds there is considerable divergence between
the two formulae, 66 5 per cent efficiency resulting from the 'Be' criterion
compared with 16 per cent of the basic efficiency formula. Further considerati?n is necessary in ?rder to establish which of the two efficiency
figures IS more representative of the actual concentration achieved.
A sampling operation, having the same weight split as that of concentrate 'B' in Table I, will be associated with a 95 per cent grade, an 84 per
cent recovery and a zero efficiency.
. In the 'B' concen~rate, recovery has increased from 84 to 87 4 per cent,
I.e. 34 per cent_umts out of a possible 16 (2? per cent), and the resulting
grade shows an mcrease of 3 8 out of a possible 5 per cent units (enrichmen_t ratio 1 0~). Such a result does not seem to warrant a 66 5 per cent
e_fficienc~, par~Icula~ly when compared with the 16 per cent 'A' concentratiOn efficiency m which the recovery, over a simple sampling operation, was

so that

(R - C)
(c -f)
Efficiency = (100 _ C). (100 _f) X 100


=~ 7,


__ l_ _80-~

(c- f)

R,f, and c in eq. 3 we have:


. Recovery Grade

Init~ally, the results in_ Table I can be assessed from two aspects; (a) the
efficiency of concentratmg A from a relatively low-grade feed, i.e. C = 16,
c.= 25, f = 5, R .= 80; and (b) the efficiency of concentrating B from a
high-grade feed, I.e. C = 84, c = 98 8, f = 95, R == 87 4. These give
the efficiencies shown in Table II.

therefore by representing C in terms of

c in the second term of eq. 3 by c


A_c_o_n_c_-/-B-ta_i_l_. ___l6_i_ --4~121_2s

When the concentrate weight, C, its percentage valuable mineral content, c, and the percentage mineral in the feed, f, are known, the formula
gives an exact account of the efficiency of concentration. It is common
practice, however, for concentrating operations to be expressed in terms of

R (where R =

A tail/ B cone.

.. Efficiency of gangue transfer






Chemical assays
When products are assessed by chemical assay, c and/ are used to refer
to the percentage assay figures. The formula requires only a minor
modification, namely that the ( 100 -f) denominator of the last term be
replaced by (cmax -f), where cmax represents the chemical assay which
would result from a 100 per cent grade concentrate. In this case:

Efficiencyofconcentration = ___ _S:__ . (c- f).~-/)_ x 100 (5)

(100 - C)
(cmax -f)




increased by 64 per cent units out of a possible 84, with a grade increase
from 5 to 25 per cent (enrichment ratio 5).
It is estimated that a 66 5 per cent efficiency from the low-grade feed
concentration would require a concentrate grade of 661 (enrichment
ratio 13) coupled with a recovery of88 per cent (an increase of72 per cent
values out of a possible 84 per cent). This is considerably more impressive
than the 'B' concentration operation for which the lower efficiency of
16 per cent must be considered more realistic. Also, it is in exact agreement
with the calculated efficiency of the same operation based on the concentration of 'A' from 'B'.
Finallv, with the basic efficiency formula it is possible to operate on a
'concentrate' which has been depleted in values and still achieve a consistent result-for example, 'A' tail (Table I) is considered to be a
concentrate depleted in values, where, c '= 1 19, I
5, C 84, R
Efficiency, according to the basic efficiency formula, is 16 per. cent,
indicating that values have been rejected, or gangue concentrated, with an
efficiency which is in complete agreement with the two alternative assessments of the same operation. The formula discussed by Stevens and
Collins, however, would produce a third and different efficiency, of -08,
for the same operation.
The difference between the two formulae lies in the use of recovery in
the 'Be' derivation of efficiency, as compared with the 'value concentration'
-I), m
t he b asiC
effi ciency

fiormu1a. R ecovery, repr~term, (l C

=-C) (c
senting the ratio of the values in the concentrate and the total m
the feed, gives undue credit to the proportions of the values automancally
extracted with the concentrate weight by a zero-efficiency sampling
operation; the basic efficiency expression accounts only for the values
concentrated additional to those of a sampling operation. With low-grade
feeds the difference is small, but as the grades of feed increase, the use of
the standard recovery term introduces a progressively increasing bias
which results in inconsistent efficiency figures (see Fig. 2).

Acknowledgement.-This paper is published by permission of the

Director, Warren Spring Laboratory.


1. FLEMING, M. G. Selectivity factors in flotation. Chem. &
1959, 123Q-8.

Ind., Oct. 3,

. Discus_sion on paper by KUN LI, R. W. LIVINGSTON and L. K. LEMKE.

FlotatiOn conditioning of iron ore with petroleum sulphonate. Trans. Instn Min.
M etall., Land., 70, 196061 (Bull. Instn Min. Metal!., Land., no. 650, Jan. 1961),
2 06-7.
2. SrEVENS, J. R., and CoLLINS, D. N. Technical efficiency of concentration
operations. Trans. Amer. Inst. Min. Engrs, 220, 1961, 409-19.

The ba~ic efficiency formula can be applied to any form of physical

concentratmg process and examples of its application are demonstrated
below, using results from cycloning and sieving operations.
Cyclone: desliming

. Th~ weigh~ bal~nce shown in Table Ill represents a deslirning operation

m which a 1-m diameter cyclone was employed. A 24-JL cut was required.
TABLE IlL-Results of desliming by cyclone
Underflow .
Feed .

97 . 6

2 .6


97 . 4

4 8 per cent of the feed was smaller than the required 24-p. size limit;
2 ~ per cent of the underflow, which comprised 97 6 per cent of the feed
weight, was finer than 24 JL Considering the +24-JL material as the concentrate, C = 9,_ 6, c 97 4, I
95 2, from which E
43 per cent.
Cyclone: classification
T~e result? used in this particular example (shown in Table IV) were
obtamed durmg a cyclone classifying operation in which it was necessary
to make a size cut at 72 mesh.

_,._ __

L.-~[J...,.0-0--,20~0-.,..,--~/0-:0-Dl7Z--5'":Z--J~o--r----cc::--~/6 855 'lit No



reqvir ~d siz~ of s.~parotion


/000 cp~rturr microns

Fig. 2.-Efliciency of separation at various sizes.

TABLE IV.--Size distribution of cycloned products

Size Fraction,
Cumulative %
Cumulative %
-+ 16





Either - 72 mesh or + 72 mesh can be designated as the concentrate.

With the latter, C = 62 7, c = 63 5, I= 41 16 and E ' 34 6 per cent.
In a similar manner, the efficiencies at a number of sizes were calculated
and plotted as shown in Fig. 2. It can be seen that the sizing obtained in
this particular operation is too fine and that the most efficient cut has been
made at approximately 150 mesh.
For comparison, the efficiency curve derived from the Stevens and
Collins formula has also been included in Fig. 2. It demonstrates its
divergence from the basic efficiency formula as the grade of feed increases.

Response of Rocks to High Velocity Impact*

P. B. ATTEWELLt Ph.D., A.M.I.Min.E.


The results shown in Table V indicate the effectiveness of an industrial
lOO-mesh screening operation.
TABLE V.-Industrial sieving using 1 00-mesh B.S. sieve
Wt. (<)~)
9 3
Feed .

In this case, C = 85, c = 966, I= 83 5 and E = 70 5 per cent.


This paper describes, in condensed form, part of a research programme into the
dynamic behaviour of rocks. Thin specimens were inserted within a split Hopkinson
bar and subjected to high-intensity stress pulses by means of explosive detonators.
The stress-strain characteristics, derived over a period of about 20 microseconds,
showed that rocks develop considerable hysteresis and have little tendency to recover
over the period of the pulse. This apparent visco-ebstic behaviour would seem to
require for its explanation consideration of a complex phenomenological model
defining a spectrum of relaxation times while, in the case of a porous rock, an air
dashpot should be used to simulate pore deformation.
Mention is made of further investigations which seem to suggest that rocks
selectively attenuate frequencies both higher and lower than those within a critical

IT IS USUALLY FOUND THAT, for very short periods of time, rocks can withstand stresses greatly in excess of their 'static' compressive and tensile
strengths. This phenomenon is sometimes explained on the basis of an
essentially visco-elastic approach whereby a progressive time-dependent
deformation, occurring under constant load, induces failure at some time
later than that at which the load was applied. The creep properties of
polycrystalline materials are not divorced from those mechanisms which
promote an out-of-phase relationship between stress and strain at high
rates of loading and in both cases it becomes necessary to consider the
contribution, both in percentage and disposition, of the several minerals
comprising the rock towards the deformation of the rock as a whole.
Deformation p~cesses in a time-dependent body can be visualized in
terms of phenomenological models whereby spring and dashpot systems in
series or parallel idealize elastic and visco-elastic behaviour within that
body. The springs deform under Hookean conditions, their stiffness
defining the appropriate Young's Modulus while the viscous dashpot
elements obey Newton's law of viscosity. The Maxwell model (a spring and
dashpot in series) is the simplest and has been used to describe the response
of high polymers to stress. It greatly idealizes the behaviour of a real solid,
however, for in general there is some delayed recovery in most materials.
The Kelvin-Voigt model exhibits viscously controlled deformation in both
the loading and unloading modes (spring and dashpot in parallel) allowing
for no purely elastic strain. A three-element model-the standard linear
solid comprising another spring in series with a Kelvin-Voigt model

*Paper received by the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy on 1st March, 1962,
and published on 6th September, 1962; for discussion at a General Meeting on
18th October, 1962.
tPostgraduate School in Mining, University of Sheffield.


Derivation of a Basic Efficiencv Formula for

Concentrating Operations
E. DOUGLAS, B.Sc.,A.N1.l.i\.1ech.8.,

Report of disLttssionat Noacmber, 1962, General Meeting (Chairnan:

,Vr. J. B. Sinpnn, Prcsidcnt).Paperpublihed in Septufiet, 1962 ('l:ansactions,?rol.71, 1961-62), pp. 697-701
Mr. E. Douglas, prcscntiilg his paper, first apologized for a con,
sidcrableeror which appearedir the sccond formula of thc synopsis
(p. 697). The lirst tcrn ofth,,- denominator rvasprinted as 100c I that
should have rcad l00c
rt/. Thc same modilicarion shou)d bc made on
page 700.
Continuing, hc said his paper, originally intended as part of the discussion to the paper b1' Stevens and Collins, published by the Amcrican
Institutc of Mining, N{ctallurgical and Petroleum Engineers, rva: conscquently concerned to somc extent with comparisons betwecn the
formula rvhichthoseuorkcrs had rccommendc.d
and the one dcscribeci
thc presentpaper asa basicformula for cxpressingconcentrationefiiciency.
In dcriving the formula, no attempt had been made to introduce
economic biasc'snor had probabilities or intermcdiate ratcs of concentration bccn introduced. Thc sole conccrnhad been. bv exaninins the facrs
associatedrvith the fcccl and rr,ith the oroducts. to aisessthe edcctivenes
rvirh uhich thc con.titucnt.ofa mixture had hccn rcparated.
For simplicity thc concentratingopcration had been considcrcd in trvo
stages-a simplc u,eight splir giving two products, in each of which the
constiruentratioswcrc identical and equalto thoscin the feed.followecibv a
simulrancou'rnlcrchangcofonc eon.titucnrfronr one ploduct rrrtir tirc
othcr constituent from the orher product.
A t\\ o-constituent feed was illustrated bv the block diasram shorvn in
Fig. I r1:l.699). l'hclc the constituentshai bccn de'ignatcdin common
telms as valuesand ganguc,and the initial wcight split was represclted by
the inrermediateproductsAFGE and FBDG. cachcontaining/ per cent
values. At that point no collstirucnt separation had takcn placc and
consequentlythc conccntration efliciency would be ratcd as nil. During
the second stage, values *'crc movcd fiom FBDG into thc conccntratc
AFGE, thc ganguc moving in thc opposite direcrion, with thc resulting
product gradcsof c pcr cent and I pcr ccnt. Thc eilicicncy rvith which the
valucs had be!'n transferred could bc exprcssedas the wcight of valucs
which nrovedinto rhe concentlrtcditrdcd bl thc ueighr ofialues shich
were availablcfor movcment, i.c.
(c f)e

' loo'
iioo c17

B^src EFFrcrENcyFoRMULA_DlscussroN



Similarly, the efficicncywith which the gangueu as.rcjecredwould bc thc

l e'
wcight ofganguerejecieddividedbl thc weightavailablcior re)ectrorl'


-(,' .L).9._
; too.

the individual eliciencies of the t!'!'o
Thus it was
oDerationswhiih iDfluenced the conccDtration proccss' They could be
cimbincd in a number of ways,eachof rvhich would adequatclyrcprcsent
thc olcrall eliciency. For eximllc. it could be cxprct'eda' the.arirhmetic
-."" ot rl.t" geomeiric m"an, & et en morc simply as the product of the
i*no t.t-t. l-i" ptoduct combinationhad been uscdin deri!ing the formula
'orcsentedin the
Scveral variationi could hc applied to the generaltheme used in that
dcrivation; for examplc, a sliglitly more logical, but considerably more


Ca /i1
! t00


: Tqtoo cl

Cb . rb


( f ,..,
7 3 -r o o L . , 1 '



For a two-constituentfeed, or uhen the conccntrationof onlv one

mineral of a mulri-mineral fccd u'as considered,the eliiciency crpr"s.ron
2C(c f)
-./ i 0 0
Cr Lr00
The appendix to thc
.papcr demonstrated the use of thc efficiency
by cxamples.electerJfrom indcpcnrlcnt practical opcration".
In one instance ir had bcen used to deternrinc thc cur sizc in'a cvclone
operation that had already arouseddiscussion.
.He had.attemptcd to devisea form of equation which v,as simple and
wlich )ogically and con\istendy rcprcscnted the concentration efficiency
ol an]-phy\ gat.ea zeroreringfor a.ampling
operalronand a maximum 100 pcr ccnt for rhe total
oi the
consutuentstn a mlxture.

_ {r.

T. H. Hughes* read the following contribution from Dr. A.



o f o )+ c b ( c b - t b ) , C g ( . s - r s )
t = C o _ t ._
( / O O - C a ) t a + ( O O - C b ) f b + ( / O O- C g ) t s

C (c 'f )


>: f (/oo,c)


complicatcd,rcpresentationtould be had by introducing a factor expressing
ihe iate nf raiuc" conccntratio $ilh r('pcct to ganguereicctiolr' An
alternativebut almostidenticaltreatmentcould bc appJiedto
efrciency formula to givc directly rhe overall efliclencl' ot an operatron
from which sevcral conccntratesivcre produced. One o[ the two block
diagramrin Fig. A abore rcpre.cntcdthc fccd anJ the olhcr thc product'
to be
ui inna"ntrrtio"n..A\.uminAth( eiicicner of collcctltralloD


Total weight of mincrals coircenttatcdrvith respect to a

' . qunlat'on
, ' lu\'
t [ m i t r t t a l ' a \ a j l r t ' l cl o r c o n c c n l r a t l o\ lt lt t n
lctal rtctglro
resPcctto a sanpling oPcration

Dr. A. J. Robinson: Thc imporrarlceof an efficicncl, formula rvhich rs

acceptablc to englllcers and rcscarch workers can hardly bc ovcr_
At onc rime or anothermost enginccrsrvorkingin the fielclof
mineralttehnolog! lcel rhe rrccdlor an cfficienclformula i hiclt is simplc
to use, rvhich requircs only that inforrnation \r'hi;h is nornrallv obtaineclrn
tcst work and yer is ba\ed upon a sound theoreticalconcept.Ii is mv bclicf
that Mr. Douglas\ formulameetsthescrcquircments.It^isoften uieful to
have a clear mental imagc of cause and effect u.hen consjderinq a unrr
operation but in some casesthc usc of an elliciency lbrmula cliurls the
mental p(ture and may, in fact, make intcrprctaiion of performance
orrrculf. under these clrcumstances an eficiency formula docs more
harm than good.
Hort'cver, thcrc ma1'be_no alternativeto the usc of an emciencyformula
tor asses:ing
the rc:ults ofan a,J/ior seriesoftests.'fhis is particularlvtruc
in the,ficld.whcre
therema1,beinsufllcicntmetallurgicalitaffto cariy out
carelutiv derlgned expenm(nts becausc of thc prcssur.eof routine
metallurgicalcontrol and accounting duties. Under thcsc circumstancesrt
rs not uncommon for test \r'ork to be donc on an,as and when,basis and
for tcsts to procecd from ouc good idca to another. Consequently,it is
iscnior exprrimcnr rl
ofirucr, D.S.LR. \\ urr(n Snnng Lrqof.,rory.



not al$'ays possible to detcrminc precisell' the cffect of changing the

operatingvariables;and an eiicicncy lbrmula which is gcncrallyrecognized
ollers a meansofassessmentrvhich would be rvidely acceptable.Too early
emphasis of cconomic considerationsnray mislead the investigator who
attachestoo much importancc to either recovery or gradc, and mav mean
that a promjsing routc is abandoncd. By using an cfficicncy formula
incorporating both rccovery and grade factors therc is less chancc of this
In my orvn cxpericnceon dilicult flotation problems.rvhercselectivitvis
poor and simultancousrcjcction of more than one constitucrltis attcmptcd
in one operation, to be followcd by further operationsfor the rccovcry of
valuc,the asscssncnt
of pcrfornanceposesscriousproblens. By makjng
assumptionsthat weight /recovery* curves should be straight lines, the
assessmentofthe eficiency ofvarious flotatjon proceduresfor the various
constirucntsma) be madc using the slopeofthe respr-ctiverccovervcurves.
lJnfortunately (his assessmcntis not neccssarilytrue and the slope of thc
various rveight rccovery curvcs for lhe various minerals present cannot
renrain constantovcr the rrhole recole$r ranse where collection occurs al
different collector conccntrations.In such cises rhc use of an cfFciency
formula can be extrcmely valuablcand fufihelmore may saveexperimental
time in amenabilitvtestins. The mathernatician
and rcscarchscienrist
would correctly reio-merld &ctorial design to truly assessthc effccts of
variables,but bcfore this ma.vcven bc attemptcd some preliminary sorting
ofavailable routes, particularll' in flotation, nrust be madc; herc the use oi
an efficicncy formula is invaluable,
offactorial experimentsl
Another problem arisesin the statisticalanal-vsis
rvhat is to be uscd to assessthc results?Appropriatc use of the cfliciency
lbrmula rvhich combines both 'rccovery' and 'grade' providcs a singlc
measurcof performancc which lends itself to matircmaticalanalysis.

Mr. J. R. Stevens said that the author suggestedthat conccDtlatron

operations could be assesscdby a fundamental fbrmula. Ho$'ever, his
derivation of such a 'fundamental and loeicallv derivcd formula' rvas
conspicuousby the absenceo[ fundarnenrri conirdcrarions. His forrnula
rvas basedon the concept of masstransfcr acrossan imaginary boundary
betweenthe conccntratc\,\,'eight
and thc tailing weight; ganguetransferring
to thc tailing aud values of cqual weight transferring to thc concentrate.
Such a processhad no parallel in mincral processingand he found it
difficult to apprcciatethe logic of such a conccpt. Hts interprctatio[ of the
author's conccpt was try infcrcnce, he admitted, but he did not thinL that
anv other interDretationcould bc made.
ilefercnce hail been madeto a recentDanerin which Mr. Collins and the
speakerhad dciined ncw erprcssionrtbr-thc asser.mcntof mineral con'l'herc
centrating processes.
rvasanother publication rvhich antedatcdthe

rccovcry vcrsus value rccovcry,



tcfcrcnccs in thc author's list and rvhich might uscfully bc includcd_

Gloup Rcporr.\.8.R.F. R2022,daredAugu.r, lq59'
rnar d(art $rth thc.arne \ubject matterin morc detail.
Rcfcrring to thc aurhor,s six basic rcquirements (pp. 697-g), hc still
sccoIJ requjrcmcnrto be \.alid in facr the only mo'Jificarion
he \r'ou.ld\r.ggest\r a\ that it shoulJbe rrnrierlincJ.It $.a,bqqsu.qthslg *r,
no fundane_nt,tlbarislor any, nngle quantifling erpres\ionthat tL" cUim
made by A1r. llougla\ Dcrired consideration. When referriDg to dili_
culr] requrrement5 ir was not meant to imply that ,work in a closed
sy.stcm'shouldnot bc uscd asa basisfor any formula, but that thc practical
i.e.rhe'exrernal\\.ork'.shouldnot be includ<d.Ifreouirements
5 anJ 6 (r'elemct, r.t. thc Jiliieulry of attainmen(an(l thc econom,e.urr_
sidcrationswcrc not included in a formula, then it shoukl not be surprisrng
ifthat eltrciencyformula gaveresuhs.rvhichwere not alrvavsin accoi l rvit[
ofthc cflicicncvofa gircn opcraiion.Thc rcason
for such anomaliesrvas undoubtedly due to ihe unionscious and incon_
slstent use of thc vardsticks of difhcultl' and economics,whcn mcntally
comparirrgsets of iesults. The c,tn6sp1
of conctntrattloueficicuci iis unat
detetminedthe deiaed equ.rtionatd fheri'uere as many iissible'formulaeas
ther.ctere dc.finitions.He felt that N{r, Douglas gave no adequateverbal
basisfor his efficicncy erorcssionThe fact that the proposed basic
formula gave numerically
equal results for the conccntrationof_efticiency
valucs in a conccniratc and for the
conce,ntrationofgangue in the taiiing, for a giten operation, rvg: nor proof
that fundamcntalrclarionshiphad 6ccn dc.cribcd. Orhcr formulac'rrcrc
po\\ible rhat coulLlal.o do that. For exanrple.rhe formulaof Luyken and
h ich $a\ 1.,r,.\or thc formula ol van I:bbcnhors't.
bergenanJ Rietenra.(lneidenralJl-rhose
could be .hown to be identical
I('hen.the components of a t|o-component mixtufe were complelell
separatedJron 6.11 other thcrc rl,as litilc doubt thar thc efficicircv oi
scparationrvas equal for both coD)ponents,and in that respect he ag;eed
with.Llr. Dauglas. The formula for conccntration cdicicniv (Er) rias in
accord ll,ith that vicw; i.e. rvhenan operarionachiered 100 per cent grarle
and l00.per (ent recoverv.rhe concentration
elicicncy r,rarihe-a,, ii,utnat coutJ bc atlarncd.and wa. 100 per ccnr rvhichcvercomDonenlwas
considered.The denominator of the formula for concentration efficiency
(Ic) rvas } (l
/r), and that was a constant for any givcn mixturcl rr
representcdcomplctc scparation.
The proposed basic eliciency formula, however, u,as basetl upon the
assumptlon that ellicienc) of concenlrction u,as also equal. for each
component, rvhen scpararionswcrc incompletc. There wai no basis for

N(w cxprc..rolh for (onccnrrrlron

_rStF\lNs. .1. R.. .rnd Culrrr.r. D. N.
c m i l c n . y r n J c . n c { D t r r ' , , n j n J ( x i n r h e i l \ \ { . . m . n t o t m i n c r r l c u n Lc n r r : r-t i o n
processcs. U.K.A.E.A. llc\errch croup Reporr R2922, Harwerr. tgtrj.Ji
\v., an.l BTERBR\LrIRjE- Crlcul.rrions in orc dr(\sinq. Trans. Atner.
, tI-y]-]<I\
Inst. Min. Enr:rs,8?, lg30 (Milling mcthods), 429 51.

[, DoucLAs:DERtvAT]oNoF A


such an assumption. On the contmryr considcration of the cnergy of a

two-component system lcd to the conclusion that oDly when completc
separationwas achicved was the useful work done on each componcnt
technical efliciency of a concentrationoperation could be derived
using gravitational energy as a[ analogueand assuming unit activity for
of a two-componentmirture.
the comDonenlc

M1. D. N. Collins, before dealing with the applicarion of basic and

technical efficiency formulae, referred to the simllarity betrveenvarious
formulae commonly uscd for measuring rcchnical eficiency, and their
significancc.All such formulac could bc presentedin the form ofR (percertage recovery of values) and J6 (pJrcentage rc;rc(ion of ganguc).
The relationships,though in ditlireni symboli, u.ere unmistakibly'the
samc for a two-component systcm. Gaudin's Selecrivity Index: the
R ..7b
squareroot ot / r^^
compli-,,;"I uu ,a\ appearedto bc unnccessarily
cated in that it gave a double $'eighting to both recolery and rejection
terms, but seemedto give more reasonablcrcsults than cirlicr formulae
and was also the first aftcmpt at a non-linear relationship bettveen the
rwo rerms.
Thc tcchnical cfrcicncy uas thc first cfrciency formula to use a nonlinear relationshipand basicallyit involved modifying the rejectionrerm to
accommodatea sampling operation-


Eiicicncy =

Ijscful \t( ORK done



luass >.PofEN-iAi

,VlassofValues in Conccntrate >r :J[Values]

Ila.r o[ Value. in Conecntrltc,,..' J[\'aluc.]' '.,r
Cc. (.
;, .;

r l c c i m aflr a c t i o n )


o r a l t c r n a r r \ c l1) ( .




pcr cent.

Thus concentrationefliciencyEt had bcen derived in tcrms ofuseful work,

i.e. work done on thc useful compolent) which could of course bc either
component by choice. (It should bc noted that for a two-component
systemthe maximum usefulwork wasa fixcd quantity, br a given mixture.)
Thc author's proposedformula for'basic cfficiency':




..1^ 1 . roo, ("q.

, t00 ,l 100 c
ar\ '(a'
. "i
could bc shorvnto coual



'1[Valucs].r:l(Massof Values)
-, ' alue.l".* . / (Ma:. qf Vslus\)', .''
There was surely no analoguefor the author's form ofcfficiency expression
and he suggestedthat thc'basic cmciency' lbrmula was empirical while the
'fundamental'. Morc seriously
formula for concentrationemciency(Er) was
still rhc denominator of thc basic cfficiency formula containcd a variable;
that was untcnable,The denominator had dillerent valuesfor separations,
of the same mixture, that rcsulted in equal grades of concentratesbut
dillering concentrateweights. Thus it was implied that the maximum
uscful work that could bc done in completcly separatinga gi\'n mixtur
was a variable. He lclt that -\'Lr.Douglas should look a littlc more closely
at the implicit assumption in the bald statemcnt given for efliciency of
transfcr of valucs on pagc 700, linc 4.
For all the cxamplcs given in rhe paper, the formula for concentration
cfficiency,Ec, gave the cor(cct cvaluationin terms of u:eful work achicved
comparcd to the maximum possibleuseful work.


R : (Jb 000 c-))

(J&,,,:. (roo c,

where C -. per cent concentrateweight.

The rejectionterm nas soconstructedthatanv samplingopcration(\rhcre
Jb - 100 - C) would result in nil per cent eliciency and that for a perfect
separationthe resultant eliciency uould be 100 pei ccnt. Ir also trad the
distinct advantagethat for largc values of C and hence low grades of
concentrate, the Jb term would be considerably reduccd. Hincc the
e-fficiencytcrm lras }eavily pcnalizcd for lort concenhate grades and a
differentialuas made heu'een a good scalpingoperation and a good




loo c '
( l0o Ci

The only differenccbctwccn E'r and E was that in the technicalelliciency

for':rula R was an absoluteterm rvhereasin the basic efticicncv cxoression
it was also modified to account for marerial rhar would be reioveied by a
direct sampling operation. Ho$'ever, though a mineral dresse! did not
evaluatehis results in term," of horv much ganguematerial hc had throu,n
away, but rathcr on the grade of thc fina1 product, he did evaluarethem
directly on his recoveryfigures,a d from a practical standpointR x rc)ectlon
telm was more realistic.
pre.ent author had also pointed out, quire corccllv, that the basrc
efficicncv formulc gavc the samc eflicicncy for the conceitration of both
valuable and gangue minerals. For rhat matter so did previous formulae
and_it vas with that point in mind rhat he now turned to thc practical
of the two formulae.
convenientexamplewasthar givcn by thc author in his evaluarionof
cycloneproductsas shown in Fig. 2 and 'fable IV on pages702 and 703.
he speakerat that point wished to co[ect one fieure in Table IV. The

E . D O U G L A S :D I R J \ ' i T I O N O F A




Bosic efficiency curve 6

Technicol efficiency f. (fqr overflow moteriol)
6 c ( o r u n d e r f l o w m o r e r r oJ




it io

S I Z E O F S E P A R A T I OSN ( 8 . S .m e ! h ) lo9 p sccle)
Fis. B.



technicdl ,rnd bu:ic e.lftientic: far


concentration. It was highly likcly that the separationmesh was chosen

bccauscmatcrial liner than rltat size would no1 respond to that form of
separation and rvould also affect the (efaration oi the coarsc matcrial,
Thus, the prcsenceof nearly20 pcr ccnt fincs,rvhichwas the analvsisof
thc 100me.h frodrrcr.$a\ un.ali.facror]..
Their optimum cfficiency for that separarionwas at 200 mcsh whcre
81.6 per centofthe 200 mcshmatcrialwasrecoveredat a 95.3 ner cenr
basic cfficicncy formu)a appearedto be a measureof thc average
efficiencyof th( separalionuhich incidcnralh could be obrainrd by rhe
addition of rhc technical elliciency for both coarsc and {inc sizcs. The
resultant curve for that fbllowed thc conrour of the curve in Fig. 2 very
closcly but it rvasof slightly higher magnitudc than his (seeFig.'B).
His secondcxamplc was of the treatment of a glasssand. The sand in
the following metallurgical balanceu'as bcing uscd for bottle making and
must not contain more than 0 25 per cent FejL).J.

a claxillcat"'t

I 300 mcsh retained in thc c,vcloncundctflow should have read 97 8 and

a considerablediffcrence
not 100 pcr cent as had been listed. That madc
100 pcr cent had bccu
to the Et currr- in Fig. 2 (st-eFig. B abovc).
assumed,and he ha,l obtained the 97' 3 from a log-log plot of the cl clone
underflow material. Furthcrmore) the E curve shown in Fig. 2 was an
analysis of cumulatilc per ccnt coaner material and representcd the
cfficiencv of separation tnto thc underflow. The elliciency curve for
seDarati;ninto the overflorv,basedon cumulative pcr cent finer material>
ni. ofa diflirent form .cc Fig. Br.
He thought the oplimum cfliciency for scpamtion of ovcrflow material
should be d-iffcrentfiom thc optimumellicicniy for separatiotrofunderflorv
material- Assuming that the cyclonewas being used in cloied circuit $itll
a mill and that the overflow represcntedthe feed to a separationtcchliquc,
e.g. flotation, the size analvsisofthe overflow product could beexamined.
author had arrived-at an optimum scparationsjzc of 150 mesh for
that product. lhe analysisofthat material shorvcdthat 81 7 pcr cent of-rhe
l5b mesh material had bccn recovcred in a cyclone ovcrflow producc
which contained23'3 pcr cent +150 mesh. Thus, lbr a flotation fecd
material nominally at 150mcsh therc rvould be prcseDt23 3 per ccnt of
he thought would bc agrecd,tlas an exccssiveamount of
ovcrsize.The optimum scparationsize using thc technical eflicicncy *'as
100 mesh material was
100 mcsh at rvhich sizc 72 9 per cent of thc
recovcrcd in the ovcrllou' product which contajned oDly 10 4 pcr cent
oversize.In that case,it would bc seenthat the ovcrflow containcd 90 pcr
ccnt passina separationsize, which was normally quite acceptable The
rc.ultant lois of l0 per cenr more fine material in the underflow would be
taken up quitc adequatel,\-inthe circulating load to the mill.
Alternativcly, thcy could consider thc cvclonc as prcparing a coarsc
oroduct for tiblins whcrc thc underflow became the feed material for


, , , , . ! t . , ' ,F, e ) o , . ' , , , . r ( rF, J : t " t ' i b . ; : i ! :



32 2
0 16

6? I
9q 8.1

9i O
5 0
1 0 00

l o ( t0

It could bc sccn that as a sand-clcaninqooeration rhe seoarationivas

cxtrcmely gnod but as an irotl ore separati;n t;l\4 avs suppo\iris one would
treat an ore conraining2 pcr ccnr Fe .Or), rhe resuli u eii nor iomparablc.
The eliciencies were:
l'c (for Fe"O.,scpararion)
.Ec(for sanJ cleaning)

91. I

Mr. F. D. L, Noakes said that he v.ould likc ro congrarulatethe author

on.haring detclopcd what rvas,as he had himsclf unJerlinc.l,cssentially
a simple fbrmula. It was o[ rhat very fact of simplicity thar he rvantedto
take thc author to task, becausehe had not, at thc samc timc, issuedany
warnings about its use. It was so simple that the non-technical man not
fully conversantwith mineral dressingmighr thin_krhat it could bc uscd
for thc dircct calculationofrhe ellicienciesofopcrating plants. The obvious
formula to usc for such a prlrposc ra'ould,however, ippcar to be the one
basedon chemical assays(formula 5, p. 700). Immidiarcly, the nr,rnexpert might get into trouble becausehe had to work our rhi-maximum
theorctical assayof a pure concentrare(c,,.*). Quire aparr from the wide
variations in mincralogical composition, dcpending on th,: actual ore
being mined and treated in thc plant day by day, in many operationsthe
true cma\could not be establishedby the chcmicalassayalone.For examplc,

oF A

BAsrc EFFrcrENcyFoRMULA-DIscusstoN

a coppcr ore might be predominantly chalcopyritic, but would contain

varying ratios of bornitc, chalcocite, etc.l or a wolfram ore might yield
from orcs of rvidely dilTering wolconcentratesof similar WO., assa-vs
framite,/scheeliteratios and hence dilferent cu'a' values. An cnlightened
metallurgist could overcomerhe latter diiiculty by a study ofthe complete
analyses,deducting only gangue constituents to givc a reasonablec.^*,
but a lcss experiencedman might bc much misled into gaining thc impression that the 'efhciency' of the plant concerned appearcd to be, say,
about 30 per cent,
Any formula of that nature should be used only in its propcr context,
namely, for comparing a number of tests carried out on similar samples.
Horvcvcr, in spitc of thosc, he suggcstedthat opcrating plant results could
be compared from day to day, or preferably lrom month to monthJ by
using the formula in conjunction with a planned systcmoflaboratory tcstv-ork. Montbly compositcsamplcsof mill fccd would be batch tcsted by a
standardizedmethod as closelyparallel to the plant opcrating conditions as
possible.The samc or prcciscly similar samplcswould then be uscd for a
seriesof optimizing batch tcsts to establishthe maximum'basic efficiency'
obtainable with thc orc, thc calculationsbeing based on the maximum
conccntratcgrade by assayor mineral count. By working back through the
standard laboratory tcsts to thc actual rcsults obtained in the plant,
suitable factors could be developedrvherebyany variationsin performance
would show up and, frcqucntly, an indication lvould be obtained as to
whethcr the variations were due to changesin the orc fccd or to faulty
plant operation. Although that might sccm to bc a laboriousprocedurc, it
was his opinion that any short cut would only lead to rvrong conclusions
being reachedand ccrtainly any dircct application of the 'basic efficicncy
formula' to plant results would be completely misleading.
The speaker had uscd thc cxprcssion 'basic cfliciency' during the
developmcnt of his argument, but he was not in favour of thc use of the
rvord 'eliciency' in that contcxt for thc rcasonsoutlincd. It was his opinion
that the v'ord 'eliciency' was very much overworkedin many branchesof
technologyand industry. Hc suggestedthat a far lessmislcadingimpression
would bc createdif the fiactions in the formulae developedin thc paper
\rere not multiplicd by 100 and that the functions dcrived should be
termed 'basic performancefactors' or 'indiccs'.
In spite of Dr. Robinson's earlier remarks, the eliciency that should
basicallybe of interest q'as thc emciencyof converting the muck that thc
miners produced into money for thc sharcholders' benefit, Any real
efficiencyformula would introduce such factors aswere sometimesignored
by the mill operators thcmselyes in particular, the actual value of the
concentratcs.Generally, the mill man *'as madc vcry conscious of hrs
opcrating costsrbut he was very often quite unawareofthe effect of variations in the comDositionofhis products on their actualvalue as revenueto
the company, which involvcd iuch factors as freight, insurance,smelter
contract terms and so on, or, on thc biggcr mincs rvith smelters, etc.,
factors relatcd to the recovery and sale of the final metal. For a useful
ovemll emciency formula hc l'elt all those factors would have to bc incorporated. Fonunately, that rvould involve so many different 'variable

constants'that it $'ould necd a metallurgist or mining cngineerto interpret

it. 1'hat being so, it uould gcncrally sccm preferablc to provide the
operating staff with thc essentialfinancial data, cnabling them to calculate
their economiceficicncics on the basisoftheir knowlcdgeofthe technology.
Any attempt to take a short cut by making some sort of overall eficiency
slide-rule, suitable for the non-technical uscr, seemeddoomed to failure.



Mr. C. C. Dell said that one of the fundamental problems of mineral

dressingwasrcconciling quantity with quality, i,e. the recoverywith grade,
That problem madc itsclf felt every time a test was carried out, whether
the test was on a laboratory scalc or full scalein the plant. S(hateverthe
test, an unambiguous result could only bc obtained if all the relcvant
information were condenscd into a singlc critcrion of cfficiency, Many
formulac and graphical studies had bccn put forward for solving that
problem, the new onc bcing, it was claimed, rnorc logical than the others.
1'he requirements which wcrc set out in the first two pagesof thc paper
werc by way of bcing a statement of the premiscs from rvhich the basic
eficiency formula was then dcrivcd. Thc.speaker's criticism s'as not on
the logic of the dcrivation of the formula but on the original requirements on which it was based. Hc suggestedthat an eficicncy formula
should satisfy two rcquirements only:
(t) It should be directly proportional to the economic gain from the
separationJbeing zero lr'hen there was neither gain nor loss and 100 for
maximum possiblegain.
expressionshould be dimensionless.
be arguedthat to bring economicsinto accountwould inevitably
make the criterion of cfliciencysensitiveto daily market fluctuations.That
was not the case,however,as it !r'asonly the relative economicimportance
of the grade and rccovery which had to bc assessed,and that did not
fluctuatc.with marSt condition: as did the absolutepricc of a valuable
mineral. If the rclatlve imlortance of thc gradc aad recovery were fixed
implicitly, as in the basic cfficiency formula, then too much emphasrs
would be placed on rccovery in an examplc such as fluorspar beneficiation
and too much emphasison grade in an examplesuch as thc concentration
of galena. If it were impossible to avoid such a compromise, thcn such
criticisms would havc little point. However, an cconomic, dimensionless
efficicncy cxpressiondid exist,* and he I'ould be intercsrcd to hear the
author's reasonsfor ruling out economicsat the start of his argument.
He would criticize thc basic efficiencv formula in vet another resDect:
that it took no account of the ratc of sipararion. Raie of separationwas
clearly the factor ryhich influenced the siic of machine,or rhc number of
machinesrequired to trcat a giyen rate of tfuoughput. If rate were not taken
*D!LL, C. C. The anal,vsis of flotatirln test data. Cold. Sch. lllines
Qltart., 56,
no. 3, July 1961, lll 27. (50th Annivcrsary of Froth Florarion in rhe U.S.A.)
- Thc cvaluetion of flotation pcrformance. Cala. Sch. Mines Q art., 58,
n o . 3 , J u l y 1 9 6 1 J1 2 9 4 0 . ( 5 0 t h A n n i v c r s a r y o f F r o r h F l o r a t i o n i n t h e U . S . A . )
'. A comprellcnsivc critcrion of coal-cleaning cfficicncy.
.f. Inst. F el, 35,
J u n e 1 9 6 2 J2 . 1 0 5 .



T . D O U G L A S :D F R I V A I T O N O F A

into accountand accuracyofscparation orlly \\'ereconsidcred,then thc best

cconomic results u'ould alwaysbc obtaincd with the biggcst plants. .l'hat
was Dotr howcver, in accordanccwith common sensc.
1'he problcm of choosingthc right criterion was particularly acute rvhen
studying the dcsign of plant. Thel' had found in rheir uork at Leeds
University, on flotation ccll design,that choiceofthe rvrong critcrion could
give cxtremcly misleading rcsults, as to punue 'rate' alone rcsultcd in a
l-astflotation ccll rnaking a very poor separation,but to pursue 'accuracy'
alone lcd to an inrpossibly large and costly flotatiol system. He would
g'elcomethe author's commcnts on that.
Finally, hc would like to takc up the question of the nccd for simplicity
u'hich secmed to entcr largch' into thc discussion.Hc lelt strongly that
when one had taken a lot oftrouble to sarnplesomeorc, split it down, mix
it, do the flotation tcst, thcn thc fi1tcriug, dlying, rvcighing and then
assaying,the actual ellbrt in calculation rvas quite in:ignificant compared
*'ith the rcst ofthe effort, and thc only thing that rcallv mattcrcd 1\asthat
thc answer rvasright, and that it told *'hat was *antcd.
Mr. A. G. Moncrieff said that any conccntratingopelarionrcquired
two figures to define thc results achieved:a figure to shou' the degrec of
concentration normally given b! thc ratio of conccntration and a
ligure to show thc elicicncy of achieving that degrcc of concentration normallygit'enb1'thcrecol'cr\' mn:t conccnrrating
there was someco-relationbctween thosetwo lisures.
onlv co-relation
bL-tweentwo sctsoffigures that could be repre.Jntedhv a 'ingie figure rvas
a suaight line rclationship utich passcd through the origin- l'hus it
rvould appearthat any attcmpt to define the el]iciencv of a concentrating
operatiol b_ya single ligurc rrs doomcd to fajlurc. Essentially, all the
attempts to do that, including Mr. Douglas's, had produced a formula
uhich defined thc t1'pc of relationship bctu'eenratio rrf concentrationand
rccovcry.'fhat relationship varied from processto processand fiom ore
to ore, and it rvascertainly not going to bc ofmuch value in comparingthe
operation betweentwo different opcrations.It coul,l also vary in the same
ore, and the same processJdepending on how thc extra recovely was
obtaincd (e.g. extra reagcnt cqnsuniption or longel rctention time). Il
might even vary dorvn a singlc bank of flotation cells producing the same
Presumablythe urge to produce:uch an index was due to the diliculty
of mcntally co-rclating the figures of recovery and ratio of concentration.
A generalmanagerorr reading thc monthly rcport from the concentrator
superintendcnt might scc that the rccovcry had increascd from 94 to
95 pcr cent, and the concentate gradc had dropped from 47 to 45, and head
grade changedfrom 3 2 to 3. 3, but that did not cnablc him to assessat
a glancc if onc month's opcration rvasbetter than another.
Thc speakcrmaintaincd that it $as irnpossiblcto comparesuch results
in tcrms of a single figure othcr than profitabilitv. A1l atternptsto produce
an efficicncy indcx only lcd to an extra and unnccessaryfigule being
reportcd, and then such statementswould appcar as 'Efrciency index


decreasedthis month lrom 43 to 40, but rccovcry increaseelfrom 9.r to

95 per ccnr.and concenrrare
gradedroppedfrom 47 to 15 pcr ccnt.,That
woulo not fct thtm verv lar.
One of.the most hclpful ways to compare two concetrffatingrcsults
particularly ifthc headgradervereconsrant rvasto calculatcthe difference
berrlccn rhem, rnd so frnd thc grade oi the extra concentratepro<lucedat
tnc l)rfner lecoterv.
He ;ishcd ro r.aisethe following particular points;
(l) In the synopsisthe author siid that rhcrc was an example of dervateringoperarionsbut he had been unable to fiDd thar.
(2) Vould thc author clarify thc logic of muhiplyrng roecrhcr eouarions
I and 2 to get the overall concentrarionefficicncy
lequari6n : on i. ZOO;.
It \rasonly bccau'crhc)-uerenrukiplicdrogetheirhai hc had obtaincdrhe
undoubtcd adlantage oi thc same eficiency for ganguc eliminations and
mlnelal recoyerv.
(3) Thc author's formula coultl bc expresseclin thc form

"" ( R C
) ' f c)c 100 J
Thus for thc same recovery (R) and rutio of conccntation (1./C), the
elliciency indcx waspropo.tional to
,o gir rng a highcr eHiciency
tOO i,
index to a higher grade feed. This upp""."'d to be illogical.
(4)^lf a plantwerc opcraredat lughiecoveryand lori ratio oI
tron lor onc pcriod, and then low recovcryand high ratio of conccntratron
for anouler
pe!rod, tJlc
rlrc cthclcncy
cllicicncy tndex
index lor
piriod rnight be the same.
foi each
trowever, ifthc
lr rc two
penods rveie
t\\.o periods
$'ere taken
taken togcther
togcther a very
verv differcnt elliciency
index migbt be obtaincd. Thar also appeired illogical, an.l coutd leal iir
difficultics in intcrpreting results.
Tltat urasbest iliusrrarcd [.v the follorving cxamplc:
2nd t etiad






92 62





Ratio of




lt 5



2 1. 6

What u'ondcrl'ul opporrunitics $ould be ollered to the concentr.a.or

^rhatft'r6u1o,o explainawaya low eficiencyindext
Also. or courscrthe ettlctencl tndex was no help in comparing opcrations
for the tvo periods.


E . D O U G L A S :D E R I V A T I O N O F A

Mr. D. N. Moir said that in vicq' of what had bccn said by prcvious
speakersv'ho wishcd to introducc economicsinto the formula, hc fclt that
it was an appropriate moment to defcnd the researchand dcvclopment
mincral engineer against a common criticism rvhich rvas levelled against
him whenevcr he attcmptcd to bring out a formula rvhich rvould enable
him to assesshis test results accuratcly.That criticism usually took the
form:'It is all very well for you chapsto invent fancy formulae to give you
an idea of what you arc doing, but you are neglcctingthe economicsofthc
job; on the plant we have to set grade and recovery according to the
economicsof the proccssand your formula does not hclp us.' He thought
that confusion aroseout of a misunderstandingabout the real purposc of
such a formula,
He was surc thc good researchand developmentcnginccr lt'as quite rvell
aware that his process must be economically sound and also, while ccrtain rcsult rvashighly desirable,the plant targct might
be different and was adjustedto suit the pafiicular conditionspertaining at
any given plant undcr thc prcvailing market conditions.
At the bench tcsting stage,the rcsearchand developmcntcngineermust
work up his processto the highest peak of performanceto show the vcry
best metallurgical rcsult Ehich could be expected.It rvas at that stage of
the opcration that the formulac lirst madc their appearanceand they did
so in order to cnablc the engineerto assesseach part of thc circuit and
bring it to its peak of performance.
Subsequently,in small or large pilot-scale testing a rangc of rcsults
would be indicatcd and sulicient data collected to cnable a series of
calculations to be made which would indicate the approximatc level of
performanccnccessaryto achievethe correcteconomicstating into account
such factors as nature and size of ore deposit, grade, mining ratc, capital,
transport and crection costs of equipment, local labour costs, rate of
amorrization, etc. (assuming throughout that the process appcared
economicallysound at the start).
Final economics would bc scttlcd $,hcn a detailed design study vas
undertakenlbr thc l'ull-scaleplant. Ilven when thc plant wasruDning, small
changcsin pcrlormance might have to bc madc from time to time to mect
changes,for examplc,in plant input or in the market pricc ofthc product,
the result ofrhich would be that the finallevcl of pcrformancemight well
be diferent from those indicatcd in thc initial studies.
The formulae rvhich had been discusscd,those of Stevensand Colhns
and ofDouglas, and othcn, '"r'crcnot in any u'ay intendedto solvecconomic
problcm' and it \\a\ unrearonable
to expectthcm to do so.
The economic problcms were individual to a particular plant and
orebody and which gcneral formulae could not bc cxpcctcd to solve.
In addition to thcir use in developmentstagcsof the rvork thc application ofthosc formulac in gaugingthe day-to-day pcrformanceofindividual
parts of thc circuit should not bc overlookcd; sornc of those applications
had been discussedbv thc abovc authors.






Mr, K. C. G, Heath: The basic cficiency formula may be of value rn

researchwork undertakens''ithout a spccifi.capplication in view. It would
be dangerousfor usein an operatingplantr as would any index ofefficiency
that conforms with the author's basic requirement 6 -'no attempt should
bc made to include economicconsiderationsin the technical assessment
a concentrationopcration.'
If maximum tcchnical efficiency produces maximum ultimate profit,
then we want maximum technical efliciency. If maximum ultimate profit
is produced by some lessertechnical elliciency, then that is the cfficiency
we want, /rol the ma-\imum. Far from cxcluding economicconsiderations,
we need to hamrner them home at cvery possibleopportunity.
Let us examine a hlpothctical operation, in which a metallic ore with
for a latcr smelting
a mill head grade of 5 pcr cent is being concentratd
process that will produce a salcablc metal.
assay grade of the
chemically pure concentratcis 50 per cent. Expcrimental work shorvsthat
recoverv and conccntmte srade can bc related as follorvs:
Recovery ui
Concentratcgrade ",,

15 0 42.5 40 0 3'7 5

32 5

25 0


51 0

41 7


Mr. Douelas's eflciencv index calculatcsas follows:

Recovery 91,
Emciency indcx '1,,





indicating that the most eficient operation is one in which rccovcry rs

between75 and 80 per cent with a conccntrategradc of betrveen42 5 and
40 pcr ccnt.
In order to examine the rcsults cconomically,lct us assumc:
Cost of rnining, milling and general charges-30s. pcr ton at 70 per
ccnt rccovcry incrcasing by 6d. per ton for cach step in increased
recovery, to allorv for finer grinding, additional reagentsor whatever rs
necessaryto obtain the higher recovery.
Cost of smclting to mctal*{3 pcr ton of containcdmctal plus {2 per
ton of concentrate.Smelter recoverv. establishedbv test workConcentrate grade oo
Smcltcr rccovery ";

540 42.5 100 375

98.0 975 97.0 965


25.0 150
940 900

Costs fiom smelter to market . d20 per ton of metal.

Market valuc of mctal -f100 pcr ton.
The profit to bc gaincd from mining and treating 100 tons of ore ts
calculated as in thc following table, indicating that the most profitable
operation is one in which recovery is bcniccn 90 and 95 per cent rvith a
concentmtegrade between32.5 and 25 per ccnt.





on\ metalnr cor.c r,rrc

T.ns concent.are
Tons mctal produceJ

sale oi

*eneral expenses {
snclrins cos({



:l ,110

-3l S :



l0 00

11 ll
.1 lol


.t 165

l5 i)

4 3rl?

113 0

165 6

3lll 0


129 7



raa 0

1 5 ?5


71 6


241 a

26.1 6

271 9

:S7 I


33t :l


12) I

|)4 2

t.t: 6

r12 I

r06 ;r

mrrkcr a
TDIIL .osi ol mebl



211 t9a 3

165 0

52 3

Even this does not tell the u,holc storv. If a leaching proccss rvcre
availableas an alternativc to sDrelting,it might well bc profitable to accept
a concentratcgrade of 15 per ccnt in ordcr to achiele the high rccovcry
of97.5 per cenr.This rvoulddependon leachingrccovcryand costs,and
would rcquire a further set of calculations.
Although the costs and recovelies that I havc uscd are hypothetical,
I submit that they are typical of actual practice. Even then, thcy arc an
since to obtain the higher rccovc|y $ould probably
involve highl-r capital cost of plant, and alloq'ancel ould havc to bc-madc
for rhis in assessingrhc cconomicsof the operation. To the engineer or
manager,statistics, costs and emcicncy figures have a value only if thcy
provide reliable information on which to base dccisions.Anyone basing a
decision on an index rather than on thc economicswould bc dccidine
blind insteadof in thc licht of the facts.

Mr. E. Douglas: As indicarcd in my presentationl,this papcr was
preparedinitiallf in the form of a discussionon the pape( bv Stevens
and Collins which I had assumed,apparently erroncously,would be read
by membersin conjunction with mr paper. The most common misunderstanding has ariscn from the readers'pcrsonalinterpretation of'elicienry
formula for concentrating operations'. In this papcr it refers to the
eliciency v'ith rvhich a mixturc is separated into its individual components. A numbcr of contributors havc rccognized this but others havc
interpreted it as an cconomic eiiciencl'. This lattcr interpretation is not
corrccl; the formula I havc derived caznolbe used lor complete economic
guidancc in relation to thc products from a milling opcration.
My reply to the discussionis in tu o sectionslthe first is concernedwith



remarks based on the correct interpretation of concentrating cmciency

lnd rhe se(ond dcal: wirh the cconomicaspecl.
Apparently, ,\4r. Stevens and I disagree on almost everv DoiDt and
I doubr if much reconciliarion$-.illbc aihicved from nrirren dircursion.
However, I would like to record my rcplies to his numerous points and
opinions in order to prescnt the 'other side' and, in one instance, ro
correcr whar I consider a 'slcight of hand' technique, which is used to
acnletea known OblectrveI,lr. Stercns has difficulty iu appreciating thc logic of my derivarron,
particularly as the transfer of massactossone imaginary boundarv has no
parallcl in mineral processing (I assume he meins mincral processrng
If one attempted to formulate an cfficiency expressionbased on the
mechanismsof the concentratingtcchniques employed then obviously no
one form t'ould suflicc.I mainiain rhai. wheni concerrrration
ha: bccn
made, and lccd aDdproduct data are available,it is Dot necessarvto know
the route_employed
in order to as5c\sthe.cllicienc)'qith uhich rhe constituents have been separated,
To give a verbal description of my dcrivation; I have asscssedthe
products in relarion to feed, I have dcicribed the effcctswhich thc intcrchangeof constitucntshavc on productsand thcn, bascdon the actLlal
!!eight rplir achicvedI haveindicatedrhc masstransfcrsrvhichare necessary to produc!' the final rcsults. The efficienciesof lhesc mass translirs
hase been cxprcssed in simplc mathcmatical terms and combincct rn
p:oduct form ro ti{c the basi- efliciencyformula. I do nor agreethat this
rs an cmpirical approach. Further, I do not understand whv. evcn if
Nlr- Stevens' suggestion that "fhcre \yas surely no analogue for the
author'sform of cliciency expression'istruc, this shouldbi a critcnon
of !aliditv.
,no funLlamcntal
- ,\1r. Stevcnscmpha.izcchi. olinion rhar rhcrci.
lor anysinglsq1l2n1iff
ing cxpresrion',and larcr.asa rcsulrofh ir emplql.1,,t
a 'rrork' analogl. he has.uggc.ted rhat'rhc formula for concenLraii,,n
ethciency(l:- ) u'as"fundamcltal"'.'l'hesc two claims are contradictory
at least one must be invalid on trIr. Stevens'reckoninq. I consider b-oth
to be_incorrcctl thc first on the basis of my ou'n ethlicncy Jcrir.ation.
and rhe sccond on rhc basis of the irregulariiics in his appliiatior.ron thc
analog_r'.I feel rhe lattcr. is extremely misleading; surcly some
qua)rficationshould be givcn to indicarc rliar .uch an-appliciriol i,,
permissiblc and furrher, e,ien assumingit to bc acceptable,ii ii necessary
to apply it in a consistentmamrcr.
I r o r c inr l d i r f e t u n c e
I n M r . s r c v e n s ' r p p l i c a t i o n l r r a n r l a r c h. liur *

to bcanalosous

grade, relative to the ma-ximumof this funcrion, Howcvcr. follou,i[e rhis

analogy,he introduces'mass
ofvaluesin concentrate'torcpresent,iuss'
and t}is ha' bccn multiplicd by JfValue,l. 'l hi. stcp i,. nor lalid; raluc"
cannot changein gradc; ir is the mass of conccntratauhich undergoesa

oF A

BAsrc EFFrcrENcyroRMUrA-AUTHoR'sR[pLy

change in grade from / to c. Therefore' if this analogy is continued and

applicd strictly it results in thc following expresslon:

recovery term as it stands Mr. Collins is stessing this part of the data
in relation to pcrcentageincreasein gradc. If bv 'minclal dresscr' he is
referring to the plant engincer thcn his argument takesau economicbias.
Altemativel.v,if his referenceto mineral dresserindicates experimenters,
suchas himscl{,workrngon flou'sheetdevclopmentsr
then this is'bcgging
thc argumcnt'.
I maintain that a conccntratingopcratiou is achicvcd by a combination
of value concentrationand ganguerejection.
former influencesboth
recovery and grade and, consequentl!',changesin both of thesc factors
should be represcntcdwit}I respect to a sampling operation.
Mr, Collins is in disagrcementwith me and, ashe points out, with other
autho$ he has cited, who consider that the same eficiency of concentration should rcsult whether considcrcd from the aspect of concentrating
values or of concentrating ganguc. He maintains that it is reasonableto
cxpcct two efliciency ratings for any one operation, He usesmy examplc
(Fig. 2 and Table I\r, pp. 702,7O3) to dcrnonsrratchis argument. He
shows (Fig. B), using his expression,thar rwo cut points are produccd,
olle at 100mesh bascdon cyclonc ovcrflow and anothcr at 200 mesh based
on cyclone underflow. Surely, a cyclonc operation has only one cut
point. The basic cfficicncy formula indicates only onc, i.c. 150 mesh,
and this is in exact agreementwith the result produced by the commonly






This, I suggest,is tbe corrcct product of Mr. Stcvens' analogy but

I daubi if it;;n be considcred scriousll' as a satisfactoryexpressionfor
trIr, Stcvens qucries the presenceof rhe opcrational variablc C in the
sight' that this
denominator oftle basic cliciency formula. I agrec,at first'the
might appcar untcnable. Hoqever, his implication that
usiful *ort that could bc donc in separating a given mixture lt'as a
variable' is not a complete onc.
Thc basic formula was derived on the basis of a sampling operation
which gives a weight split identical to lhat of thc products under consideration. Ifthc sampling operation varies then the basevaries. A more
correctconclusionto bc dr;wn from the fact that C occumin the denomirrator is that the maximum cxtent of scparatjQnwllich can be achicved,aflr
a rright split has beenmade, varies according to the wcight split. This
prclinrinarv lvci'rht splir supelrmposesa limit on thc secondaryweight
1r'aluesani gan-guc)iran.fcrs. For example, if the setting on a tabling
oDerationis such as to produce a concentratervhich $'eighs l0 per ccnt
oi th" f"ed, the fced grade bcing 5 pcr ccnt, thcn it is viltually impossible
to achicvc a 100 per ccnt eflicicirt separation,the maximum grade which
can be expectedbeing only 50 per ccnt.
Mr. Stcvens cites the instancc llhen diffcrent $'eights of conccntrates
which havethe samegradcwill result in different valuesin thc denominator.
I would also point out that such changcsare automatically and correctly
comoensatedbv the C factors in thc rlumerator. Becauscof the intcrdependcnceofb with other variables (c, R), the 100 per cent efliciency
can only be achievedwhcn C f.
I wish to stress that m;' proposed efficicncy forrnula was not based
upon the assumption that the efhcicncy of conccntratesshould be equal
s'hen calculated-from either of the two products. Tbis is a result of the
form pre'entcdand one uhich. in ml opirtion.thoulJ be expccled For
example, the separationachieved when ihrcc uhite and two black balls
are removed from a mixturc of, say, l0 black and 10 r'hite is idcntical to
tlrat whcn 7 rvhitesand 8 blacks arc rcmoved from the samemixture.
Repl,ving briefly to I'lr. Collins's contribution I v'ish to do no mole
tlran outline onc or two discrepanciesu'hich occur in his comments
First I refer to requiremcnts2 and 6lor formulatingan expressionfor
concentrating elicicncl, set out in his paper with Mr. Stevens: ' .
attcmpt should bc made to strcsssomepart of the data more than another',
and'no attempt should bc made to include economic considerations'.In
contradiction of these requirementshc explains his direct use of recovery
(instcadofpercentageincreascin recovery)by the argumentthat a mineral
dresser evaluateshis results directly on recovery figures. By using the





,\,tr. Collins, assuming ccrtain intcnrions lor the c)'clo[e products, r.e.
ovcrflow to flotation, underflorv ro tabling, claims that by assessingthe
overflow on the basisof his cfficicnq, formula ir bccomcsa bctrer flotation
fccd than if it were assessedusing rhe basic efticiency formula. A similar
conclusion is reached with rcspcct to thc undcrflow product. I cannot
acccpt the suggestion that the type of expression used in assessinga
product can inllucncc its composition or its rcacdon to subsequent
From Mr. Collins's graph, both his efiiciencycharacteristicsarc highu
than the single basic efficiencycharactcristic,and the latter cannot thereforc bc 'a mcasure of the average efficiency of the separation which
incidentally could bc obtaincd by thc addirion of thc tcchnical cfficiency
for both coarseand fine sizes'.
I find it dilicult to understand the comme[ts contained in the first
9 :;J i, 11.r"
rccognizedco-relation bctwecn rccovcry and ratio of conccntration. Only
/ is constantbut, for any one value of c, the R 1C relationship is a straight
line and for different values of c we have straightJine palamctcrs, all
passingthrough zcro, but rvith clillering slopes.Introducing a bias, eirher
by specifying a constant gradc or a constant rccovcry, considerabll'
simplifies the problem. In this case, as .l\1r. Moncrieff points out, the
cffectivcnessof separation can be expressedin terms of the remaining
variable, i.e, recovery or grade.
My answer to the fust of Mr. Moncrieff's four specific questionsis to
paragraphof Mr. Moncricff's remarks.Surel-v,R


E. DouGr-AS:
oF A

admit my mistakcand apologizcfor mislcadinghiml'dcrvatcring'should

rcad'dcsliming'. I'his rct'crsto thc lirst cxamplein thc appcndir.
In ansrvcrto his sccond qucry, I gavc a bricf descriptiou of some of thc
simplcr choicesavailablefor combining the individual cfficicncicsof two
related and simultancous opcrations. My selcction of thc product combination is favourcd by simplicity and thc kno*ledge that any alternatrvc
rvould give the same relative positions between thc cfficicncy ratings
produced. It is not true that tlle product combination is tlre ouly reason
that the resulting expressiongivesidcntical cfficiencies,wheth!.r calculatcd
from r-aluesconccntration or from gangue rejccrion. For instance, the
arithmctic mean of the nvo e{}iciencicsrvould be similarll'advantageous.
As gangueand values havc bccn given equal considcrationin formulating
thc cflicicncy cxprcssion.unlessundue bias is introduced the result is not
aflectedby designatingcithcr onc or the other as values.
The third questionconcernsfccdsofincrcasing grade:ifthese are treated
to give constant rccovcrics and constant ratios of conccntration then the
application ofthe eficiency folmula indicatcs increasingefliciencyratings.
,\'1r.Moncrieff suggcststhat rhis is illogical but I cannot undcrstand*-hy.
I1, in a seriesofoperations)er.,'v othcr factor remaining constant,increases
in fr--edgrade produccd no clrange in recovery, i.c. thc wcight of values
recovele,.lin the concentrate incrcascd in relation to feed grade, then
I think it is rr--asonablc
to attachthe sameelhciencvrating to cachoDcration.
Hoivever,in the cascciteciby Mr. ,\loncricfi.hi 'peci-ties
gradc in combination ivith constant recovery and a constant ratio of
concentration. he only conditionsundcr rvhichthis combinationcan be
attaincd is in conjunction lvith an increasein conccntratc gradc. Surely,
if two operations result in idcntical pcrccntage recoveries but one rs
associatcdwith a higher product grade thcn this onc rvould rcprescnt a
mole elhclent opefatlon.
Mr. Moncrieff's fourth qucstion posesan interesting state rvhich, from
a practical point of vierv, appearcto be inconsistcnt, duc lalgclv to the
extreme conditions which hc has sclcctcd, although, in spite of this, one
must still cxpcct a rational result.
Examining thc rcsults quotcd, iaithoiit considcringthcir origin, rvc


21 2

q3 5
39 2



Clcarly, although the recoverv in (iii) follorvs an arithrnctic mean, by

virtue of the interdependenceof R, C and c, thc conccnrrate-gradc is
biasedtowardsthe lowestvaluc-,i.c. it improvesby only sevenunits out
of fort-v over thc casc (i) ligurc.
additional b)ending operation has
produccd a worsc result it iras associatedthc dcficicnciesofconcentrates
(i) and (ii) to a greater degree than thc othcr irctors. Ditlcrcnt blcnds,



obtained by running periods (i) and (ii) for dill'erent times, rvill result rn
furthcl changesin the clliciency ofthc conccntrating blcnding scquence,
Fig. C is prcsentedin order to give a risual illustrarionofihcri arguments and to indicate the characteristicsof thc cllicicncy formula. Hire,
cflicicncy has becn plotted in relation to recovery for vaiious concentrate
grades.In rhir pre.entarion.the conccntrarcgrade detcrmincsthc particular operativc parameter and points r, y and : reprcsent the quotcd
lst, 2nd and combincd period conditions.'l he blendinq curve, which
shorvs thc cfflcienciesro be achieved by various cornbinations of the
l\t and 2nJ pcriod operarior:.has al.o brtn addcd.

E :

bos;c e I tic

c =





):ig. C. F.fliciorclrharauerixics.
I am indebted to -N{r. Noakes for cmphasizing that thc application of
such a formula should bc carried out by opcrators who undiistand such
Also, I am gratel'ul to him for clarifying the dillerences bets,cen
the subjecr matrer of rhis paper and the economlcassessments
of existino
milling opcrations.
a'rJtwo totally diffcrcnt factors.l.i;;;;p.ifiiy:
Mr, Noakesconsidersthe latter to be most important ancl I agreeentiiiy
with this- aftitudc. However, thc concentration cfliciency, 6r index, ii
rnost useful at the sragebefore a workable flowsheercxistj. For example,
onemay hate to a"'e\\ lhc comlaraliveamcnabilirie.ofa parliculardcp;.ir
to a numbcr of po..ib)c t:.citmcut merhod., e.g. flotatiou, macncric
sepatatio[ or tabling; ar rhis stage it rs muc-h too earlt to con:idjr the
complicatedand specific economL factors involved at ci ery level of each





of these processes.The obvious necd of a reliable assessmcntof concentration is reflcctcd by the numbcr of papcrs, publishcd by well-known
authors, on this subject.

Revision of the Mine Accountinq and Costins

Procedures in the Rand Mines Group
S. C. NEWN{AN,,M.A., AssocrATE ^.{EMBER

A reolv to Mr, Dell's contribution will scrvc to demonstratethe considerab-ledifferences betrveen economic and physical assessmentsof a
concentratingopcration. At thc sametime, it will present a generalcomment in answerto Nlr. Heath and others,\vho havc introduced economrcs
into this discussion.
Mr. Dell askswhy economicshave been ruled out. The simple answer
is that I have not attempted to produce an economic asscssment;my sole
concern was to derive an cxpression to indicate the effectivenessr:r'ith
which the constituents(both valuelessfor this exercise)of a mixture have
been scoaratcd. Immcdiatclv suitable economic factors are introduced
the resuiting expressionbec'omesspecific to one operation, at one particular sitc, in one particular country-it is not universal.
Commenting, at Mr. Dcll's request, on his papers, may I refer briefly
to his most recent one 'A comprehensive critcrion of coal-cleaning
efficiency'. Knowing Mr. Dell's experiencein the coal industry I havc
confidence in the adequacy of his assessmentsof coal-cleaningoperations, but I consider thc title misleading. As with combustion efficiency
which relates the heat extracted and the total heat contcnt of the coal.
'coal-cleaning efficiency' suggests the elficiency with which the noncombustibles have been removed, and should thcrcfore not include
monetary considerations.In fact, tlle paper presentsan cconomicaccoi)rt
of a cleaning operation. As an example of this I rcfcr to Mr. Dell's term
(specificprofit) in which the cost of cleaning in the denominator is zero.
This only obtainswhen no cleaning is carried out and thcrcfore, such an
expressiondoes not assessthe cleaning efficiency.
The facts that the expressionsdevelopedby Mr, Dell are indcpendent
of changesin concentrateweight (a constant is rccommended),and that
t}te influence of feed grade is not directly accounted for, demonstratc
clearly the spccific nature of his economic efficiency.A similar degreeof
specificity, I am surc, will apply to almost any other worthwhile economrc
Again, if I may be allowed to stressthe point, I agreewith Mr. Dcll,
Mr. Heath and others that an economic standard is of utmost and ol'erriding importance. Horvever, other emcicncy facto$ arc required in the
initial development stagcsof a proccssand, as I have already indicated,
tlis was my objecrive for the basic elliciency formula.

Report of discussionat Nooenber, 1962, General Lleeting (Chairman:

Mr. J. B. Sinpson, President).Papcr pubtistrcdin Otrober,196f,lp. 1-34
Mr. D. J. Rogers, introducing the paper, said that hc had receivedsome
notes fiom Mr. Ncrrnan, used when introducing the papcr ro the Association of Mine Managers of South Africa. Mr. Nervman poinrcd out that
the costing system previously in usc in the Rand Mines Group employed
unit or absorption cosring,that was,the toral unit costsrvcre airived at by
distribution ofall coststo individual units ofproduction. 'l'he svstcm now
describedrelated all costs,whether of produirion or admini\rr;tion, irto
one of the fundamental categories,fixed, variable or semi-variable.True
profitability of opcrationsin different scctionsof mines where conditions
differcd could only be pinpointed by separatingvariable costsper unit of
output from the overall total of fixed expenses.Marginal costs were
ncccssaryto determine thc marginal incomc of each unit of production,
i.e. the amount by which the revenuc exceededthe variable costs.
In exprcssingcostsin terms of'fixed' and 'variable', usehad bccn made
of the so-calledresponsibility costing mcthod by sub-dividing the process
groups into sectionsJfor which individuals were responsiblc. Suitable
authority was delcgatedto those individuals rvho were each provided with
budgcts in respectofstores, matcrial and evenlabour. Someof thc recommendations contained in the paper had been implemented while others
werc being investigated.Thc application of marginal cosring tcchniques
were now being undertakenby Durban RoodeporrDccp.
Mr. Newman alsodcscribeddataprocessingmethodsand, asan example,
describcdNative time ofice work. Previouslytime worked wasrecordedon
a variety of time shcets throughout the mine, which at the Native time
officc were converted into money terms on thc pay roll and subsequently
payment by thc paymasterto the Nadves concerned.Now all forms were
standardized;they originated at source, in the Narive's working place.
forms were converted to punch tape at thc NatiIe time oftice and
the tapeswere thcn sent daily to rhe mine computing ccntrc for processing
and storage.The complcted time roll and pay slips rvere rcturned to the
mine rvithin a few hours.
The work of the Native timc omce at the mine could thercfore be
greatly reduced. At present fourtccn operators werc required for some
10000 natives. In due course,five opcrators and a supervisor would be
required and they would punch the tapesfor the Native pay roll, European
pay roll and stores.
The speaker,tuming from Mr. Nervman'snotesJthen gave some of his
own views on the DaDer.