Mining MFT Test
SGS is the largest, most experienced and trusted organisation in the mineral processing industry.
Our metallurgical experts designed the MFT test as a standard bench-scale test to measure the primary flotation characteristics of a sample of ore at the flowsheet design stage.
The objective of the MFT test is to measure the flotation pulp kinetics for all the minerals (ore and gangue) using a standard set of operating conditions. The MFT test provides the industry with a proven solution to the difficult challenge of scaling-up laboratory flotation results to full plant performance. The rigorous scale-up of batch results is achieved by measuring the recovery and kinetics of flotation in the pulp along with the calibration of froth effects in the plant. The MFT test is unique in that it determines the kinetics of mineral separation in the pulp phase exclusively. Froth effects in the plant are later accounted for using Flotation Economic Evaluation Tool (FLEET) modelling.
The information obtained from a single MFT test for each mineral in the sample is described by the three MFT test parameters:
- Rmax (recovery)
- Kavg (rate constant)
- Alpha (spread of rate constant)
The analysis of each MFT test yields the following information:
- The maximum recovery (Rmax) and cumulative frequency distribution of rate constants (described by Kavg and alpha) for each mineral species at the test grind
- The quantitative effect of grind on Kavg and Rmax
- A standard set of Rmax and Kavg values at a single grind-size, together with Rmax-slope and Kavg-slope parameters, all of which can be geostatistically distributed across the mine block model
MFT Test, Variability Testing and Geometallurgy
SGS’s core philosophy is to understand the variability of the ore parameters that affect flotation performance. This arises due to the natural geologic distribution of minerals through a deposit. Once the variability is assessed, we design, optimise or forecast plant performance based on these parameters.
The objective of the MFT test is to have a test programme that is simple, standard, quick and can be done at the lowest possible cost. The combination of these benefits means that:
- Many tests can be performed on individual drill core samples to characterise the flotation characteristics of the ore
- Tests can be done by technical teams in any SGS metallurgical facility
- Lab results are reproducible globally
The MFT tests are carried out in two forms: the full MFT test and the mapping MFT test. The only difference between these tests is the number of samples submitted for chemical analysis.
Full MFT tests are conducted to provide sufficient information about the kinetics of the mineral components in the orebody. When this is determined, then numerous mapping MFT tests are conducted, providing many variability data points to the block resource model. The mapping tests are considerably cheaper because fewer samples are submitted for chemical analysis. These savings in assay costs mean that more drill core samples can be tested at the same project cost. The large number of drill core results distributed across the block resource model lead to a robust geometallurgical model and overall better accuracy in both design and production forecasting.
Partner with SGS and leverage our comprehensive combination of flotation circuit expertise and technologies.