CHEM ENG 2019 - Introduction to Minerals Processing

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

The application of process principles to minerals processing operations including flotation, size reduction, gravity separation, hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy and electrometallurgy.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code CHEM ENG 2019
    Course Introduction to Minerals Processing
    Coordinating Unit School of Chemical Eng and Advanced Materials(Ina)
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Assessment tutorials/assignments, final examination
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Dzuy Nguyen

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    At the completion of this course, students will be be able to:
    1. Understand the principles governing a range of processes applied in the minerals industry; and
    2. Describe typical unit processes and flow-sheets for production of a number of metals; and
    3. Apply basic engineering principles to the design of minerals processes; and
    4. Produce conceptual designs for simple extraction processes.

    University Graduate Attributes

    No information currently available.

  • Learning Resources
    Recommended Resources

    Reference Books

    B. Wills and T. Napier-Munn, Wills' Mineral Processing Technology, 7th Edition, Butterworth-Heinemann,

    P. Mullinger and B Jenkins, Industrial Furnaces, 1st Edition, Butterworth-Heinemann,

     A. Burkin, Chemical Hydrometallurgy: Theory and Principles, Imperial College Press, 2001.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    This course uses a number of different teaching and learning approaches including:

    • Lectures
    • Problem solving tutorials
    • Final examination

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.


    Contact hours

    Workload hours










    Learning Activities Summary

    1. Introduction
    An overview of the minerals processing industry and its importance to the Australian and world economy. Historical development of minerals processing from pre-history to the current time. Basic flowsheets.

    2. Ore handling
    Crushing, ore transport, stockpiling and pre-blending

    3. Comminution
    Crushing, grinding, breakage of materials, crushing and grinding laws & particle size analysis. Grinding machinery, milling circuits, sizing, screening and classification, hydro-cyclones, modelling of grinding circuits. Slurry properties, pumping, and transport.

    4. Separation and Concentration
    Introduction to mass balances and metallurgical accounting calculations. Separation and concentration techniques. Sizing and sorting. Screening and classification. Gravity separation. Dense medium separation. Magnetic and electrical separation. Dewatering. Froth flotation. Practical processes coal washing, minerals sands, iron ore and non ferrous ore concentration. Recovery economics.

    5. Pyro-processing
    Introduction to combustion processes, basic combustion chemistry and calculations, heat transfer and concept of “available heat” and its influence on furnace efficiency. Introduction to mass and energy balances, practical furnace systems including an overview of pyro-metallurgy in Australian minerals processing. Non-metallic mineral processing, rotary kiln processes, ensuring safe operation of furnace processes.

    6. Hydrometallurgy
    Principles of electro-chemistry, the electrochemical series, principles of corrosion processes and leaching, solvent extraction & chemistry, pH-Eh, solution separation, purification. Practical hydrometallurgy processes, alumina, gold copper, nickel, uranium. Safety issues in hydrometallurgical processes.

    7. Electrometallurgy
    The basic principles of an electrolytic cell, the importance of the electro-chemical series in determining energy consumption of electro metallurgical processes, aqueous and molten salt electrolytes, principles of the design of electrochemical reactors, energy consumption, current efficiency, practical electro-refining and electro-winning processes

    8. Process Instrumentation and Control
    Need for control systems, basic measurement techniques for level, flow, temperature, etc. Measurement errors, actuators, valves, etc.

    9. Process Safety
    Modern process hazard identification techniques, risk analysis, fatal accident rate & ALARP, hazard analysis and protective systems, case studies.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    Assessment activity


    Summative or Formative

    Due date

    Learning objective addressed

    Tutorial assignments



    As prescribed


    Final examination

    (3 hrs Closed Book)



    End of semester


    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

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    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

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  • Policies & Guidelines
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