2023-2024 / GEOL0314-1

Mineral processing I - basics


30h Th, 30h Labo., 10h Proj., 1,5d FW

Number of credits

 Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Engineering5 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Geological and Mining Engineering, professional focus in geometallurgy (EMERALD) (Erasmus mundus)5 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Geological and Mining Engineering5 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Geological and Mining Engineering (joint-degree programme with the "Université polytechnique de Madrid")5 crédits 


Stoyan Gaydardzhiev

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The course is dealing with the mineral processing operations which form an important part of the metals value chain - how the minerals extracted from the mine are transformed to finished metal products. In this context, the following major chapters are discussed:

Basic techniques for bulk solids characterization and their implication to ore fragmentation, mineral phase liberation and estimation of separation efficiency. Sampling of particulate materials.

Mechanisms of ore size reduction, fragmentation theories and energy requirements for size reduction. Work index of ores. Type of crushers and their integration in circuit design.

Milling, screening and classification of mineral ores
* Milling - theoretical basis, mill rotation and critical speed aspects. Type of mills and comminution circuit arrangements.
* Screening - principles, type of screens and selection criteria.
* Classification - principles, type of classifiers, design features.

Common mineral beneficiation techniques - gravity, magnetic, electrostatic and physicochemical (froth flotation) methods.

Hydrometallurgical processing - basic theory and operational schemes including treatment of teh metal rich solutions after leaching.

Examples of unit operations which are intergrated in the flowsheets practiced by nowadays mineral processing and mining industrial actors. 

The practical part of the course (lab works) is foccued on experimental work matching real case studies of ore processing.   

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

The objective is to introduce the theoretical aspects of common mineral processing techniques and the associated equipment utilized nowadays in mining and extractive metallurgy practices. Students will be acquainted with the basics of solids separation principles when applied to ores and minerals, from the mine down to concentrates production. They will be immersed in team working environment.

The course is designed to enable students to perceive right from the beginning the challenges facing the modern mineral processing industry in terms of equipment development, circuit modeling and situation and geometallurgical consideration.

The pracrical works in the lab supervised by an assistant will facilitate the understanding of the study subjetc and will enbale students to develop the personal skills mentioned above and to project themselves into real cases illustrating mineral processing plants. These case studies (ofthen illustrating procssing of metalic sulhide ores) are aiming to enable the students to realize how the mineral processing plants are operating with the ultimate objective to generate commercial grade metal concentrates delivered further to metallurgy (smelter, hydromet).  

At the end of this introductory course, students will possess the pre-required background and will be prepared to follow the in-depth basic (S8) and advanced and specialized (S9) courses in mineral processing (is case only for students subscribed to the EMERALD program).

This course contributes to the learning outcomes II.1, I.2, II.1, II.2, III.2, V.1, V.2 of the BSc in Engineering.

This course contributes to the learning outcomes I.2, II.1, II.2, III.2, IV.2, IV.3, VI.1, VII.2, VII.4, VII.5 of the MSc in Geological and Mining engineering.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Basic knowledge in mineralogy, particle characterization and process engineering is a plus

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Labs on the following topics: sampling, granulometric analysis, grinding, gravity separation, froth flotation with elaboration of final basic flowsheet for the mineral under study. Basic calculations for preliminary metallurgical performance evaluation and results discussions.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

Face-to-face course.
First quadrimester of the academic year 2023-24; Wednesdays a.m. , place of lecturing - room TP64 0/302 building B52 (Annex) 

The practical sessions (labs) are conducted in the lab of Mineral Processing and Recycling

- level -2/738  B52  

Recommended or required readings

Wills B., Finch J., Mineral Processing Technology; An Introduction to the Practical Aspects of Ore Treatment and Mineral Recovery, Butterworth-Heinemann; 8-th edition, 2016, ISBN: 978-0-08-097053-0, available as pdf on E-Campus

I. Svoboda - Industrial application of magnetic methods of material treatment - available as pdf on E-Campus

Furstenau M.; Han K.; (eds) Principles of Mineral Processing, SME, 2003

Christopher J. Greet, 2010, Flotation Plant Optimisation: A Metallurgical Guide to Identifying and Solving Problems in Flotation Plants. AusIMM.

Gupta A, Yan D; Mineral Processing design and operation: An introduction; I ed, Elsevier 2006 - disponible en version pdf sur e-campus

Ek C., Masson A., Cours de minéralurgie (Preparation des Minerais), 1973, Editions Derouaux, Liège - version pdf on e-Campus

Kelly E G, Spottiswood DJ. Introduction to mineral processing, 1982, John Willey and Sons

S.R. Rao, J. Leja, 2004, Surface Chemistry of Froth Flotation. Second edition, 2 Volumes, Kluwer Academic.

Kawatra, Advances in comminution, 2006, SME, Littleton, Colorado

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

oral exam

Written work / report

Additional information:

oral exam - 70 % of the final note
reports on lab practicals; oral presentation of findings; activity and level of attendance during lab sessions - 30 %

The students could be questioned either in English or in French.


Work placement(s)

internship not included

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

The course is given in a face-to-face manner during Q1.  

Classes will take place on Wednesday a.m. but some practical works coudl take place on other days of the week (to be arranged with the students).  

The practical works will be organized by groups of 4-6 students (function of the total n° of students subscribed to the course). Any effort will be made in order each student to be able to perform individual manipulation during practicals execution. The active participation of each student is encouraged.


Stoyan Gaydardzhiev 

B52/3 , office -1/412, tel 9120

Mohamed AATACH - Teaching Assistant


Association of one or more MOOCs

There is no MOOC associated with this course.

Additional information:

ppt slides of the course, guidelines for practicals books in e-form, research articles on the subject

Items online

educational support for the cours
ppt slides of the coursguidelines for practicals books in e-form, research articles on the subject