The results from the SEESIMA project are summarised here, grouped by topics, with links to the articles and reports that provide more detailed information. The topics are:

Size Reduction/Liberation

The ore that is obtained from the mine needs to be processed to extract the valuable components. Ores are usually made up of different minerals pressed together, often of small sizes. In order to be able to extract the valuable components it is necessary to reduce the size of the ore down to the size of the component minerals. This size reduction requires a lot of energy, and a balance has to be found between the energy used for creating smaller particles, and the efficiency of liberating the valuable components from the rest. Hence size reduction and liberation are studied together.


Once the ore has been reduced in size to release the valuable components it is necessary to separate out the valuable components from the waste. Different technologies are used to achieve the separation, based on different properties of the mineral components. It is desired to achieve as pure as possible stream of the valuable component, while still avoiding the loss of valuable components in the waste stream. This balance often results in several stages of separation processes, also combined with the size reduction operations.

Waste Reduction

The valuable component can be only a small proportion of the ore, at times less than one percent. The rest is viewed as waste that must be disposed of. However this waste has had energy applied to reduce it in size, which can represent a value. The mining industry operates at large scale, so the amount of waste to be used can be very large.

Wastewater treatment

The mineral processing and separation is usually made with the ore particles suspended in water, and at the end of the process this water is either reused or disposed of. The wastewater can contain compounds and metals from the ore or from chemicals used in the processing and cleaning is needed before the water can be disposed of. Different cleaning processes are used depending on the allowable limits.