Introduction to continuous mode operations. Tests in small-scale pilot plant.


The aim of the second module of the PROCHAINE training program is to give learners a basic understanding on the continuous mode operation of various types of ores and the variables affecting in the process. The module consist of theory lessons (face-to-face teaching and e-learning) and practical hands-on work at the small-scale pilot plant (“minipilot”) of Oulu Mining School. Importance of process control, on-line monitoring, automation, flowsheet design in each case and simulation are brought up during the theory lessons and practicals.  Plant health and safety (H&S) as well as operation and maintenance (O&M) are essential learning topics of the module. Environmental aspects and sustainability of processing are taken into account in teaching.


Target audience

The target group is people already working in the mining sector or related area. The learners could for example be mineral processing professionals looking for updating their knowledge; engineers representing different disciplines in the mining industry or mining technology providers/ sales people who want to have better understanding on mineral processing and beneficiation process design.


Course Content

The basic module consist of the following topics. Depending on the needs of the learners certain aspects of the processing chain could be emphasized more.

Teaching is mainly done by personnel of University of Oulu in collaboration with Outotec and Schneider Electrics.


Theory; introduction to all or some of the following topics (case-dependent):

  • Health and safety in the plant
  • Concentrate requirements and economy
  • Process chemistry
  • Sampling in the plant
  • Process circuits
  • Material balances and circulating loads
  • Process control, on-line measurements and automation systems
  • Process modelling
  • Water management
  • Tailings management
  • Risk assessment


Hands-on work in the minipilot plant includes:

  • Health and safety in the plant
  • Characterization of the feed material: mineralogy and chemistry
  • Sample preparation
  • Comminution tests
  • Separation tests in bench scale (if needed)
  • Preparation for the pilot scale tests
  • Separation tests in pilot scale
  • Sampling
  • Process analytics
  • Process control and optimization
  • Process modelling
  • Water management and dewatering


Simulation labs

The simulation labs are conducted in collaboration with Outotec. This part will be cover material and water balance of minipilot plant.


Time requirement and credits

Extent Theory (incl. e-learning) Hands-on training
5 ECTS 5 days 5 days
10 ECTS 10 days 10 days

The duration of the basic training module (including both theory lessons and practical work) is either 10 days (5 ECTS) or 20 days (10 ECTS); depending on the needs of the client. Note: Shorter training periods could also be arranged upon request.

Based on the material of interest, the module could be divided into two different categories: base metals or industrial minerals. The processing techniques focused on during the training are thus case-dependent.


Course Literature

Material distributed during the course.


Recommended reading

  • Wills, B.A and Finch, J., Mineral processing technology – An introduction to the practical aspects of ore treatment and mineral recovery.
  • Gupta, A., Yan, D.S. (2006). Mineral Processing Design and Operation
  • McNulty, T. P. (2002). Overview of metallurgical procedures and flowsheet development, Mineral Processing Plant Design, Practice and Control, Vol. 1, SME

See Schedule

OMS R&D Centre