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Spreadsheet Based Process Model

Sand Plant Flowsheet

A model or simulation of your process can be very useful in identifying why things may not be going right and to see what happens if you make process changes. There are several highly regarded process simulation packages available, but… They are somewhat expensive and do have a learning curve. There is an alternative.

A process simulator can be made using a spreadsheet and readily available equipment performance calculations. The following example is based on a sand classification circuit as shown in the flowsheet above. The circuit takes a crusher product and classifies the sand into four products and a fine tails. The equipment involved is a primary screen, 1st stage cyclones and elutriation (teeter) column, followed by a 2nd stage cyclones and columns and a final 3rd stage cyclones.

The spreadsheet showing a simulation of a sand classification circuit is available, and will allow the user to make changes and see the impact on performance. It can be found here: Download

The input spreadsheet is shown below.

Flowsheet input

Flowsheet Input 2

Two example runs at 300 t/hr and 400 t/hr showing variance in output.


Other performance variations can be run using different size distributions and such.

A version of the spreadsheet is available on the Smart Dog Mining website, under software as SDM Process Performance here: Download

For more advanced simulation see a manual spreadsheet for predicting coal preparation plant performance, it goes with Predicting Plant Performance under the Mining Engineers Notebook. Download


MIke Albrecht, P.E.

o   40+ years’ experience in the mining industry with strong mineral processing experience in precious metals, copper, industrial minerals, coal, and phosphate

o   Operational experience in precious metals, coal, and phosphate plus in petrochemicals.

o   Extensive experience performing studies and determining feasibility in the US and international (United States, Canada, Mexico, Ecuador, Columbia, Venezuela, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, and Greece).

o    E-mail: