Processing Solutions - June 2017

Optimizing Process-plant Assets

Weir Minerals, the Australia-based process equipment business of the Weir Group, pointed out that with declining ore grade and low commodity prices, the mining industry has had to adapt to stay competitive. As merger and acquisitions opportunities and greenfield projects diminish, there is a strong focus on modifying and optimizing existing mine sites and processes to achieve greater operational efficiency.

Mining companies are under intense pressure to increase production through the optimization of their current plants and resources. In order to achieve this, it is important they preserve and extend their assets.

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Processing Solutions - May 2017

New Process Technologies Help Producers Recover More Metal

Rana Gruber, a Norwegian company that operates an iron ore mine and concentrator near the Arctic Circle, recently ordered two of FLSmidth’s Reflux RCTM-3000-HY-SS Classifier units following successful pilot trials.

FLSmidth reported that in the pilot trials conducted at Rana Gruber’s facility, the Reflux classifier technology demonstrated consistent separation and high separation efficiency in the 0–150 micrometer (µm) size fraction from material currently discarded to tailings. While the ore grade of the feed to the Reflux classifier was approximately 10% Fe, the concentrate produced by the Reflux classifier was more than 60% Fe, with a yield of more than 20% of the iron in the 0–150 µm size fraction that is currently lost to waste.

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Processing Solutions - April 2017

New Flotation Lab Circuit Will Cut Test Turnaround Time

Eriez Flotation Division (EFD) has commissioned a fully automated, four-stage lab-scale column circuit for flotation testing on sulfide and industrial minerals. Operating parameters such as air flow rate, wash water flow rate, reagent addition rates and pH level are regulated using a programmable logic controller (PLC). The flotation circuit can be altered to accommodate multiple circuit configurations ranging from one (i.e. rougher) to four (i.e. rougher-scavenger-cleaner-cleaner) unit operations, dependent upon the characteristics of the feed ore. The circuit is also capable of incorporating recirculating loads. The automated circuit can be utilized to conduct steady-state column flotation tests at feed rates of up to 15 kg/h.

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Software Improves Change Management Integrity

Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) recently announced the introduction of documentation and change management software that it claims will help its customers’ industrial control system integrity. Honeywell Trace replaces paper-based records and spreadsheets with an automated solution designed to minimize errors due to changes in configurations, improve worker productivity, and simplify asset management by providing a single integrated view of complex system interactions.

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Program Offers ‘Breakthrough’ Ball Mill Modeling

Metcom Technologies describes its Streamline program as a “breakthrough” ball mill modeling application that uses Functional Performance Analysis to carry out circuit performance improvements.

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Gekko, Rockwell Automation to Develop Metallurgical Accounting System

Gekko Systems and Rockwell Automation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop software solutions that will assist mining customers across the globe to account for metal content in the various stages of ore processing plants and provide the analytical capability to audit and improve operating performance. The metallurgical accounting program is currently in development and pilot stage.

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Metso to Increase Screening Media Production Capacity

Metso is expanding its global manufacturing capacity for rubber screening media used in minerals processing by investing in three new injection presses. The presses will be installed at Metso’s facilities in Australia, India and Sweden by early 2018.

The company said the EUR 1.7-million investment will significantly increase its global rubber screening media manufacturing capacity. Demand for its screening media has grown in the mining segment after the introduction of 1 x 1-ft (305- x 305-millimeter) modular screening media, Trellex 305PS, in 2016, according to Metso.

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Partnership Will Commercialize Real-time Assay Technology

Australian research organization CSIRO is partnering with Chrysos Corp. to bring to market its PhotonAssay X-ray gold detection technology, setting its sights on a slice of the $1-billion global gold assay business.

CSIRO’s lead inventor of the technology, Dr. James Tickner, said this new approach fills an important market gap by providing real-time information for mine operators. Tickner also is Chrysos’ chief technology officer.

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Processing Solutions - March 2017

Particle Size Tracking System vs. Traditional Measurement Techniques

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Minerals processing plants typically use grinding mills in closed circuit with hydrocyclones to produce a product with a specific particle size distribution for optimum downstream process recovery. Existing instrumentation that provides particle size measurement is considered standard in most modern concentrator plants. However, instrumentation availability is often very low, mainly owing to high maintenance requirements of the analyzer and associated sampling system.

A novel and robust technology has been developed that provides a highly reliable and low maintenance system for online measurement of the particle size in the overflow of individual cyclones. The system is based around a wetted sensor design with no moving parts and provides a real-time trend of the desired target grind size parameter, such as a percentage retained on screen (e.g., % +100 mesh). The system does not require sampling and associated sample transfer piping that is prone to plugging, thus avoiding high maintenance requirements.

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