Processing Solutions - October 2017

Future-proofing Potash Mining: The Need for Intelligent Operations

Ten billion tons of potash reserves. Put another way, reserves that exceed global annual production by more than 300 times.

And it’s what a large potash operation in Eastern Europe must find a way to extract and process in the most efficient manner possible. At these large volumes of material, the company needs to ensure that operations move that potash quickly and reliably throughout their facility.

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Metso’s Safer, Faster Screen Panel Attachment System

Metso has introduced a new attachment system for its Trellex screening media that it claims offers increased productivity and makes media change-outs safer and faster than with traditional systems.

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Processing Solutions - September 2017

Skimping on Crusher Maintenance Costs More in the Long Run

Eric Jones, global service director of comminution aftermarket for Weir Minerals, recently offered some useful guidelines and suggestions for ensuring top performance from crushers.

Jones, noting that crushers operate at high power, force and capacity in order to produce the required material, explained that this puts a great deal of strain on the crusher and its wear parts, which operators must be aware of when carrying out maintenance. Failure to do so may have a high impact, both in terms of financial cost and potential loss of production. His suggestions cover:

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Water Treatment Optimization through Innovation

The importance of water conservation and management in mineral processing can be expressed in a few short sentences that resemble circular logic: Water is an integral part of mining. Ore processing is water intensive and results in the production of tailings. The recovery of water from tailings is essential to mining operations, especially in arid climates with scarce water sources. Chris Biederman, senior engineer and technology development lead in the Water & Natural Environment Business Unit at engineering firm Hatch, recently described in an online blog post ( how Hatch has learned to use bench-scale testing to assist in quick and efficient formulation of optimum strategies for recovering and, if necessary, treating water from typical mine-site sources such as a Tailings Management Facility (TMF).

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Web-based Modeling to Improve Ball Mill Performance

Metcom Technologies recently launched the Streamline ball mill circuit modeling system, described as the first-ever web-based application which uses Functional Performance Analysis to carry out circuit performance improvements.

Metcom’s chief metallurgist, Robert McIvor, said, “This system has been specifically developed to empower the plant metallurgist and others working with ball mill circuits to make circuit modifications and realize valuable performance gains.”

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Processing Solutions - August 2017

Air-pulse Jigs Bolster Spanish Tungsten Mine Production Plans

W Resources (WRES), operator of the La Parrilla tungsten/tin mine in southwestern Spain, has installed two alljig fines jigs from German supplier allmineral, and anticipates that the upgrade will provide a significant boost toward doubling annual output to 5,000 metric tons (mt) per year in the future. According to allmineral, the mining company also expects to see an increase in product quality as a result of deploying this processing technology.

The largest known tungsten deposits in the western world that can be mined cost-effectively are found some 300 kilometers (km) southwest of Madrid. The La Parrilla mine, located near the Portuguese border, is one of five sites on the Iberian Peninsula mined by WRES. By intensifying and optimizing its ore mining operations in the Extremadura region, the British mining company is looking to surpass the annual output of what is currently the world’s largest tungsten mine — Masan Resources’ Núi Pháo operation in northern Vietnam — by 2020. Around 90% of the world’s production of tungsten goes toward making tungsten steel, the raw material for tool steels.

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Waterless System for Iron Ore Processing

An article recently published by a South Australia news service described a waterless ore processor that reportedly can significantly increase iron ore recovery rates and purities.

According to the article in The Lead, a device called the Cyclomag has been developed by IMP Technologies (IMPTEC) in South Australia and works in conjunction with the company’s Super-Fine Crusher to deliver enhanced iron content with fewer impurities. It utilizes rare earth magnets to pull the magnetic material out of an airflow, while the tailings are separated and collected at the other end of the machine.

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Technology May Eliminate Slurry Tailings Dams

FLSmidth recently announced it will join with Goldcorp to develop EcoTails, a new system the company said is intended to dramatically improve tailings and waste rock disposal while economically processing mine waste and increasing water recovery and reuse by as much as 95%.

Together with Goldcorp, the world’s third largest gold miner, FLSmidth is co-developing a system for co-mingling dewatered tailings with waste rock in a continuous process. Designed specifically for large-scale mining applications, the system is expected to be environmentally safer for managing tailings and waste rock storage and has the potential to eliminate conventional slurry tailings dams completely. Combined with FLSmidth’s co-developed filter press dewatering technology, co-mingling is described as the missing piece of the puzzle to keep costs low for dry stacked tailings.

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Processing Solutions - July 2017

SCADA System Lets Users Leverage Cloud-based Benefits

Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) recently launched Experion Elevate, a real-time process supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) solution delivered as a secure and scalable service. Experion Elevate, said Honeywell, allows for predictable costs, easy upgrades and continual support. It is a member of Honeywell’s suite of cloud-enabled solutions for operations technology and information technology (OT/IT).
It’s no secret that major mining companies are constantly seeking ways to leverage operational expenditures (OPEX) over capital expenditures (CAPEX) wherever possible to reduce concerns about purchase, installation, hosting, and maintenance of hardware and software on premises. However, small-sized to midsized companies with limited capital resources also may want to partake of the benefits from this approach, seeking long-term use of the SCADA solution, as well as flexibility in deployment, service and support, and upgrades they may not otherwise pay for.

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Installation of FeedAirJet Sparger Brings Better Metal Recovery

Eriez Flotation Division recently reported on early results from installation of its first FeedAirJet on a cleaner column at Capstone Gold’s Cozamin concentrator in Zacatecas, Mexico. Nicknamed by the commissioning team as the “Cavitador,” the FeedAirJet is a simple system for pre-aerating flotation feed streams. It is based on a proprietary configuration of Eriez’s CavTube, a sparging system that has been installed on more than 200 columns worldwide.

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Weighing the Options: Choosing the Right Belt Scale System

Few, if any, industries handle more heavy material in bulk than mining, whether measured on an an hourly, daily, weekly or annual basis. Much of this material must be weighed and monitored before or as it is fed to plants for processing. Belt conveyer scales are an important part of a mining operation’s bulk material handling system. A belt scale system allows an operator to monitor production output and inventory, or regulate product loadout, while providing vital information for the effective management and efficient operation of the business. Picking the right belt scale system to meet the specific needs of an operation is essential, but what are the most important factors and options to consider? Thermo Fisher Scientific recently addressed the problem in a blog post.

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