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MBE Coal & Minerals Technology has upgraded the technology used in its JONES WHIMS (Wet High-Intensity Magnetic Separator) units and has delivered two of the newly improved DP 317 HFR units to -ore processing plant in Norway, where a number of the company’s WHIMS machines have been operating reliably since 1981. The two new machines were purchased to ensure the plant will meet modern product requirements while using less power, yet maintain productivity levels, according to MBE-CMT (formerly KHD). Concurrently with the installation of the new machines, the plant’s 11 older WHIMS units also were updated by MBE-CMT, which noted that the DP 317 HFR’s upgraded design includes significant improvements in the electrical coils, rotors, yokes, matrix grooved plates and electrical components.

At the plant, iron-ore pulp with a top particle size of 1 mm is fed to Low-Intensity Magnetic Separators (LIMS) for magnetite removal. The remaining nonmagnetic fraction of hematite ore is delivered to the WHIMS rougher stage, where six DP 317 machines process 750 metric tons per hour (mt/h) of ore with 30%–36% Fe content. The concentrate yield is in the range of 50%–55% Fe content, produced at a rate of 400 mt/h, and is pumped to the cleaner stage WHIMS, which upgrade the concentrate to 60%–62% Fe. Tailings at <20% Fe content are returned to the rougher stage and reprocessed, finally yielding tailings with <10% Fe.

The existing rougher-stage WHIMS operate at an intensity of 8.5 Gauss, and the cleaner stage machines operate at 7.5 Gauss. According to the company, the new machines will provide energy savings of roughly 30% by running at a lower Gauss level, while providing higher efficiency, lower specific costs per ton, and better throughput.