There are roughly 40,000 WEMCO flotation machines installed around the world, according to FLSmidth, and the new WEMCO II, shown here, offers improvements in power consumption, air flow and pumping.

FLSmidth introduced two developments in their flotation portfolio — the WEMCO II and the REFLUX Flotation Cell (RFC) — at the MINEXCHANGE 2022 SME Annual Conference & Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah, in late February. 

The WEMCO II Flotation Cell builds upon the WEMCO, but with optimizations to the rotor and stator/hood that the company said greatly improves power consumption, air flow and pumping.

The 40,000 WEMCO flotation machines currently installed worldwide have delivered decades of efficient recovery for customers, said the company, but the new WEMCO II’s combination of efficient aeration and optimum solids suspension increases recovery and concentrate-grade performance, as well as reducing reagent consumption.

The WEMCO II design features full air control without blower and froth maintenance, which elevate kinetic performance and lower operational costs. The result is better hydrodynamics and circulation, improved kinetics and performance, optimized energy efficiency and lower operating costs, and the ability to control air without an external air supply, the company said.

Also getting an official launch at SME was the REFLUX Flotation Cell. The company displayed the smallest industrial-scale version of the RFC at the trade show, highlighting what it described as a ground-breaking technology that reduces plant footprint as well as water, air and energy requirements. 

The RFC, said the company, reduces CAPEX by 35% and with no direct power input to the RFC, this results in 60% less energy use in a flotation circuit. Results from pilot-scale studies indicate that RFC technology can help mines use up to 60% less energy in their flotation circuits. Improved kinetic efficiency also reduces the amount of water used in the recovery process.

The RFC is described by the company as a high-efficiency flotation cell and can be applied as a rougher, scavenger and cleaner across all minerals providing customers with an option that maximizes recovery and improves grade.