JKTech, the Queensland, Australia-based technology transfer company for the Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Center, recently announced new developments in process improvement and ore characterization tools and services, as well as the opening of a new geometallurgical testing facility.

In mid-July, it reported the launch of its new ore breakage characterization tool, the JK Rotary Breakage Tester (JKRBT).

The JKRBT is claimed to rapidly generate highly repeatable ore breakage data for use in the design

of AG/SAG mills and crushers for new projects or for existing plant optimization projects. This data also has value for geometallurgical applications such as contributing to resource valuation and mine planning. According to the company, extensive in-house validation trials at selected mining company laboratories around the world have shown that an ore breakage characterization test with the JKRBT delivers similar breakage results to an equivalent JK Drop Weight Test in significantly less time.

JKTech Acting CEO Dr. Dan Alexander said, “Ore breakage characterization is integral to many of JKTech’s products and services and we see the JKRBT greatly enhancing this capability and hence our overall value proposition to the minerals industry.”

Australian specialist mining and mineral processing equipment manufacturer, Russell Mineral Equipment (RME), designed the production model JKRBT. RME will also build and service the JKRBT product under an exclusive license to JKTech.

In the area of process improvement, JKTech released a new version of its steady-state simulator for flotation circuits— JKSimFloat V6.2PLUS—which now includes a size-by-assay mass balancing capability, in addition to all flotation circuit simulation capabilities available in the previous version, JKSimFloat V6.1PLUS. This new capability, according to the company, allows the user to mass balance both size, assay and sizeby- assay experimental data from circuit streams simultaneously to produce a consistent data set.

Development of JKSimFloat began in the early 1990s at JKMRC and incorporated many of the research outcomes from the flotation research at the time. In 2000, development continued under the AMIRA P868 project with contributions from University of Cape Town and project company sponsors and continued until June 2009. Today, over 100 JKSim- Float licenses distributed globally are being used to help companies, service providers and educational institutions simulate, understand and optimize flotation circuits.

The next release of JKSimFloat (Version 6.4PLUS) to the general industry is scheduled for August 2011. Additional capabilities available will include model fitting, liberation data importing and viewing plus the provision of standard data templates.

And, in early June, JKTech officially opened a new geometallurgical testing facility at Sumner Park in Brisbane, Queensland. The 5,000-m2 laboratory houses state of the art equipment and will be the main characterization testing facility for geometallurgical projects as part of the AMIRA P843A (Geometallurgical Mapping and Mine Modeling) case studies.

The new facility will also allow JKTech to carry out commercial testing and provide industry-based training for sponsors of the project. JKTech will continue to offer tests in the traditional fields of comminution and flotation, including the new Comminution Index, and expand to develop new indices in collaboration with researchers in areas such as blasting, leaching and environment.