Multotec says continuous improvement of its spiral technology enables customers to cost-effectively retreat tailings to recover valuable ultra-fine material.

Multotec, a South Africa-based designer and manufacturer of mineral processing equipment, recently released its UX7 spiral designed to recover material in the particle size range of 75 microns and smaller. Refentse Molehe, process engineer at Multotec, noted that improvements offered by the UX7 are based on extensive in-house test work that led to approximately 13% higher recovery.

“Much of the testing was conducted on chrome, manganese and iron ore, but the UX7 spiral can be as easily applied to copper, platinum and other metals,” Molehe said. “This is an exciting development for the sector, as we have seen growing interest from our customers in gaining financial value from material which has traditionally ended up in tailings storage facilities.”

She said previous efforts to improve the recovery of ultra-fines have used a range of technologies, but spirals have always been regarded as a highly reliable and energy efficient solution. According to the company, continuous improvement of its spiral technology enables customers to cost effectively retreat their tailings dams to recover valuable ultra-fine material.

“In addition to its ability to recover ultra-fines, the Multotec UX7 spiral benefits from the various advantages shared by spiral concentrators,” Molehe said. “These include the lower environmental risk and cost due to the absence of chemicals, and low maintenance from having no moving parts.”

Molehe said each application of the UX7 spiral will be preceded by an in-depth understanding of the customer’s operating conditions and fine-tuned by extensive testing of material to ensure the optimal result.

“Once we can confirm that the UX7 spiral is the appropriate solution for the customer’s operation, then we build in the throughput and capacity requirements and accordingly design the flowsheet to accommodate the specifications to be achieved,” she explained.