Outotec introduced a Modular Paste Backfill Plant (MPB 80) designed to be a cost-effective solution for underground non-ferrous mining applications with low-range backfill throughput requirements.
A high-quality backfill system, the company noted, is vital to ensure mine integrity and the safety of personnel, as well as to minimize the volume of tailings that need to be directed to tailings dams on the surface. With a dedicated paste backfill plant, mines can produce high-quality paste at a lower cost than is possible with modified concrete plants and larger, previous-generation paste backfill plants.
Outotec said the MPB 80 plant is an ideal alternative to installing a concrete batching-style plant that has been reconfigured for producing paste backfill.
The MPB 80 plant features a combined paste mixer and hopper in place of separate units, enabling significant reductions in both plant size and maintenance requirements. In addition to reducing the plant footprint, the unique process design significantly reduces the need for cleaning, meaning the plant can run for multiple shifts without having to shut down, according to Outotec.
The MPB 80 is suited for mines with an ore production capacity of 700,000 million metric tons per year (mt/y) to 1 million mt/y. It is preassembled off-site and delivered in large, pre-engineered modules, resulting in a significantly shorter interval between order placement and installation and startup, Outotec noted. Modules include:
• Tailings dewatering: Dewatering of the tailings to form a filter cake using vacuum disc filtration.
• Tailings conveying: Conveying module for transfer of dewatered tailings to the mixing module.
• Binder storage and metering: Bulk storage and continuous, accurately metered delivery of binder material to the paste mixing module.
• Tailings and binder mixing: Primary mixing module where the filter cake, binder, and additional slurry are combined to generate high-quality paste with controlled solids content and rheology.
• Backfill distribution: Pumping module for distribution of paste to the underground discharge locations. (Only used when gravity distribution pressure is not sufficient.)
• Utilities: Ancillary module containing general plant electrification, water and air services.
Titanium Anodes for Tankhouse
The company also reported in October it won a contract to deliver its branded Coated Titanium Anodes to a new tankhouse at a copper electrowinning plant owned by Glencore Nikkelverk AS Norway. The contract will include more than 5,000 new mixed-metal oxide-coated titanium anodes and its value, booked into Outotec’s third-quarter order intake, is approximately €10 million ($11.07 million).
The Nikkleverk refinery in Kristiansand, Norway, produces approximately 40,000 metric tons of copper per year. Outotec noted that the Coated Titanium Anodes were tested on-site for 5 years, and the results verified that the anodes will operate at a significant reduction in energy consumption and provide higher current efficiency than traditional lead anodes.
Outotec explained that the Coated Titanium Anodes provide lead-free electrowinning operations and increased occupational health and safety by eliminating lead and lead-sludge handling. The end result for Glencore Nikkelverk AS is green technology electrowinning operations with higher quality copper product at lower energy consumption and operating costs.
“This is one more reference delivery of Outotec Coated Titanium Anodes in the copper electrowinning industry,” said Kalle Härkki, head of Outotec’s Metals, Energy & Water business area. “The energy-efficiency benefits and lower operating costs of our anodes enable Glencore Nikkelverk to improve their profitability in a sustainable way.”