Tag Archives: China

BEUMER Group and FAM ‘the right project partner for all challenges’, Hotz says

In June, BEUMER Group completed the acquisition of the FAM Group of Magdeburg, Germany, in the process, increasing its conveyor system and loading technology offering and becoming a significant player in the in-pit crushing and conveying (IPCC) space.

Close to six months after closing, IM put some questions to Stefan Hotz, Director Sales FAM Group, to find out how the integration of the two companies is going and how the transaction should strengthen the enlarged company’s market position in the minerals and mining sectors.

IM: Where – regionally – do you see the most opportunities in the mining sector for the integrated company to gain market share? South America has been a particularly strong market for FAM in the past; do you see this as a big opportunity for the integrated group?

SH: FAM – member of BEUMER Group – is one of the world’s leading full-range suppliers of bulk handling and processing systems. The customers come from more than 80 countries and the solutions are successfully in use everywhere. With BEUMER’s acquisition of the FAM Group, we were able to expand our portfolio to include bulk material handling, crushing technology as well as conveyor technology. Customers receive solutions from a single source with which they can work efficiently. In addition to engineering and project execution competences, FAM also brings the complete value chain, including after-sales service, to the BEUMER Group. This makes us a sought-after partner worldwide.

Of course, South America is a strong market, especially countries with iron ore and copper resources such as Brazil, Chile and Peru. For example, in Peru, the mining companies are transporting iron ore to the stockyards, which are often located at distances of several kilometres from the port. Callao Port, for example, is home to the most modern and largest ship loading terminal in the country. A reliable and safe connection for material transport is required, which at the same time ideally prevents the emission of particles into the atmosphere. Conveyors are the preferred solution here that can be individually adapted to the respective environmental and technical requirements and to the topography, as well as protect the environment from dust emissions.

IM: Are you expecting to increase your manufacturing capacity or acquire new premises to fulfil this demand, or do you have enough capacity to serve these growing markets in the near-to-medium term?

SH: The FAM Group has subsidiaries in Brazil, Chile, China, Canada and India. In addition, there are the numerous subsidiaries and agencies of the BEUMER Group. This means that we are very well positioned worldwide and can optimally serve these growing markets in the short to medium term. In our project business it’s a must to be, on the one hand, close to our customers but, on the other hand, using our global resource network and know-how to balance workloads. But, of course, we expand the network of our subsidiaries if we notice that we cannot serve certain regions with the desired reliability.

IM: Is the company already pursuing mining projects that involve the solutions/expertise of FAM and BEUMER Group? Can you elaborate on what type of projects these are and what solutions they involve (ie overland conveyors, bucketwheel excavators, spreaders, etc)?

SH: Yes, we are already in the process to support our mining clients from one hand, integrating FAM and BEUMER solutions. For example, we are working on one large project for gold extraction, where BEUMER is providing the long-distance overland conveyor and FAM supports the client with spreader technology to dump overburden. We have combined this with an attractive digitalisation and service package to ensure optimisation of the client’s total cost of ownership.

IM: With this transaction the company has effectively become a major player in the IPCC space. Do you see this as a major growth area for BEUMER Group going forward?

SH: In general, with this new setup, we expand our product portfolio and we are significantly strengthening our market position worldwide, especially in the field of large-scale mining equipment. But the most important thing is that we can provide our customers with even more comprehensive support over the whole value chain from pit to port, including digitalisation and service for our projects. Due to our many years of experience, we also support our clients in complex upgrade, lifetime extension and refurbishment jobs for existing machines. This means we avoid interfaces and customers now have only one contact.

IM: Do you see your ability to offer not only the solutions but also the engineering and design expertise underpinning these solutions as differentiating your offering from your competitors in the IPCC market? What other differentiators will serve you well in winning business in this market?

SH: I don’t want to say much about our market competitors, but I am sure that together with FAM we stand out positively from the market, specifically for continuous soft rock and overburden IPCC applications. Furthermore, we have long-term partners with whom we are serving the needs of our clients in terms of mine planning and pre-engineering. This ensures that we are defining  a solution for the client with a focus on CAPEX and OPEX optimisation. Specifically for IPCC applications, we are convinced of adding value during the first months of operation by providing integrated training and service packages to ensure successful implementation of continuous mining systems after commissioning. In doing so, the specialism is characterised in particular by distinctive engineering at a high level.

IM: What other areas of your business do you see growing with the need for mining companies to move away from their reliance on diesel-powered mobile mining equipment for material transport? Are you seeing more interest in your overland conveyor portfolio, for instance?

SH: Our belt conveyor systems are used successfully all over the world. They solve complex transport problems for any bulk material and are suitable in many cases as an economic alternative to truck transport. While the basic task – to transport bulk materials from the mine to the final discharge point – appears very comparable, no two systems are alike. The range of potential materials to be conveyed, alone, requires individual consideration of the components to be used in terms of wear resistance or the maximum permissible gradients of a conveyor. In addition, above all, the mass flow to be transported and the height to be overcome determine the dimensioning of the drive unit of an overland conveyor. Plants at high altitudes pose a further challenge. At altitudes above 4,000 m, as is often the case in the Andes for example, it must be taken into account that the air pressure and, thus, the density of the air decreases with increasing altitude. This reduces both the cooling effect and the insulating capacity of the air. We are the right project partner for all these challenges.

Epiroc to supply loaders, drills and bolters to Luannan’s Macheng iron ore mine

Epiroc says it has won a large order for underground mining equipment from Luannan Macheng Mining, with several dozen machines with automation features set to head to the new Macheng iron ore mine in Hebei Province, northern China.

Luannan Macheng Mining, part of Shougang Group, has ordered a fleet including Scooptram loaders, Simba production drilling rigs, Boomer face drilling rigs and Boltec rock reinforcement rigs. Some of the loaders are the electrically-powered Scooptram EST1030s (powered by cable), and all the machines have market-leading energy efficiency, Epiroc says.

Automation features for many of the machines include Epiroc’s Rig Control System, making them ready for automation and remote control, and ABC (Advanced Boom Control) Total, which enables drilling a sequence of holes (full round) automatically, the company explained.

Epiroc says it will also provide rock drills and other consumables as well as on-site services.

The equipment order was booked in the September quarter of 2022 and is valued at more than SEK300 million ($26 million).

“Epiroc and Shougang Group have a productive partnership going back many years,” Epiroc’s President and CEO, Helena Hedblom, said. “We look forward to supporting them with highly productive and sustainable solutions at their new Macheng mine.”

Fu Zhen Xue, Mine Manager at Luannan Macheng Mining of Shougang Group, said: “China, in recent years, started the quick move towards consolidation of steel companies and the high-quality development of the steel industry, focusing more on safety and the environment. The equipment will help Shougang Group lead China’s steel industry and the shift towards safety and productivity.”

Weir ESCO breaks ground on new foundry in China

Weir ESCO has broken ground on a new foundry in China that, it says, will build capacity and support increased demand for ESCO ground engaging tools (GET), while retaining 100% of its experienced team.

Employees, dignitaries and local partners celebrated at a ground-breaking ceremony in Xuzhou, China, where Vice Mayor Gong of Xuzhou City and other elected officials, local business partners and Weir Minerals Managing Director of China, Angela Wang, were present.

The company broke ground on its new foundry in China on July 27, as the latest milestone in the future expansion of its Xuzhou site.

The project was announced in 2021, with production from the facility scheduled to start in late 2024 ahead of reaching full production in 2025.

In Weir Group’s half year results to June 30, the company noted that Weir ESCO had received a record order intake of £349 million ($426 million) for the six-month period on the back of high levels of activity in mining and infrastructure markets, plus pricing and volume growth.

Komatsu launches Joy MATS6 shearer for Chinese longwall mining market

To help Chinese longwall mines realise higher production and less downtime, Komatsu has introduced the Joy MATS6 shearer.

The Joy MATS6 Tier II comes with the reliability attributes of Joy machines, with all components manufactured under rigorous Joy quality processes. Because the machines are assembled in China with many Chinese-made components, a MATS6 shearer can be built and delivered relatively quickly, according to Komatsu.

Advanced control systems protect the machine from mechanical and thermal overload, while advanced diagnostics enable faster troubleshooting.

In addition, by incorporating the tie-rod chassis connection, the MATS6 can be assembled faster, both in the workshop and underground, and its modular design allows more material to pass under the machine body. Comprised of three high-tensile fabrications with a slim main section, the MATS6 has no under-frame. This design allows quicker adaptation to different mining scenarios, more efficient rebuilds and easier maintenance, Komatsu says.

Coming with longer lasting components, the MATS6 is able to mine larger panels reliably between rebuilds or even mining multiple panels without a rebuild. Additionally, the machine’s longer machine chassis life can provide a higher return on initial investment.

The machine weighs 115 t, has a cutting height of 2.5-6 m, a maximum total power of 2,495 kW, cutting power of 2 x 900 kW and 1,200 kN of haulage pull.

Any discussion of increasing longwall productivity and moving toward zero harm must include automation. Joy’s latest shearer pitch steering technology offers access to fully automated cutting sequences, including gate end turnarounds and optimal drum positioning for highly efficient cycle times and consistency. This is available as an option for the MATS6.

Advanced automation tools, including Radio Motion Monitoring, Landmark, and REST Api, meanwhile, enable remote operation to help keep workers out of harm’s way.

SIEMAG TECBERG kicks off hoist construction at Benxi Longxin’s Sishanling iron ore mine

After more than five years of engagement with Benxi Longxin Mining Co in China, SIEMAG TECBERG GmbH’s Tianjin-based subsidiary has started installing the hoisting and conveying equipment at the Sishanling iron ore mine in the Province of Liaoning.

In early 2017, Tianjin SIEMAG TECBERG Machinery Co Ltd, a subsidiary of SIEMAG TECBERG GmbH, and Benxi Longxin Mining Co Ltd, which forms part of the Jianlong Group China, signed a supply agreement for three sets of hoisting and conveying systems to be divided between two shafts at Sishanling.

The Sishanling iron ore mine is one of the largest iron ore developments in China, boasting 2,500 Mt of proven iron ore reserves with an average content of about 31% Fe. It is one of the largest proven and registered iron ore deposit in China, having a long-term capacity of 30 Mt/y, with 15 Mt/y planned to be extracted in the next five years. Because of the concentrated orebody and its even distribution, these reserves are suitable for large-scale extraction, according to SIEMAG TECBERG.

The customer and the design institute initially planned a total of three production shafts to be able to extract a total of 15 Mt/y at the first stage, but after intense consultation with SIEMAG TECBERG the concept was optimised to two shafts, each yielding 7.5 Mt/y. A service shaft equipped with a total of two service winders for the transport of personnel and machinery will also be sunk.

The overall concept, thus, initially provides for a total of three hoisting systems: a double-skip production system in the production shaft in the form of a 6.75 m, six-rope machine and a cage counterweight system for personnel and machine transport in the form of a 6 m, six-rope machine and a smaller cage counterweight system for emergencies in the form of a 4 m, four-rope machine in the service shaft.

Early in 2017 orders for these systems were awarded in a public bidding procedure in which Tianjin SIEMAG TECBERG won out against international and local competitors for the supply of all three hoisting systems, not least because of the company’s capacity for system integration of very large, deep and complex shaft hoisting systems, the company said.
The current agreement requires SIEMAG TECBERG to undertake the engineering, production, delivery and supervision of the installation and initial start-up of the following equipment:

Shaft hoisting systems for raw material extraction (production shaft)

  • System 1. Double-skip hoisting system. Tower-based six-rope Koepe hoisting machine, diameter 6.75 m, for skip hoisting (55 t payload per hoisting skip) at a depth of 1,500 m with an overall drive output of 16 MW (2 x 8 MW), which is designed for a hoisting performance of 7.5 Mt/y. Split plain bearings with bearing lubrication, one set of six-rope rope sheaves for rope deflection, an ST3-F (closed loop technology) hydraulic braking system with 12 pairs of BE 250 brake elements, four sets SM150 DC indirect converters (IGCT), automation equipment including machine control system, energy distribution system and a shaft signalling and loading and unloading control system complete this hoisting system package.

Shaft hoisting systems for personnel and equipment (service shaft)

  • System 2. Large-cage hoisting system. Ground-based, six-rope Koepe hoisting machine, diameter 6 m, for large-cage hoisting with a drive output of 3 MW (2 x 8 MW). Rolling bearings, two sets of six-rope rope sheaves for rope deflection, an ST3-F (closed loop technology) hydraulic braking system with 14 pairs of BE125 brake elements, two sets of SM150 indirect converters (IGBT), automation equipment including machine control system, energy distribution system and a shaft signalling and loading and unloading control system complete this hoisting system package.
  • • System 3. Cage hoisting system. Ground-based, four-rope Koepe hoisting machine, diameter 4.5 m, for cage hoisting with a drive output of 1 MW. Two sets of four-rope rope sheaves for rope deflection, an ST3-F (closed-loop technology) hydraulic braking system with six pairs of BE125 brake elements, one set of SM150 indirect converters (IGBT) and automation equipment including machine control system complete this hoisting system package.

The special feature of the three hoisting systems is the central control system, SIEMAG Tecberg says. The control room is in the hall of the hoisting machine of the service shaft. In normal operation the hoisting systems in the production and service shaft are all in automatic lifting operation. Furthermore, the two systems in the service shaft are fitted with wireless communication devices that enable the hoisting equipment to be controlled directly from the cage. This enables personnel to reach different levels direct.

Reference photo: SIEMAG TECBERG 6-rope Koepe hoisting machine installed on tower. Copyright 2022 Tianjin SIEMAG TECBERG

SIEMAG TECBERG started on the installation of the equipment on site in Benxi earlier this year.

Benxi Longxin has, meanwhile, begun with preparations for production shaft no. 2 to achieve the expansion level of 2 x 7.5 Mt/y in the medium term. SIEMAG TECBERG says it is supporting the customer intensively with planning and because of the initial order has a very good chance of being successful with this bid too.

Epiroc drills, bolters to help Dazhong Mining expand Chinese iron ore mines

Epiroc says it has won a large order for mining equipment and service from Dazhong Mining Co Ltd in China as part of a plan to expand two of its underground iron ore mines in the most “safe and productive manner possible”.

Dazhong Mining has ordered a variety of rigs for face drilling, production and rock reinforcement for use at the Zhouyoufang and Zhongxinji mines in the Anhui Province. The order is valued at about SEK200 million ($23 million) and was booked in the September quarter of 2021. In addition to the equipment, the order includes on-site service and training including sophisticated simulators, which provide a safe and realistic environment to enhance the skills of machine operators, Epiroc says.

The machines ordered include Boomer face drilling rigs (including the Boomer S2 Face Drill), Simba production drilling rigs, and Boltec and Cabletec rock reinforcement rigs.

Dazhong Mining is rated as a national Green Mine Enterprise, meaning it is recognised for its sustainable way of mining, according to the OEM. The company also purchased a large number of machines from Epiroc in 2020.

“Epiroc is happy to team up again with Dazhong Mining so it can expand its operations further while strengthening safety, sustainability and productivity,” Helena Hedblom, Epiroc’s President and CEO, says.

The Head of Dazhong Mining said: “Our operations have truly become more safe, environmentally friendly and efficient through Epiroc’s equipment and service. We are happy that this model will continue to be applied to the expansion of two mines. We have a good long-term partnership with Epiroc as this supports us with a high-level technical resource which promotes the sustainable development of the mining industry.”

The machines for Dazhong will be equipped with Epiroc’s telematics system, which allows for intelligent monitoring of machine performance and productivity in real time, and most of the units will have Epiroc’s Rig Control System, RCS, installed, which makes them ready for automation and remote control. The equipment will be delivered in 2021 and 2022.

Metso Outotec to deliver stirred mill technology to greenfield iron ore plant in China

Metso Outotec says it will deliver several energy-efficient stirred mills to a greenfield iron ore processing plant in Liaoning Province, north-eastern China, marking one of its “Planet Positive” mineral processing orders.

The stirred mill installation, which corresponds to 11 MW of power, will be the largest of its kind in China, according to the OEM.

While the value of the delivery has not been disclosed, the order has been booked in the company’s Minerals segment September quartr orders received.

Christoph Hoetzel, Head of Grinding business line at Metso Outotec, said the company previously agreed on the delivery of a PG4265™ primary gyratory crusher and three HP900™ cone crushers for the same project, however the customer soon realised the benefits that could come with using its stirred mill technology.

“Our stirred milling technology, with its excellent performance and ability to increase both iron ore concentrate and recovery, has proven itself multiple times in the Chinese market,” he said. “The new installation will also benefit from class-leading energy efficiency and wear life.”

Metso Outotec claims to be the only manufacturer worldwide offering several stirred mill technologies (Vertimill®, HIG™ mill, and SMD).

The Metso Outotec Planet Positive portfolio focuses on the most environmentally efficient technologies – of which there are more than 100 – in the company’s current portfolio, responding to the sustainability requirements of its customers in the aggregates, mining and metals refining industries. The customer requirements relate to energy or water efficiency, reduction of emissions, circularity and safety, the company says.

Interact Analysis forecasts slow haul truck electrification uptake in open-pit mining

The electric revolution looks to be well and truly underway in the mining space, with underground mines of all sizes planning, trialling, or ordering various battery-electric machines to help them decarbonise their operations. Yet, the latest report on the off-highway vehicle market from Interact Analysis has indicated the transition above ground will take a little longer than many anticipated.

Homing in specifically on the 85-t-plus global hauler/dump truck market – broadly applicable to the medium-large construction space and the small-large open-pit mining sector – the market research firm laid out estimates for the annual number of new truck deliveries to 2029.

The surprising aspect of this research was the continued dominance of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle deliveries over this time frame.

The team at Interact Analysis expected the adoption rate/market share to go from 100% in 2020 – when 1,330 new vehicles were delivered – to 96.2% in 2029 – when it expected 1,716 units to be delivered.

The growth is slightly extreme in this comparison, but is partially accounted for by a drop off in deliveries in 2020 due to the effects of COVID-19. For reference, in 2019, 2,065 units were delivered.

Included within the ICE stats are biofuel vehicles, which have been gaining prominence in the mining space as miners realise they can both reduce diesel costs and emissions by incorporating biofuels into their operating mix.

Over the same time frame – 2020-2029 – the analysts see “hybrid” trucks commanding zero percent market share, with no sales.

Fully-electric trucks fare better, moving from zero deliveries in 2020 to two in 2021, five in 2022, six in 2023; to 72 in 2028 and 67 in 2029. The fully-electric adoption rate moves from 0% in 2020 to 3.8% in 2029.

Among these new fully-electric dump trucks is an XCMG EDF531 90 t battery-electric truck that was on show at the Bauma China show late last year (pictured below).

Jan Zhang, Senior Research Director at Interact Analysis, based in China, said this dump truck has already been delivered to a customer.

“In fact, quite a few dump fully-electric trucks below 100 t have already been used in China (in Guangdong),” she told IM. “Many of these have payloads of below 60 t, but a few are 90 t, and are in trial runs, and a few have also been exported to New Zealand, using the LiFePO4 battery from CATL.”

There has been much talk about hydrogen haul trucks taking hold in the mining space. This has been catalysed by Anglo American’s plans to test a 291 t fuel cell electric vehicle, a conversion to hydrogen fuel cell and lithium battery operation of a diesel-powered Komatsu 930E, at the Mogalakwena platinum mine in South Africa. If successful, these tests could lead to a rollout of 40 FCEVs across the global miner’s operations, it says.

Despite this, Interact Analysis’ research has no plus-85 t payload hydrogen trucks included in its forecasts to 2029.

Alastair Hayfield, Senior Research Director at Interact Analysis, based in the UK, explains: “Our statistics only look at new builds and not retrofits. My understanding is that the Anglo American vehicles would be retrofit (although there is limited detail at this point).

“Should some be new build, then we would update our forecast accordingly once we have better visibility.”

It’s worth asking the question: what about hydrogen trucks in mining beyond 2029?

Zhang said: “At present, mining trucks are mainly used in medium and large-scale coal and metal mines, and the use scenario is mainly for downhill heavy payload applications. That is to say where mineral resources are situated in a high up location, and it is necessary to load them from the mountain to the conveyor belt or transfer vehicle (the short distance transportation path is generally 2-3 km).”

She said mining truck electrification is mainly driven by two factors, with the first being operational cost advantages.

Jan Zhang, Senior Research Director at Interact Analysis, based in China

“For example, a mine truck with a total weight of 90 t will cost $45,000-75,000 in standard fuel annually, whilst the cost of electricity is only a third of the cost of fuel under the same circumstances, which means that $30,000-45,000 can be saved in the annual cost, not to mention other costs which are also higher for ICE mine trucks such as repair and maintenance,” she said.

The second factor is environmental protection and policy promotion.

“In China, the ‘National Green Mine Construction Specification’, issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources, has been implemented since October 2018,” Zhang explained. “This measure will surely help to grow the market share of hydrogen trucks in China, although the overall percentage will remain small.”

The last category included in Interact Analysis’ research was “Others” in the global hauler/dump truck market for 85-t-plus vehicles.

No deliveries for this category were registered in 2020, but the company anticipates one delivery in 2021, followed by three in 2022 and five in 2023. This gets as high as eight deliveries in 2025, but, by the end of the forecast period (2029), this category still commands 0.0% of the total.

So, what trucks fit into this category?

Hayfield explained: “We’re talking about diesel-electrics that will enter service into a trolley line operation – we essentially have to make an estimate on how we think the vehicle will predominantly be used. This is analogous to what we do in our on-highway research where we have to make estimates on how class 8 trucks are used for different applications ie long haul, distribution, vocational applications.”

This is not to say there will be no trolley assist trucks coming into the mining space, but, as far as Interact Analysis is concerned, these will not be new trucks coming out of the factory destined to head onto trolley lines. They will more likely be AC drive trucks that are retrofitted later for trolley assist operation.

When consolidated, these numbers show an underlying trend.

Back in 2019, there were 2,065 truck units delivered to the market in this 85-t-plus category, but, even out to 2029, this level is not reached, according to Interact Analysis.

Alastair Hayfield, Senior Research Director at Interact Analysis, based in the UK

In 2020, total deliveries dropped to 1,330 and, in 2021, Interact Analysis sees this rising to 1,545 units. A continual rise is expected in the years following, but it only reaches 1,783 in 2029.

What about beyond this timeframe?

Hayfield answered: “You have two fundamental pressures: a growing, resource-intensive population and a need to re-use/cut consumption because of environmental and/or legislative pressure. I suspect we will continue to see the growth of new mines throughout the 2030s in developing regions, fuelling demand for new trucks. However, I suspect we will see increasing pressure in Europe and North America on sustainability and the need to re-use materials and, hence, a slowing in the opening of new mines.”

This means demand for new trucks could start to drop during the 2030s in Europe and North America, he deduced.

This is not an exhaustive look at trends in the open-pit mining dump truck market – it is more of a taster – but Interact Analysis plans a detailed, mining specific study later in 2021. Such analysis could include forecasts for the retrofit market, providing the complete picture mining industry onlookers are after.

Clean TeQ Water to test BIONEX water treatment solution in Inner Mongolia

Clean TeQ Water says it has been awarded a contract to design, procure, deliver and install a BIONEX water treatment plant at a coal mine in Inner Mongolia, China.

Clean TeQ Managing Director, Sam Riggall, said: “We have persisted for a long time to make inroads into the very large Chinese water treatment market. As we move towards the proposed demerger of our water business later this year, it is pleasing to see that we have achieved some initial success in that important market as we continue to make good progress on our goal of growing revenues.”

The BIONEX solution is a combination of the company’s Continuous Ionic Filtration and BIOCLENS (bacteria encapsulated in a protective PVA lens) technologies, which, the company says, has been demonstrated to be highly effective for removal of nitrate from wastewater.

“This market is growing rapidly due to increasingly strict regulation and increasing safety concerns over the disposal of waste waters with even very low levels of nitrate,” CleanTeq said. “Nitrate removal from water effluent is a significant challenge throughout China.”

The plant has been designed to treat and remove nitrate from 12,000 cu.m /d of coal mine in-pit ground water to below 1 parts per million in order to comply with local regulations governing the disposal of mine water.

The contract, which is valued at approximately A$2 million ($1.55 million), has been awarded to the company’s wholly owned Beijing-based subsidiary by Beijing Beihua Zhongqing Environment Engineering Technology Co Ltd. (BHZQ). BHZQ is a subsidiary of Beijing Enterprise Water Group (BEWG).

BEWG is a diversified water company focused on operating water assets throughout China. It is also one of the largest water treatment companies in Asia, CleanTeQ said, adding that BHZQ had expressed an interest in ongoing cooperation once this first BIONEX plant is successfully commissioned.

Once completed, this application will be the company’s first ever large-scale application of BIONEX in China.

BQE Water achieves several firsts with Zhongkuang SART plant operation

BQE Water says it has advanced the SART plant it designed for a gold metallurgical facility owned by Shandong Zhongkuang Group Co Ltd, in China, to full production.

Located in the Shandong Province in eastern China, the plant is now being operated under the ongoing technical supervision of BQE Water.

Implementing SART (sulphidisation, acidification, recycling and thickening) at the site improves both the environmental performance and project economics of the metallurgical facility, BQE said. Specifically, the SART plant eliminates the need for cyanide destruction, recovers copper and zinc as separate sulphide concentrates, and recycles free cyanide recovered by the plant to gold leaching.

BQE was awarded the SART plant contract back in 2019 following the positive outcome of an engineering feasibility study and on-site testing completed by BQE Water earlier in the year.

The Zhongkuang SART plant also represents many firsts, according to BQE:

  • It is the first application of SART globally where the cyanide competing base metals, copper and zinc, are recovered simultaneously from the leach solution as two separate high-grade concentrates that can be sold to generate incremental revenues;
  • It is the first commercial scale application of SART in China;
  • It is the first SART plant where lime is used to control gas emissions to reduce operating costs and control the build-up of salts in the process water; and
  • It is the first SART plant to be integrated into a complex metallurgical flowsheet that combines mineral flotation with cyanidation and SART in a Zero Liquid Discharge metallurgical facility with complete water recycle.

Songlin Ye, Vice President for Asia at BQE Water, said: “We are very proud of our China-based operations team for this significant achievement and that they were able to do so considering the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Zhongkuang SART plant is our flagship project for the China gold sector and other gold producers in the country are taking notice.”

David Kratochvil, President & CEO of BQE Water, added: “The many firsts associated with the Zhongkuang SART plant demonstrates our leadership in SART technology. And through the unique combination of engineering know-how and operations expertise, the project also shows our ability to reduce risks and achieve predictable outcomes for our clients.”