Tag Archives: Comminution

Weir and Swiss Tower Mills align on energy efficient comminution pathway

The Weir Group has announced a new alliance with Swiss Tower Mills Minerals (STM) in which Weir will market STM’s vertical stirred grinding mills for coarse grinding applications worldwide.

Integrating vertical stirred grinding mills into Weir’s minerals processing flowsheet will provide customers substantial improvements in throughput and energy efficiency, helping them to meet their productivity and sustainability goals, Weir says.

STM’s vertical stirred grinding technology is proven for energy efficient comminution in the mining market with more than 80 units currently operating in the hard-rock mineral processing industry across the globe, according to the company. It is used within the comminution segment of the minerals processing circuit as part of a series of crushing and grinding processes that create the fine particles from which minerals can be extracted through flotation.

Comminution, as has been well documented, is one of the most energy intensive parts of the mine, accounting for 25% of the final energy consumption of an average mine site.

Weir says it is already a leader in comminution technologies, offering solutions such as Enduron® high pressure grinding rolls (HPGRs) to drive down energy consumption by around 40% for customers.

This new alliance with STM takes things to the next level, offering the mining and minerals industry a proven low energy alternative to traditional high energy consuming tumbling mills, it said. Combining and integrating these energy-efficient technologies into a single, optimised flowsheet will deliver significant reductions in energy use, driving down costs and carbon emissions.

In order to prove the most beneficial flowsheet for specific projects, STM has already supplied two vertical test mills to the Weir Minerals HPGR test facility in Venlo (Netherlands). This will put Weir and STM in the unique position to provide clients combined energy efficient grinding test work of HPGR followed by STM’s vertical stirred mill, they said.

Ricardo Garib, Weir Minerals Divisional President, said: “Weir and STM share the same vision of enabling primary resource providers to produce resources in the most sustainable manner. This is a perfect match of best-in-class technology providers. Integrating STM mills with Weir’s comminution products, which includes Enduron HPGRs and Enduron screens, will improve throughput and help bring substantial reductions in carbon emissions.

“This is a real win-win.”

Fritz Moser, STM Chairman, said “Both the HPGR and the STM vertical stirred mills provide significant energy savings compared to conventional grinding technologies. Our new supply agreement with Weir will enable us to fast track the roll out of an innovative flowsheet using STM mills in conjunction with Weir’s Enduron HPGR.”

FLSmidth to highlight full flowsheet expertise with ShalkiyaZinc project delivery

FLSmidth has signed a contract, valued at around DKK950 million ($130 million), to supply a range of mineral processing equipment to ShalkiyaZinc, the operator of a zinc-lead mine in the Kyzylorda Region of Kazakhstan.

The equipment will transform the plant into a world-class facility that efficiently separates minerals with a minimised environmental impact, the OEM says.

Under the agreement, FLSmidth will supply two underground crushing stations with a materials handling system to the process plant; a full package of comminution and separation equipment, including SAG and ball mills, mill circuit pumps and cyclones; the zinc-lead concentrate flotation and regrinding circuit, including nextSTEP, VXP vertical mills, concentrate thickeners and Pneumapress filters; and reagents preparation and dosing area. Full plant automation is also included, as well as installation and commissioning supervision services.

The new concentrator will be supported from FLSmidth’s new in-country service Supercentre in Karaganda, Kazakhstan.

The equipment delivery is to be completed during 2024, with commissioning to start before the end of that year.

Mikko Keto, Group CEO at FLSmidth, said: “We are excited to receive this first order from ShalkiyaZinc, which highlights our full flowsheet expertise. The wide range of equipment included in the order will help ShalkiyaZinc save on both capital expenditure and operating expenditure; our new nextSTEP flotation technology will improve the quality of the concentrates, the SAG mill will provide more flexibility, while the automation and digital solutions will further enable water and energy savings alongside safer operations.

“We look forward to making this a success on so many levels.”

Assel Rakhimova, Chief Project Director of Tau-Ken Samruk, which owns ShalkiyaZinc, said: “After testing and basic design work executed by FLSmidth, we are pleased to enter this new phase of collaboration with the procurement of critical technologies to improve the productivity and sustainability of our plant. We believe in successful execution and look forward to receiving the ordered equipment according to the schedule for installation and to continue working with FLSmidth on commissioning services and spare parts.”

Metso Outotec to deliver world’s largest Premier grinding mills to Kansanshi copper mine

First Quantum Minerals (FQM) has awarded an order to Metso Outotec for two very large horizontal grinding mills for the company’s copper mine expansion at Kansanshi in Zambia.

Metso Outotec’s delivery includes two Planet Positive Premier™ grinding mills with a total installed power of 50 MW – the largest Premier grinding mills Metso Outotec has delivered to date.

To meet the need for efficient and fast replacement of the lining systems, as well as ensuring a long wear life, the ball mill will be equipped with the Metso Outotec Megaliner™ and the SAG mill will be equipped with Metso Outotec metallic mill lining and a high-performance discharge system, it explained.

FQM’s Kansanshi mine, located near Solwezi in the North-western Province of Zambia, is among the largest copper mines in the world and the largest in Africa.

First Quantum Minerals is currently working on its further expansion (the Kansanshi S3 Expansion), which includes a standalone 25 Mt/y processing plant that will increase copper production substantially.

Once the expansion is completed, copper production from Kansanshi is expected to average approximately 250,000 t/y for the remaining life of mine to 2044.

The Premier horizontal grinding mills are customisable solutions built on state-of-the-art grinding mill technology, process expertise, and design capability, Metso Outotec says. The Premier horizontal grinding mills are engineered to “excel and create vast possibilities” for customers and applications.

Earlier this week, Metso Outotec was awarded what it says was a major contract for the delivery of sustainable crushing, screening and grinding technologies to a greenfield iron ore project in South America.

Metso Outotec greenfield iron ore contract to include most sustainable tech available

Metso Outotec says it has been awarded a major contract for the delivery of sustainable crushing, screening and grinding technologies to a greenfield iron ore project in South America.

The concentrator plant has a targeted production of premium pellet feed, with the total value of the order approximately €45 million ($47 million).

The comminution circuit flowsheet developed for the new concentrator plant in cooperation with Metso Outotec represents the most sustainable technology currently available, according to the OEM. Conventional horizontal mills have been replaced with the combination of HRC™e high pressure grinding rolls (pictured above) and Vertimill® grinding mills to achieve the best energy-efficiency with the lowest operating and life cycle costs, it says.

By using this flowsheet, the plant is expected to save 25% of installed power compared with a conventional high pressure grinding roll (HPGR)/ball mill circuit and over 40% compared with a conventional SABC (SAG mill followed by pebble crusher and ball mill) circuit, the company claims.

Metso Outotec’s scope of delivery consists of the engineering, manufacturing, and supply of SuperiorTM MKIII Primary Crusher, HP SeriesTM cone crushers, HRC e HPGR high pressure grinding rolls, vibrating feeders, as well as banana, horizontal and dewatering screens and Vertimill grinding mills. In addition, Metso Outotec will provide installation and commissioning advisory services and wear and spare parts.

Christoph Hoetzel, Head of Grinding business line at Metso Outotec, said: “Metso Outotec is honoured to be chosen to deliver these state-of-the-art comminution technologies. The plant’s Planet Positive comminution flowsheet combines the best solutions available, allowing to achieve superior energy-efficiency and lower wear rates.”

Fernando Samanez, Vice President, Minerals Sales, South America market area at Metso Outotec, added: “This is a remarkable project and Metso Outotec will play a significant role also in the project start-up with its strong local operations and highly skilled service team.”

CEEC prepares for next chapter in growth with personnel changes

The Coalition for Eco Efficient Comminution (CEEC) has announced several major changes in its governance and operation, with CEO, Alison Keogh (right), stepping down, Janine Herzig (left) joining CEEC as Executive President and Board Director and Marc Allen taking over from Michael Battersby as Chair.

After six years of working as CEO to promote CEEC, Keogh has decided to step down from the position, and to welcome in new leadership for CEEC’s next chapter, CEEC said, adding that it will make an announcement shortly about the appointment of additional operational staff and Directors.

Keogh says she is proud to have been an early mover to help industry share critical knowledge on installing renewables and progressing net zero emissions approaches. She grew the group’s global reach, led international workshops across three continents and developed free webinars and podcasts to reach more people, CEEC said. She also initiated CEEC’s first workshop on Water Curves in North America and helped raise awareness of how important comminution and processing are to reduce energy, emissions and water footprint across mining worldwide.

More recently, she steered CEEC through the global pandemic and oversaw the organisation’s 10-year anniversary milestone in 2021.

“I am honoured to have led CEEC, which helps industry share practical solutions and innovative advances that are so important for the sustainable minerals needed for our world’s future,” she said. “Collaboration is vital to accelerate the world’s transition to net zero emissions. CEEC brings leaders and innovators together to share knowledge of cutting-edge processing to reduce mining’s footprint.

“I look forward to CEEC’s next chapter led by Marc Allen and Janine Herzig and encourage visionary leaders to contribute to this inspirational and global group.”

CEEC’s Board of Directors has undertaken a strategic review to consider the ever increasing environmental, social and governance (ESG) requirements of the resources sector. The outcome of this analysis is that CEEC has created the role of Executive President and has brought in Janine Herzig in this position.

Herzig is a Director of MetVal Consulting Pty Ltd, Convenor of the MetPlant Conference Series, former Non-Executive Director of Base Resources Ltd and former Director and Immediate Past President of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM). She has over 30 years’ experience in the resources sector, across multiple commodities; starting her professional career as a graduate metallurgist in Mount Isa and later working in various operational and project roles across on numerous sites, including 10 years with Iluka Resources.

As General Manager – Minerals and Industrial, with Amdel, she then led a major expansion and transformation of the company, which then became Bureau Veritas.

A Fellow and Chartered Professional (Metallurgy) of the AusIMM, Herzig is currently the Chair of the AusIMM ESG Board Advisory Group, Chair of the AusIMM International Advisory Forum, and Chair of the AusIMM Awards Committee Highest Honour Panel. She is also Co-Chair of the Global Mineral Professionals Alliance (GMPA) and its Global Action on Tailings (GAT) initiative.

Herzig is also a member of the Steering Committee for the NExUS program, the Advisory Board for the ARC Training Centre for Integrated Operations for Complex Resources, presenter for the AusIMM Professional Certificate in ESG and Social Responsibility and is on the Advisory Board of the Australian Society for Off-Earth Construction (ASOC) which operates out of the Andy Thomas Centre for Space Resources.

“I am delighted to assume this comprehensive leadership role with CEEC, having been a CEEC Advocate for the past two years,” she said. “It allows me to combine my passions for mineral processing, ESG initiatives, technical excellence and giving back to an industry that I love.”

CEEC’s Board has appointed Marc Allen as Chair of CEEC, taking over from Michael Battersby.

Allen is an energy and emissions expert who joined the CEEC Board as a Director in 2019. He is the Technical Director at engeco, a Singapore-based consultancy providing advisory services primarily in energy and greenhouse gas management and strategy, as well as broader sustainability, across Australasia.

He has over 20 years’ experience in a variety of operational and consulting roles with INPEX, Energetics, Simulus and BOC. His experience has focused on sustainability, process engineering, carbon management and energy efficiency to enable the transition to a low-carbon economy through development and implementation of robust strategies for greenhouse gas and energy management. He has published several papers on renewable energy, energy efficiency and carbon pricing, and holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) degree from the Curtin University of Technology. He is also a mentor for the Curtin Next Step mentoring program.

Outgoing Chair, Michael Battersby, welcomed Allen to the position: “I have been honoured to hold the position of Chair of CEEC for the last four years. However, renewal is always beneficial. I will join Joe Pease in becoming a past Chair and will continue as a Director.

“Having worked with Marc Allen during my time as Chair, I know he will lead CEEC to new heights in the coming years.”

Allen commented: “I have been involved with CEEC since 2018 and am very much looking forward to fulfilling the role of Chair and working to continue our mission to maximize energy efficiency across the minerals processing industry. I’m appreciative of the leadership shown by both Joe Pease and Michael Battersby during my time at CEEC so far and hope to continue to work with them closely while they remain on the board.”

CEEC will be announcing additional changes to prepare for the next evolution of the organisation and its growth and expansion. These include an increased focus on net zero, decarbonisation and ESG, finalisation of the Water Curves project, the release of new ‘Spotlight Leader Conversations’ video interviews and more episodes of the new ‘CEECing Change’ podcast.

The winners of the 2021 CEEC Medals were announced on June 21 and will be officially awarded by President, Janine Herzig, at the upcoming IMPC-APAC Conference in Melbourne in August.

CEEC heralds latest eco-efficient comminution medal winners

The Coalition for Eco Efficient Comminution (CEEC) has announced the recipients of its 2021 CEEC Medal, which recognises outstanding published research and field work that contributes to making mineral processing more eco-efficient.

For the past decade the global not-for-profit organisation has been championing greater sustainability in mining, with a strong focus on communicating knowledge, technology and approaches that reduce energy usage in the high-intensity breaking, crushing and grinding processes.

CEEC Chair, Mike Battersby, said the 2021 CEEC Medal award received 14 high-quality submissions from researchers, operators and suppliers around the world, with entries judged by a Medal Evaluation Panel of four CEEC Directors.

“CEEC congratulates each of the award recipients for their outstanding work,” he said. “Their contributions have the potential to reduce environmental impact and unlock hidden value for shareholders, not just in their own operations, but industry-wide.”

The award recipients are:

  • 2021 CEEC Medal – Technical Research
    Marcos Bueno, Janne Torvela, Rajiv Chandramohan, Tábatha Chávez Matus, Toni Liedes and Malcolm Powell for their paper titled ‘The Double Wheel Breakage Test’. This was published in Minerals Engineering, Volume 168, July 2021.

The authors collaborated from across the world, comprising Finland’s Marcos Bueno, Geopyörä and the University of Oulu’s Janne Torvela and Toni Liedes, Intelligent Machines and Systems, and Tábatha Chávez Matus, Oulu Mining School; Rajiv Chandramohan from Ausenco, Canada; and Malcolm Powell, Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre, The University of Queensland, Australia.

The winning paper shares the development of a prototype breakage testing device, Geopyörä, and shows breakage calibration results that indicate its potential to improve geometallurgical ore testing.

Medal Evaluation Panel Spokesperson and CEEC Director, Greg Lane, said the paper proposes a “genuinely better way to do something we already do”.

“This paper is a credit to the authors because it presents an opportunity to cost effectively increase our understanding of the ore breakage characteristics across an ore body and change the way we design plants,” he said.

“In presenting a detailed and complete description of a new testing device, this research offers huge potential to increase the scale of testing and number of comminution tests conducted for projects. This should allow for improved design outcomes, a reduction in project risk and better throughput (revenue) forecasting.”

  • 2021 CEEC Medal – Operations
    Ben Wraith, Justin Resta and Johan Welmans from Bluestone Mines Tasmania Joint Venture, Australia for their paper ‘Recent improvements in ore sorting at the Renison Tin Concentrator – target 1 Mt/a’. This was presented at the AusIMM Mill Operators’ Conference in Brisbane, Australia in June 2021.

Renison is the largest tin producer in Australia, and the paper documents how the site overcame challenging conditions and increased processing rates by upgrading its ore through X-ray Transmission (XRT) ore sorting and other mine to mill and geometallurgy practices.

Lane said the well written paper provided a valuable insight into the application of ore sorting in an operating plant, describing the reason for installation, the issues, and the cost impacts.

“The efficiency gains from coarse ore rejection prior to fine grinding are significant,” he said. “This insightful publication documents Renison’s experience with ore sorting and shares the value that coarse ore rejection added to the business.”

The CEEC Medal Evaluation Panel also awarded two High Commendations:

  • 2021 CEEC Medal High Commendation – Technical Research
    ‘SAG mill energy and wear insights derived from measuring inside the Mill’, authored by Dr Paul Shelley and Eugene Davies from Molycop, Global; Jacques Olivier, Western Australian School of Mines, Curtin University; and Mark Atta Danso, Westgold Resources, Australia. This paper was presented at the online Comminution ’21 conference.

It was the second year running that Dr Shelley’s research on SAG mill optimisation has received a High Commendation in this category. The judges noted: “It is good to see work progressing on understanding the efficiency gains that can be achieved by understanding what happens inside a mill.

“By getting real measurements from the heart of the breakage process, the paper shows how researchers, operators and suppliers can systematically investigate methods and materials to improve milling efficiency.”

  • 2021 CEEC Medal High Commendation – Operations
    ‘Throughput improvements at the Capstone Pinto Valley Operation’, a video presentation delivered at the online Comminution ‘21 conference.

The work was authored by Umut Erol and Curtis Wettstein from Capstone Mining Corporation’s Pinto Valley copper mine in Arizona, USA, and Adrian Dance, SRK Consulting, Canada.

The judging panel said the well-presented, clear and concise presentation provided evidence of how increased fragmentation affected project efficiency and operating costs.

“The work outlines how projects can make material value improvements through diligent and well-planned work focused on optimising comminution efficiency to improve plant capacity and reduce operating costs,” the judges said.

Battersby said the CEEC Medal, now in its 10th year, would not be possible without the support of CEEC’s industry sponsors who help fund the organisation’s work in accelerating more eco-efficient mineral processing.

“Special thanks to our valued sponsors and to everyone who nominated for the award,” he said. “Abstracts from the successful papers can be viewed on the CEEC website, along with other freely available resources that catalyse industry uptake of more efficient comminution practices.”

He also paid tribute to CEEC Director, Zeljka Pokrajcic, for her stellar work in chairing the CEEC Medal Evaluation Panel for the past 10 years, before handing over the reins to Greg Lane.

Nominations for the 2022 CEEC Medal are now open, with submissions closing on 31 October 2022. Details on how to apply can be found here

CMIC’s CanMicro technology wins top prize in Crush It! Challenge

The Canada Mining Innovation Council’s cleantech solution, CanMicro, has been named as the grand prize winner of the Crush It! Challenge, being awarded a C$5 million ($3.9 million) grant to further develop the solution.

CanMicro combines microwave-assisted comminution and multi-sensor ore sorting technology to selectively break particles and sort waste from desired minerals, reducing crushing and grinding requirements. CMIC says the CanMicro technology can provide over 35% energy savings across several commodities.

The Crush It! Challenge was announced in October 2018 by Natural Resources Canada (NRC) with the aim to realise an innovative breakthrough in the mining industry’s most energy-intensive and inefficient processes: crushing and grinding.

The primary objectives of the challenge are to fight climate change by creating innovative technologies that reduce energy consumption and pollution, increase competitiveness by developing world-leading clean technologies, and transform the mining cycle to establish a new “future in mining”.

Semi-finalists (up to 12) received C$10,000 to help them pitch their ideas to the Challenge Jury, with up to six finalists being granted up to C$860,000 to build and test their clean technologies. The winner and innovator demonstrating the most superior energy breakthrough to crush and grind rocks was awarded a C$5 million prize to fully develop and roll out their solution.

The grand prize winner of the Crush it! Challenge was selected through a competitive and rigorous process designed and delivered by NRC.

Crush It! is one of six initial clean technology challenges led by NRC under the Impact Canada Initiative – a government-wide approach to introduce innovative approaches to help solve Canada’s biggest economic, environmental and social challenges. NRCan invested C$75 million in its cleantech challenges: Crush It! Challenge, Charging the Future Challenge, Indigenous Off-diesel Initiative, Power Forward Challenge, Women in Cleantech Challenge and The Sky’s the Limit Challenge.

CanMicro is the only technology to combine microwave-assisted comminution and sorting, according to CMIC. The treatment selectively heats value minerals, resulting in micro-fractures along grain boundaries that help reduce ore competency and increase mineral liberation after grinding. It also generates a thermal signature that can be used to sort ore particles so that only those containing value minerals are subjected to fine grinding.

Aside from the potential energy savings, which the team – made up of CMIC (Project Administrator), Dr Erin Bobicki (Technical Lead), Sepro Mineral Systems (Project Participants), Glencore Canada (Project Participants), COREM (Project Participants) and Queens University (Subject Matter Experts) – believe could be up to 70%, this has significant environmental implications for tailings.

Kwatani adds to Northern Cape iron ore reference list with latest screening installation

South Africa-based vibrating screen and feeder specialist Kwatani will soon add another installation to its extensive footprint in the Northern Cape, this time for a new customer in the iron ore mining segment.

“We have over 1,000 screens, grizzlies and feeders in this important mining region, giving us a market share of about 95% of heavy-duty screening applications there,” Jan Schoepflin, Kwatani’s General Manager: Sales and Service, said. “With our well-established branch in Kathu, we are also able to assure our new customer of quick and highly competent service levels.”

The ore characteristics of iron ore demands mechanically robust screening equipment and Kwatani has built a name for itself in these applications, according to metallurgist Frengelina Mabotja, Kwatani’s, Head of Sales for SADC. “Our equipment is engineered for tonnage and continuous throughput, without compromising efficiencies,” Mabotja said.

Kwatani’s scope of work on the 700 t/h dry processing plant includes a 1.5-m-wide grizzly screen to remove fines from the run-of-mine material before it reports to secondary crushing and a 1.5-m-single deck scalping screen. The company will also install two 2.4-m-wide, double-deck sizing screens to separate material after secondary crushing, and five feeders to draw material from bins and stockpiles onto conveyor belts for feeding onto the downstream process.

“Our niche expertise allowed us to, once again, offer high performance sizing screens customised for this unique dry sizing application and optimise material separation by achieving the required cut size for the customer’s desired product size,” Mabotja said. “Our solution optimises the material separation while maximising efficiency and ensuring mechanical reliability for continuous and economical production.”

She highlights the depth of in-house experience – from both a metallurgical and mechanical approach– which allows Kwatani to assist the decision making of customers on equipment choice and specifications.

“Through the work of our design team, supported by our manufacturing and testing facilities, we have ensured that the solution will be fit for purpose and reliable,” she said. “The customer was also able to visit our 17,000 sq.m local manufacturing operation in Kempton Park regularly to see how we work, to check on fabrication progress and to witness the testing process.”

The equipment was completed on a tight deadline of 8-12 weeks, for delivery by year-end in line with the customer’s timeframe, according to the company.

“Our fully-equipped branch in the Northern Cape, staffed by specialists with decades of mining experience, will oversee the installation and commissioning of the equipment,” Mabotja said. “Our team will also schedule regular site visits to monitor on the equipment’s performance and condition, and advise on maintenance requirements.”

To underpin the reliable operation of all equipment supplied, Kwatani will also provide training for the customer’s maintenance personnel in the basic maintenance routines required.

Kwatani became a part of Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions late last year.

Weba Chute Systems solves choking problem at Botswana diamond mine

Weba Chute Systems has come to the rescue of a large Botswana diamond producer suffering from continuous chute maintenance with a customised solution that came with a 12-month guarantee.

This primary crusher discharge chute had been a headache for the company, with the crunch coming when, after considerable capital expenditure, the new conventional chute needed maintenance just six weeks after installation.

Hilton Buys, Regional Manager at Weba Chute Systems, said: “This could not continue and the mine needed a long-term solution which is why we believe they came to us for a proposal. Senior experts from our company visited the site to take a careful look at the conditions the chute needed to deal with, and we took our conclusions back to our design office.”

Among the challenges were large lump sizes in the ore stream, contributing to build-up of material in the chute and regular choking, Buys said. Also, while Botswana’s dry season is long, the rain that does fall causes considerable problems to the flow dynamics. The kimberlite on the mine – depending on which part of the pit it comes from – can become very sticky in wet weather, according to the company.

“We therefore had to pay particular attention to flow angles, and the design had to effectively accommodate both wet and dry conditions,” Buys said. The concept design – which included quick-release lips on dead boxes – was approved by the mine and the final design, manufacture and successful installation was conducted.

Adding to the complexity was that the feed end of the primary crusher was some 8 m below ground level, while the crusher itself stood about 10 m tall. The chute had to be positioned below the rock box, which stores the material from the crusher discharge, channelling the stream into the Weba chute at a transfer height of 9 m to the conveyor belt.

“The conventional chute also created excessive dust through uncontrolled rock velocity over this considerable transfer height,” Buys said. “By contrast, our chute’s controlled flow meant that the mine did not even have to apply its dust suppression system.”

After installation, Weba Chute Systems gave the customer a 12-month guarantee on this chute, as it does with all its new chutes. This guarantee, which comes with regular inspection reports, assures the customer that the performance will meet their expectations.

“These inspections allow us to monitor wear, so we can advise the customer on what action is required so that they can schedule maintenance and avoid unexpected downtime,” Buys said.

Installed in 2017, the chute is still operating with little maintenance, having been delivered at a highly competitive price compared to the one it replaced.

“Designing a long-lasting chute is not just about creating a box with some reinforcing where you think there will be wear,” Buys said. “It is an endeavour that must be scientific, based on in-depth analysis of material and flow conditions.”

Buys highlighted the importance of asking a range of technical questions about the specific application so the design answers those needs. The latest software and modelling tools are then applied by the Weba Chute Systems team to guide the most effective design.

Liontown secures Metso Outotec SAG mill ahead of Kathleen Valley lithium FID

Liontown Resources Ltd says it has awarded a key contract to Metso Outotec for the design, fabrication and delivery of a SAG mill for its flagship Kathleen Valley lithium project in Western Australia.

Following the completion of the definitive feasibility study (DFS) for Kathleen Valley in November 2021, the company has completed further engineering optimisation to confirm the scope and duty of the SAG mill to a sufficient level of detail to enable it to place the order with the OEM.

The contract, which has a value of circa-A$10 million ($7.2 million) and is in accordance with DFS estimates, is for the design, fabrication and delivery of a 7.9 m diameter and 4.4 m effective grinding length 5.5 MW SAG mill. This is inclusive of all lining, lubrication, cooling, electrical and mechanical drive systems necessary for installation and commissioning.

The SAG mill, from Metso Outotec’s Premier™ range (an example above), will accommodate both base production of 2.5 Mt/y and the planned expansion to 4 Mt/y in year six of the mine plan, Liontown said.

The SAG mill is one of several critical long-lead items identified for early award and represents the largest single piece of equipment required to be purchased for the project by size, value and lead time, the company added.

“Detailed engineering and design for the A$473 million Kathleen Valley project continues and Liontown is targeting the award of all key equipment packages over the next six months to maintain schedule and meet its target of first production of lithium concentrate in 2024,” it said.

Other key project deliverables including final permitting and securing the engineering, procurement and construction management partner to build and commission the Kathleen Valley project are progressing to meet the targeted Final Investment Decision milestone by the end of the June quarter.

Liontown’s Managing Director and CEO, Tony Ottaviano, said: “The SAG mill contract is the first of the long-lead items to be ordered and represents an important milestone for the Kathleen Valley project. Placing this significant order with a world-class partner in Metso Outotec is a great way to start the year and reflects our commitment to advance the Kathleen Valley project rapidly towards first production.”

The November 2021 DFS outlined base production of 2.5 Mt/y, producing around 500,000 t/y of spodumene concentrate with a 4 Mt/y expansion planned in year six, to deliver circa-700,000 t/y of spodumene concentrate.

The Metso Outotec Premier horizontal grinding mills are customisable solutions built on state-of-the-art grinding mill technology, process expertise and design capability, the OEM says. They are engineered to “excel and create vast possibilities” for customers and applications.