Tag Archives: dewatering

ioneer contracts Veolia Water Technologies for Rhyolite Ridge lithium-boron project

ioneer Ltd has awarded a major engineering and equipment supply contract to Veolia Water Technologies Inc for the development of the company’s wholly-owned Rhyolite Ridge lithium-boron project in Nevada, USA.

Veolia has commenced work on final detailed engineering design of the equipment package, which includes evaporation, crystallisation and dewatering equipment. It is the largest single supply contract that ioneer will award as part of the Rhyolite Ridge build, the company said.

The contract has been awarded on a limited notice to proceed basis. Phase one, the supply of engineering services for detailed design, has commenced while phase two, the supply of equipment, is conditional on a final investment decision on the project by ioneer’s Board of Directors.

The lithium and boron resource at Rhyolite Ridge is estimated at 146.5 Mt, including a reserve of 60 Mt. The company expects to mine and process 63.8 Mt over the 26-year mine life at an average annual rate of 2.5 Mt/y.

Veolia is, ioneer says, a world leader in the design and delivery of systems for purification, recovery and drying of inorganic chemicals using HPD® evaporation and crystallisation technologies. Furthermore, Veolia provides state-of-the-art research and development capabilities to facilitate the understanding of multi-component systems and their optimisation for efficiency, operability and final product quality.

Veolia and ioneer have been working together since 2018 to demonstrate the feasibility of the process design, including design and operation of ioneer’s full simulation pilot plant in Vancouver, British Columbia. Veolia has also conducted laboratory testing and simulated key unit operations including clarification, ion exchange purification, evaporation, crystallisation and precipitation at Veolia’s Phillip J Stewart Technology Center in Plainfield, Illinois, including the production of high purity lithium hydroxide monohydrate. The results obtained from this work further confirmed the design parameters, reduced the technical risks and boosted the project economics, according to ioneer.

ioneer Managing Director, Bernard Rowe, said: “We have been working closely with Veolia over the past three years during the pilot plant and definitive feasibility study phases and have developed a strong relationship and mutual respect. Veolia is a recognised leader in process design and engineering, with direct experience in developing solutions for lithium processing facilities. Veolia’s experience and capabilities are important to meet required purity standards in our production facilities.”

CEO of Veolia Water Technologies Americas, Jim Brown, said: “Veolia, as the leader in ecological transformation, is excited to be part of ioneer’s commitment to providing the materials necessary to further develop renewable energy and clean technologies by utilising our industry experience and state-of-the-art research facility to develop this resource. Our long-term cooperation working together with ioneer has been instrumental in bringing the project to this point.”

Cedric Minería selects CDE EvoWash wet processing tech for Buin sand, gravel ops

Chilean mining and aggregates company, Cedric Minería, has announced a major overhaul of its aggregates business following a significant investment in advanced wet processing technology from CDE, the Belfast-based company says.

The family business, which expanded into aggregates production in 2003, has revealed plans for a new wet processing solution at its Buin operation.

Established in 1981, Cedric Minería specialised in the production of calcium carbonate and sulphur products before diversifying its interests and launching its silica operation, Mina Nancy, near the city of Calama in Antofagasta Region.

It soon secured listing as a strategic supplier of silica to state-owned copper mining company Codelco for its copper smelting plant in Chuquicamata, northern Chile.

Following the success of its silica business, Cedric Minería soon after commissioned its first aggregates processing plant in Buin which supplies the local market with a range of washed sand and gravel products for pre-cast concrete, asphalt, pipe bedding and more.

This summer, CDE will commission the EvoWash™ sand wash plant and an AquaCycle™ water management system at the company’s Buin site, replacing their existing washing screws.

Using CDE cyclone technology, the new plant will enable Cedric Minería to produce two grades of high quality, in-spec fine sands: 0-5 mm and 0-8 mm.

A compact, modular sand washing system, CDE’s EvoWash screens and separates the smaller sand and gravel fractions through an integrated high-frequency dewatering screen, sump and hydrocyclones which provide control of silt cut points and eliminates the loss of quality fines with significant commercial value.

An alternative to water extraction and the costly process of pumping water to the plant, CDE’s AquaCycle significantly reduces costly water consumption by ensuring up to 90% of process water is recycled for immediate recirculation, the company says. It helps to accelerate return on investment by maximising production efficiency, minimising the loss of valuable fines and reducing water and energy costs. A single, compact and user-friendly unit, it can be applied to high and low tonnages across many market sectors.

Cedric Minería owner, Cedric Fernández, says the investment in CDE technology is a significant step forward for the company.

“We’re making a huge technological leap forward with this new plant. Cedric Minería branched into the aggregates business almost two decades ago and throughout that time we have operated a traditional system,” Fernández said. “The existing plant has served us well, but we need a modern solution that is future-ready. Our latest investment in CDE wet processing technology represents the beginning of a new chapter for our company.”

Fernández says the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the construction industry but anticipates strong future demand for sand and aggregates to support the country’s public works investments.

CDE Business Development Executive, Gustavo Brasil, says older technology is very much under the spotlight for materials processors as they work to remedy inefficiencies.

“Recognising the limitations of the existing setup, the team at Cedric Minería are setting out on an ambitious transformation project to replace a traditional processing plant with a much more advanced and efficient technological solution,” he said.

The CDE solution engineered for Cedric Minería will revolutionise its current process, he added.

“CDE’s Evowash solution will enable Cedric Minería to produce superior fine sands with less moisture content while the AquaCycle water management system will deliver massive efficiency gains by recycling process water and driving down operational costs,” he said.

Sedgman books tailings dewatering work at QCoal’s Byerwen coal mine

CIMIC Group’s minerals processing company, Sedgman, has been awarded a contract to design and construct a tailings dewatering facility at QCoal’s Byerwen coal mine in central Queensland, Australia.

The project will result in a lower operational risk profile, less power usage, and improved water recovery and management of dewatering chemicals, Sedgman says.

Sedgman Managing Director, Grant Fraser, said: “We are pleased to continue working with QCoal with a key focus on reducing impacts and undertaking environmentally responsible practices. The tailings dewatering contract at Byerwen is a great opportunity to achieve joint goals in ESG, an important focus for the industry.”

Construction work for the Byerwen mine will commence this month and the project will conclude in mid-2022.

Back in October, Sedgman was awarded two contract extensions by QCoal to continue to operate and maintain its Sonoma and Byerwen mines processing plants in Queensland.

ABEL pumped up by IndustriTech partnership in Australia

ABEL has announced a distribution partnership with IndustriTech Pty Ltd for the Australia mining market.

IndustriTech provides service-oriented solutions in three areas: technical advice, reliability and repair services and distribution services. Together with ABEL’s wide range of positive displacement pumps, it will provide complete customised product and service solutions for high solids concentrations and efficient dewatering processes. Typical applications are dewatering, tailings, solid transfer and thickener underflow.

For over 70 years, ABEL has specialised in pumps for filter press feeding and filter cloth cleaning. Both ABEL’s piston diaphragm and high-pressure plunger pump provide tailor-made features to ensure a short, efficient and energy saving filter press process for the customer, according to the company. This performance can be seen in the high level of dryness of the filter cake, resulting in increased daily metal extraction and profitability for the customer.

Weir Minerals continues to go with the Multiflo in barge applications

Even with 40 years of custom barge solution expertise under its belt, Weir Minerals says it is continuing to innovate with new designs for applications in oil sands, tailings management and tropical and cold climates.

Developed over the decades, the Weir Minerals range of Multiflo® barges provides a solution for numerous applications, according to the company.

Water reclamation for oil sands market

Reclaim water barges are an integral part of tailings management solutions in oil sands applications, where tailings contain high percentages of water that can be recycled back through the process plant.

Upon identifying the need for reliable systems which were easy to manage and maintain, Weir Minerals developed its mega-barge exclusively for the oil sands market. This all in one package includes pumps, valves, hoses, and piping.

“This is where our turnkey value proposition really took off,” Kris Kielar, Product Manager for engineered-to-order dewatering products at Weir Minerals Canada, explains. “Our largest barge system includes a fully integrated electrical control houses that powers 9,000 hp (6,711 kW) worth of pumps, overhead cranes, remote monitoring and control, and the longest floated walkway we’ve ever provided, with ‘warm-up’ stations every 150 m for one kilometre.”

Mega-barges are the ideal solution for unique applications, such as the scale of water reclaim needed at some of the world’s largest oil sands operations, according to Weir Minerals.

“A typical oil sands operation requires nine barrels of water per barrel of bitumen produced,” continues Kielar, “so the more water that can be reclaimed, the better. The larger the operation, the bigger the water saving potential.”

In addition to the mega-barges for the oil sands market, Weir Minerals also developed modular barge packages as a fully customisable solution for ease of shipment, and a reduction in both capital costs and onsite installation costs. The introduction of both static and mobile, land-based, booster stations and pumphouses further expands the Multiflo barge solution capability while maintaining a single point of contact for customers, the company says.

Tailings management

The need for custom barge solutions for tailings management has increased in recent years. Where previously dewatering pumps in tailings applications were “set-and-forget”, the increased focus on tailings dam safety has shined a new spotlight on barge solutions that can provide heavy-duty, reliable pumping, Weir Minerals said.

Not only must sites revisit current arrangements to consider how their tailings will be handled in the future, they also need to empty the old dams decommissioned by environmental and mining authorities, the company said.

Ricardo Menezes, Barge Systems Specialist at Weir Minerals Brazil, said: “We are equipped to provide the entire solution. From initial consultation and design, to manufacturing, commission, and training and supervision of site operators. We work hard to bring our customers the best possible solution for their site, and we do it all under one roof.”

These all-in-one Multiflo packages eliminate the headache of integrating civil construction, electrical control rooms, control systems, pipes, cables, and mechanical and electrical works, according to the company. Weir Minerals engineer these dewatering barges in-house and employ naval engineering consultants to create tailored solutions for its customers.

Menezes continues: “Sites are being asked to transport tailings on a larger scale than before. An off-the-shelf solution might not work with their existing site infrastructure and that is where our fluid transport expertise comes in.”

Reliability in any situation

Applications in tropical environments, which experience heavy and sometimes unexpected rainfall, often require barge-mounted dewatering pumps to handle the rapidly rising water levels.

Multiflo land-based barges are built to float, protecting the pump unit from being flooded as often happens with a traditional skid pump unit, Weir Minerals says.

These land-based barges are fitted with integrated skid runners that allow them to be towed around mine sites and launched or retrieved with the use of dozers or excavators. The integrated skid runners also provide the added benefit of using the barge as a skid pump operating at the pond edge with easy land access for operators and servicing, the company says.

Marnus Koorts, Product Manager for dewatering pumps at Weir Minerals South Africa, says the company gets very specific requests for these land-based barges.

“We recently completed a project for a customer experiencing regular high wind speeds and tropical storms,” he said. “We needed to account for wave action and wind loading to ensure our solution would minimise risk of structural damage during these storms.”

Other considerations such as water quality, where pH can range from very low through to high, and water content, such as high percentages of suspended solids and floating debris, are also key to maintaining dewatering equipment on site, according to the company.

“Multiflo barges maximise reliability through innovative protection systems chosen specifically for the environment that the barge will operate in,” Weir Minerals says.

For one customer in South Africa, the Weir Minerals team needed to account for more than just water, according to Koorts.

“One of the design requirements for this particular installation was for the handrails and other structures to be engineered to prevent crocodiles from gaining access to the deck space.”

Dewatering in cold climates

In the last year, Weir Minerals barge specialists from Canada have been working with teams in Russia and Finland, to establish a European centre of expertise specifically for dewatering barges in cold-climate applications. Key environmental factors such as wind, snow and seismic loading can affect the buoyancy and stability of the barges, which they looked to address.

“We’re building on the work of the North and South American teams,” Artem Filippov, Dewatering Product Manager at Weir Minerals Russia, said. “Working together and using insights gained from their years of experience have allowed us to create unique barge dewatering systems for our European customers.”

Weir Minerals’ cold-climate expertise comes from experience in floating barge systems at temperatures below -45°C, de-icing systems and winter barge access systems. In addition, Multiflo barge systems are fully marine naval certified under all weather conditions and are marine architect certified, the company says.

Babylon expands equipment and service offering to BHP Nickel West

Babylon Pump & Power says it has secured a new power generation and dewatering contract with BHP’s Nickel West division, in Western Australia.

The ASX-listed company has provided dewatering services for BHP since October 2018 and this contract expands on the equipment and services to be provided while securing the existing business for a further three‐year term – from February 1, 2020 to January 31, 2023 – it said.

Last year, Babylon Pump & Power established a rental service base on the East Coast of Australia with the completion of its acquisition of Primepower Queensland. This made it one of the largest independent and diversified engine re-builders in Australia, it said.

Tenova TAKRAF proves dry stack tailings credentials at Uzbekistan gold mine

Tenova TAKRAF says it recently installed three DELKOR overhead filter presses at a gold mine’s processing plant in Uzbekistan as part of its wider tailings dewatering system.

The system comprises three DELKOR overhead filter presses each processing around 120 m3/h of gold tailings. Each machine contains 177 mixed membrane filter plates with a size of 2 m x 2 m, and includes a high-pressure cloth washing system.

These filter presses form an important part of Tenova TAKRAF’s complete Dry Stack Tailings (DST) technologies solution, which covers processes from sedimentation to filtration and material handling, the company said.

The supply also included several pieces of ancillary equipment, including belt conveyors for cakes discharged from the filter press (each machine is equipped with a cake breaker), pumping skids for membrane inflation, filter cake washing pumps and high-pressure cloth washing pumps.

“The entire scope of supply, including the slurry feed pumps, is fully controlled and managed by state-of-the-art software,” the company said.

It added: “The complexity of the dewatering process required by this project clearly highlights DELKOR’s filter press potential across the dewatering spectrum. In fact, the filter press cycle includes filter cake squeezing, filter cake washing and filter cake air blowing, with the filter cakes washed with process water in order to remove unwanted residual cyanides from the dewatered cakes.

“Importantly, the required residual moisture content within the dewatered cakes was achieved immediately during start-up.”

Marco Zeni, Tenova DELKOR Project Manager, said: “Notwithstanding demanding site conditions, installation and commissioning, together with the required operational training, was successfully completed. With this project, we take another important step towards firmly establishing DELKOR also as a provider of filter presses to round up the filtration product portfolio and once again demonstrating that: it pays to talk to a specialist.”

Integrated Pump Rental keeps its head during Lesotho mine dewatering project

Integrated Pump Rental says the quick deployment of its dewatering solution has allowed a Lesotho mine to keep operating as normal.

A constant flow of water into the mine’s pit area demanded water be urgently and reliably pumped out, according to the company. A fuel-efficient Sykes Xtra High Head pump set was chosen for the job, pumping into a 200 mm HDPE line with a head of 127 m to a holding dam.

According to Integrated Pump Rental’s Andre Strydom, timing was of the essence to the customer: “We secured this dewatering contract due to our quick and effective response. The Sykes XH150 unit was on site and commissioned just 24 hours after receiving the call from the customer.”

Strydom highlighted that, as mines and quarries go deeper, conditions require a solution like the Sykes XH150. With its automatic priming and solids handling capacity, it is designed to dewater more efficiently and effectively.

“The unit has one of the best shaft stiffness ratios of any automatic priming pump on the market,” he says. “Sykes engineers have ensured that the enormous pressures and heads associated with such performance do not compromise seal integrity through shaft flexing.”

All models have the ability to operate unattended at high discharge heads, with the pumps able to be primed with long suction hoses and the ability to manage suction lifts of up to 9 m.

“The units can even run dry for extended periods due to the oil bath mechanical seal assembly,” the company said. “Designed for robust and reliable performance with high volumes of water, Sykes pumps have an established reputation for the fast and effective control and removal of sub-surface water.”

The pumps can even operate in “snore” condition, Integrated Pump Rental says, which accommodates fluctuating suction levels. “In these conditions, the pump will snore until the liquid is available for the pump to fully re-prime itself automatically,” the company added.

Weir Minerals’s Essack on end-to-end tailings and pipeline solutions

As mining companies’ tailings facilities continue to be scrutinised by regulators and non-governmental organisations, Weir Minerals Africa Process Manager, Hoosen Essack, has talked up the need for tailored tailings solutions for the future.

Combined with the stringent accountability that mine operators have to local communities, tailings management is now a significant consideration, with processing requirements and technology changing rapidly. Traditionally involved in the pumping of tailings, at Weir Minerals we have extended our expertise into this area to encompass the entire tailings process. From dewatering to transport, disposal, and the conversion of tailings into a resource, we can provide customers with an end-to-end tailings and pipeline solution.

This holistic, solutions-based approach to tailings management strengthens our relationship with customers and adds value to their operation beyond pumping. In light of water conservation, operational sustainability and safe deposition of tailings, it’s important that we invest in this area to help solve crucial issues within the mining sector.

Our extension into the tailings processing field means we are now involved in the production of the material, as opposed to simply transporting it. Through extensive consultation, site visits and audits, our team ascertains the customer’s objectives and recommends a complete, optimal solution to meet their needs, which can include dewatering equipment, piping, pumps, valves and instrumentation.

This seamless approach is a departure from the traditional industry practice of sourcing components from multiple suppliers, which are challenging to integrate. Our extensive research and development capabilities means we can provide a wide spectrum of tailings management options not limited by a particular type of technology or equipment.

This involves assessing the variations in capital and operating expenditure along with the overall and long-term benefits of each, providing a truly customised solution. Prior to implementation, rigorous testing and trials are conducted to assess viability and performance ahead of final selection, detailed design and engineering, delivery and commissioning. Another key benefit to customers is the ability to transform tailings into products, which can safely be used by the mine, such as road construction material. This involves dewatering of tailings, in which we have extensive expertise.

Dewatering involves removing liquid from waste slurry so that the remaining solids can be deposited in a tailings storage facility or returned to the site from which it was mined as backfill. There are several dewatering methods to render waste slurry to differing degrees of dryness, ready for transport from the plant to the deposition site. Any liquid recovered through dewatering is returned for reuse in the process.

We can provide a variety of processing systems inclusive of equipment and infrastructure to achieve the final tailings product that is required by the customer, from thickening to create a paste, or applying a filter to produce a product which can be dry deposited. As tailings management evolves, the industry is moving towards the latter for increased safety and stability, and in the process maximising water recovery.

As mine operators become more vigilant in managing their tailings, new processing technology is continually developed, including at the Weir Technical Centre in Australia. Innovative, uniquely tailored solutions incorporating high performance equipment and a global service footprint means we are leading the industry in making tailings more sustainable. Ideally, this will lead to a future where tailings related hazards are a thing of the past.

Metso launches VPX filter as part of new tailings management approach

Metso says its new approach to tailings management is aimed at addressing the water conservation and responsible mine reclamation requirements that are becoming increasingly important for mines to ensure they can retain their social license to operate.

Its new approach is spearheaded by the launch of the new Metso VPX™ filter for tailings dewatering, which, with an operating pressure of up to 25 bars, can deal with difficult-to-dewater tailings.

The company’s broader tailings management concept is geared towards enabling and supporting environmentally and economically sustainable mining, it said.

Victor Tapia, President, Mining Equipment business area at Metso, said: “Our ambition is to challenge the conventional way of looking at tailings management in mining.

“In practice, this means that besides environmental and regulatory concerns related to tailings, we need to improve the conservation of water, chemicals and ore, as well as looking for opportunities to reprocess tailings and generate value by extracting any remaining minerals. Ultimately, it allows transforming legacy practices in tailings management into a new, positive value creation model.”

Metso is driving this change by introducing a new concept for the dewatering, handling and reprocessing of tailings. It said: “Designed to maximise water recovery and reduce the footprint of tailings dams or eliminate them completely, Metso Tailings Management Solutions provide a long-term solution for mining companies looking for a viable approach to their tailings management and end-of-mine strategies.”

There are a huge amount of tailings discharged and lying in legacy dams, according to Metso. “Today, only about 5% of tailings are dewatered, while roughly 70% of the mines are located in countries where water scarcity is considered as an issue. The way tailings are handled can have a long-term impact on the mines’ economic efficiency as well as on the well-being of the surrounding environment and communities,” the company said.

Niclas Hällevall, VP of Beneficiation Solutions, Mining Equipment business area, said: “Metso views dry filtered tailings as the most viable and long-term solution for tailings management: it helps in recycling significantly more water to the concentrator, while enabling mines to reduce their freshwater footprint when compared to traditional tailings impoundments. Furthermore, the risk of tailings dam failure could be completely avoided by dewatering and dry stacking the tailings.”

He added: “Contrary to conventional belief, dry tailings are also much more capex (capital expenses) and opex (operating expenses) efficient compared to wet or thickened tailings.”

Metso Tailings Management Solutions bundle Metso’s beneficiation technologies into a “full, customisable and future-ready suite of solutions”, it says. Metso, with its core component, is taking filtration technology “to the next level” by introducing the Metso VPX filter, a new generation filtration solution for maximum water recovery and reuse, it said.

The company said: “The Metso VPX filter can handle difficult-to-dewater tailings, because it has up to 25 bars operating pressure, the highest pressure in its category. This enables up to 90% water recovery. The Metso VPX is also equipped with a fully electromechanical drive system and no hydraulics, making it the safest solution on the market. With its modular design, the Metso VPX filter is scalable as well as easily transportable to the site in standard containers.”

The VPX filter is available for mining customers globally and an ideal solution for a range of dewatering applications, Metso said, adding that the filter press will be on show at the Exposibram trade fair to be held in Brazil, in September.