Tag Archives: dewatering

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.

Vale exploring dry stacking/magnetic separation to eradicate tailings dams

Vale has confirmed a Reuters news report from last week stating that it would spend an additional BRL11 billion ($2.5 billion) on dry iron ore processing over the next five years.

The company said it has invested nearly BRL66 billion installing and expanding the use of dry processing, using natural moisture, in iron ore production in its operations in Brazil over the last 10 years and it would carry on this trend.

“By not using water in the process, no tailings are generated and, therefore, there is no need for dams,” the company said, added that about 60% of Vale’s production today is dry, and the goal is to reach 70% in the next five years.

Dry processing is used in the mines of Carajás, Serra Leste and the S11D Eliezer Batista Complex (pictured), in Pará, Brazil, and in several plants in Minas Gerais. In Pará, in the Northern System, about 80%, of the almost 200 Mt produced in 2018 was through dry processing. The main Carajás plant, Plant 1, is in the process of conversion to natural moisture: of the 17 plant processing lines, 11 are already dry and the remaining six wet lines will be converted by 2022.

Serra Leste’s treatment plants, in Curionópolis, and S11D, in Canaã dos Carajás, also do not use water in ore treatment, according to Vale. In S11D, for example, the use dry processing, using natural humidity, reduces water consumption by 93% when compared to conventional iron ore production.

In Minas Gerais, dry processing increased from 20%, in 2016, to 32%, in 2018. Today, this type of processing is present in several units, such as Brucutu, Alegria, Fábrica Nova, Fazendão, Abóboras, Mutuca, Pica and Fábrica. “Over the following years, the objective is to roll it out at other locations in Minas Gerais, such as the Apolo and Capanema projects, which are currently under environmental licensing,” the company said.

Vale said: “Dry processing is linked to the quality of the iron ore extracted from mining. In Carajás, as the iron content is already high (above 64% Fe), the ore is only crushed and sieved, so it can be classified by size (granulometry).

“In Minas Gerais, the average content is 40% iron, contained in rocks known as itabirites. To increase the content, the ore is concentrated by means of wet processing (with water). The tailings, composed basically of silica, are deposited with water in the dams. The high-grade ore resulting from the process can then be transformed into pellets at the pelletising plants, increasing the added value of the product.”

The mills that operate dry processing in Minas Gerais depend on the availability of ore with higher levels – about 60% Fe – still found in some mines in the state. “In order to achieve the necessary quality, and be incorporated into Vale’s product portfolio, it is necessary to blend with Carajás ores, carried out at Vale’s distribution centres in China and Malaysia. The process allows Vale to offer excellent quality ore which can be tailored to meet the needs of our clients,” the company said.

The blending of the product with natural moisture does not eliminate the need for humid concentration of the low-grade itabirite used in the production of pellets. However, to reduce the use of dams, Vale plans to invest approximately BRL 1.5 billion on dry stacking technology in Minas Gerais between 2020 and 2023. This technique filters and reuses waste water and allows the latter to be stored in piles, thus reducing the use of dams. The goal is to achieve up to 70% of the waste disposed in the coming years, but success depends on the improvement of technology and external issues, such as environmental licences, Vale said.

“Today, Vale doesn’t have a dry stacking operation that can deal with the production quantity especially in a region with high rainfall indices, such as the Ferriferous four-side, in Minas Gerais. The available dry stacking technology is used on a small scale around the world – up to 10,000 t/d of tailings produced – in desert regions or with low rainfall. In Minas Gerais, Vale’s tailings production quantity is, on average, 50,000 t/d per unit,” Vale said. In 2011, the company developed a pilot project on the Cianita stack in Vargem Grande, after an investment of BRL100 million.

The studies were completed in 2018 and the technicians evaluated the geotechnical behaviour of piles under rainy conditions. The next tests will be applied on an industrial scale at the Pico mine in the municipality of Itabirito, Vale said.

“Another solution that has been studied is the dry magnetic concentration of iron ore based on the innovative technology developed by New Steel, a company acquired by Vale at the end of 2018 for BRL1.9 billion,” Vale said. “The dry magnetic concentration eliminates the use of water in the concentration process of the low-grade ore, which disposes the waste generated in sterile piles, similar to what happens in dry stacking. This technology, however, is in the industrial development stage and is not yet ready to be applied on a large scale.”

Outotec looks for consistent and efficient dewatering with new paste thickener

Outotec has introduced the 2nd Generation Paste Thickener to, it says, maximise underflow density regardless of challenging mineralogy and tailings feed-rate variation.

The thickener enables consistent and efficient dewatering performance – even with changing process conditions, according to the company.

“Through consistent performance and high underflow density, the 2nd Generation Outotec Paste Thickener maximises beaching angle in the tailings storage facility to provide safer operations and maximised lifespan,” Outotec said.

The new paste thickener provides ease of operation and reliability for applications requiring a high degree of dewatering, such as minerals tailings, mine backfill, and pre-leach and counter current decantation circuits, according to the company. “The technology is customised to address each operation’s unique drivers, which can include environmental concerns, water recovery, regulatory requirements, tailings management, or limitations on available land space,” the company said.

Outotec has a history of developing paste thickeners, as well as the design and delivery of large-scale paste thickening projects. “This has given us a deep understanding of the key aspects of high-density thickeners, including effective flocculation, dewatering, raking, prevention of rotating mud beds, process control, and the discharge of thickened solids,” it said.

“One such case was the deployment of Outotec paste thickener technology – including a full-scale paste tailings plant and Outotec ACT Thickener Optimizer system – at Yara’s Siilinjärvi apatite mine in Finland (pictured),” Simon Courtenay, Product Manager for the Outotec 2nd Generation Paste Thickener, said. “The plant generates around 10 Mt of tailings a year and, thanks to the Outotec ACT Thickener Optimizer, the paste thickeners can consistently run with a high and stable underflow solids content of 66-68%, regardless of challenging mineralogy and tailings feed-rate variation. This results in average beach slope angles of 3.5° (6.1%) in the tailings disposal area, helping to extend its lifespan. The system has also enabled a 10-20% reduction in flocculant costs.”

The new 2nd Generation Paste Thickener builds on this proven performance with a range of innovative new features, according to the company. For example, vertical load monitoring with the Smart Rake Lift system means the Outotec Paste Thickener is one of the only systems in the world that can detect early formation of rotating beds, enabling counteractions to be taken early, Outotec said.

The system also monitors and actively adjusts the individual hydraulic cylinders to maintain alignment of the rake mechanism. Incorporating vertical load sensing with plant process data in the Outotec ACT Thickener Optimizer control system means the solids inventory within the tank can be maintained to ensure a consistent underflow density, stable process, and improved overall thickener performance, according to the company.

In addition to mechanical improvements, process control has been further developed to stabilise and optimise the performance of the paste thickener, Outotec said.

The company said: “Outotec’s ACT Thickener Optimizer utilises a multivariable controller to manage process changes and the associated delays in the response time of the thickener that can be challenging for traditional control systems. It can also be configured to manage the effects of variable feed types to ensure optimum performance despite changing inputs to the process. Short installation and configuration time of the system is coupled with on-going services to ensure a practical yet flexible long term control solution.

“Our application-specific design of the thickener begins with the use of methods such as discrete element modelling to understand solid particle movement within the thickener, computational fluid dynamics for feed system design and finite element analysis for structural steel design. Our paste thickening solutions are also designed with ease of maintenance in mind, with a skid-mounted hydraulic power unit for centralised connection of hydraulic hosing from the rake lift cylinders and drive unit.”

Other key design features include:

  • Low profile rakes with tie-cable load sharing that minimise rake drive torque requirements;
  • Rake blades supported by thixoposts to move the rake arm away from the highest density thickened solids;
  • High sidewall and steep tank floor slope for more efficient dewatering of flocculated solids and compaction of the bed, as well as better transport of the solids inward toward the tank discharge point;
  • High installed drive torque to move the rake blades through beds of thickened solids with high yield stress and viscosity, and;
  • Feed systems with break tanks when required for different thickener feed situations, including our patented Vane Feedwell, and break tanks inside the thickener perimeter to save on site layout space.

“Beyond technology and equipment, Outotec provides complete solutions for thickening needs,” the company said. “Proven design features and process guarantees, combined with lifecycle service support, help ensure operational reliability. We can also support customers with ongoing operation and maintenance services after plant commissioning.”

Vale plans significant investment in dry processing technologies, Reuters says

Vale reportedly plans to invest $2.5 billion on, predominantly, dry processing technology as it looks to draw a line under the recent tailings dam failures that have occurred at its Brazil operations.

Reuters, citing emailed responses from Vale’s Director of Ferrous Planning and Development, Fabiano Carvalho Filho, said the Brazil-based miner would spend the amount over the next five years, with the funds mainly used to convert Vale’s Carajas iron ore mining operations in the northern portion of the country to 100% dry tailings facilities.

The news came on the same day the company released its March quarter financial results, which saw the miner report a $1.6 billion loss on the back of the recent Brumadinho dam rupture.

The company is looking to increase its dry processing operations to 70% of its overall iron ore output by the end of 2023, from 60% currently, according to the Reuters report.

Of the 17 processing lines of Plant 1 at Carajas, 11 are already using dry technologies and the remaining six wet lines will be converted by 2022, Carvalho Filho reportedly said.

In addition, the investments will also go towards two projects in Minas Gerais – one for a new iron ore processing complex, with the other focused on restarting a previously operational mine – the news agency said.

The dry processing spend is part of an existing program under which Vale has invested almost $17.5 billion over the last decade, Carvalho Filho told Reuters, adding that the investments were not directly tied to the recent tailings dam spills at the Brumadinho and Mariana dams.

Xylem releases latest Godwin smart dewatering pump

Xylem recently launched the latest in its series of smart pumps under its renowned Godwin brand as it looks to combat the toughest mining and construction applications.

On show at the recent Bauma fair, in Munich, the new Godwin CD150S Dri-Prime dewatering pump, part of Godwin’s renowned S Series, will allow customers across Europe to dig deeper and build bigger, it said.

The Godwin CD150S offers greater flexibility due to its interchangeable impeller – dramatically expanding the application range of the pump and providing customers with “two pumps in one”, the company said. The CD impeller can now be exchanged with a Flygt N-Technology non-clog impeller, providing customers with the flexibility to tackle “stringy, modern wastewater applications with the same pump”.

Also, the pump system has been entirely redesigned with improved hydraulic efficiency, greater fuel economy, and streamlined serviceability to deliver more than 15% improved fuel economy, 40% less service time and 20% greater uptime.

“The pump’s compressor belt tensioner reduces the time taken to change and adjust the belt to approximately 30 minutes, and the addition of a new sight glass allows operators to accurately monitor the level and quality of the pump’s mechanical seal oil,” Xylem said. “This new and improved design improves service efficiency and cuts overall service time by 40%.”

Kevin Snow, Godwin Global Product Manager, said: “With the launch of the Godwin CD150S, we have redefined toughness for the construction and mining industries. The interchangeable impellers of the Godwin CD150S will allow customers to tackle a full range of solids handling applications, while Xylem’s new generation of Field Smart Technology (FST) gives customers total control of the pump from anywhere in the world.

“The CD150S is also compliant with EU Stage 5 emissions standards, offering customers a more sustainable solution to complex water challenges. The new Godwin CD150S is also available to rent from various locations across our European rental network. With the new Godwin CD150S, tough is now smart, tough is flexible, tough is sustainable, and tough is on-demand.”

The new CD150S is the latest smart pump to be unveiled under the Godwin S Series – “the smart solution for water that offers unmatched control and peace of mind anytime, anywhere”.

Designed with advanced levels of monitoring and control, efficiency and reliability, the CD150S can also be equipped with a new-generation of FST, Xylem’s first-in-industry Cloud-based telematics platform that enables the Internet of Things across the entire Godwin S series, Xylem said. “Using cellular, satellite and GPS technology, customers can track, monitor and control the pump in real-time from any smartphone, tablet or desktop computer, anywhere in the world.”

The company said: “Xylem also offers a variety of FST subscription plans to suit customer needs, and users can contact a customer service representative at Xylem’s Network Operation Centre from anywhere in the world, at any time of the day or night. In addition, the new-generation FST system is smart enough to alert operators by phone if a problem arises – eliminating the need for an additional telephone alarm box. This new, smart technology increases pump uptime by up to 20% and ensures field equipment and labour resources are utilised efficiently.”

The EU Stage 5 engines provide a 90% reduction in particulate emissions, according to Xylem.

Xylem to showcase tough dewatering and flood protection pumps at Bauma

Xylem Inc says it will showcase its most resilient and innovative solutions yet at the Bauma fair in Munich, Germany, on April 8-14.

The new and improved products under Xylem’s portfolio of tough dewatering and flood protection pumps is set to “redefine toughness for the mining and construction industries”, the company said, allowing customers across Europe to “dig deeper and build bigger”.

New additions to Xylem’s portfolio include the latest smart dewatering pump from Godwin’s Smart Series – the solution for water that offers unmatched control and peace of mind anytime, anywhere. The new Godwin Dri-Prime pump has been specifically designed to combat the toughest mining and construction applications, offering improved efficiency, increased flexibility and greater sustainability, according to the company.

The new dewatering pump can be equipped with a new generation of Xylem Field Smart Technology (FST), Xylem’s first-in-industry Cloud-based telematics platform that enables the Internet of Things and allows Xylem’s customers to monitor and control the pump from anywhere in the world, the company said. Xylem’s new FST platform will be on display at the Xylem booth for the first time, with live demonstrations taking place throughout the entire show.

Jim Mowbray, International General Manager at Xylem Europe’s Dewatering business, said: “The S series has set a new industry standard with its ability to easily handle the toughest mining and construction applications, and our latest innovation will certainly redefine toughness for our customers across Europe. Our newest dewatering pump offers increased hydraulic efficiency, greater fuel economy, and streamlined serviceability, and we are delighted to bring such customer benefits to market.”

Under its Godwin brand, Xylem will also highlight its Flood Protection (FP) Dri-Prime series, the first set of high flow, portable pumps certified to handle flooding. The Godwin FP Dri-Prime series is specifically designed to remove destructive floodwaters and prevent flood water from reaching critical building systems and interior spaces, the company said. “The Godwin FP series is the only set of portable dewatering pumps to earn the seal of approval from FM Global, the largest private insurer of commercial and industrial properties worldwide,” Xylem said.

Kevin Snow, Global Product Manager for Xylem’s Godwin brand, said: “Floods can be devastating for businesses, often disrupting operations for extended periods of time. Having smart, high flow pump systems and solutions in place to help protect insured industrial and commercial properties against the growing threat of climate change is a critical flood mitigation solution for building owners and operators.

“The Godwin Dri-Prime FP Series is the latest in Xylem’s resilience-building product portfolio, and is the first to have surface mounted diesel pumps certified by FM Global. Godwin’s FP Series is compliant with the most rigorous certification standards in the world, and each pump in the series can be relied upon to handle the toughest dewatering challenge when flood waters threaten.”

At Bauma 2019, Xylem will also showcase upgrades to its Flygt 2201 series – one of Xylem’s most robust range of dewatering pumps engineered to deliver high performance, it said. The enhanced Flygt 2201 series has been specifically designed for challenging dewatering applications. “The unique, patented DuraSpin hydraulic of the Flygt 2201 has been proven to be three times more wear-resistant than traditional hydraulic designs, leading to improved serviceability and reduced maintenance costs,” Xylem said. The company will also reveal its latest addition to the series, the Flygt Super High Head Cast Iron 2201, which has the capacity to pump up to 140 m.

Xylem’s presence at Bauma follows the launch of Xylem’s new rental identity, Xylem Rental Solutions, earlier this year.

Atlas Copco extends WEDA dewatering range to slurry pump applications

Atlas Copco Power and Flow has completed its portfolio of WEDA electric submersible dewatering pumps, in the process adding a new range for slurry applications.

The range now comprises three families; the expanded WEDA D for dewatering, WEDA S – also expanded – for sludge, and the entirely new WEDA L slurry family.

WEDA D pumps handle either clean or dirty water, even with small solids, while the WEDA S range supports dewatering of liquid sludge containing larger solids. The WEDA L products are the toughest, Atlas Copco says, having the largest apertures to facilitate handling of slurry with the most challenging solids.

“The WEDA D family expansion is marked by the D80, a new model for dewatering,” Atlas Copco said. “S30, and S60, as the new models for the WEDA S sludge family, can handle thick, soft, wet mud or other similarly viscous mixtures of liquids and solids, especially the product of an industrial or refining process. The completely new WEDA L family handles semi-liquid slurry mixtures, typically of fine particles of manure, cement or coal, and water.”

Aside from optimising performance, a lot of focus has been given to making the pumps lighter, enhancing electrical safety, improving the seal design and easing installation, Atlas Copco said. All pumps in the D and S range are available with WEDA+ features, which include phase failure protection, rotation control, thermal switches and a 20 m cable with phase shifter plug for all three phase pumps. The WEDA+ features are also available as an option on the L range.

Overall, the WEDA D pumps, which use top-discharge, can handle water of specific gravity to 1,100 kg/m³, and, depending on model, solids of 4-12 mm diameter. The bottom side discharging WEDA S pumps’ capabilities extend to water with specific gravity to 1,400 kg/m³, and solids of 25-50 mm, depending on model. The WEDA L pumps, which also use bottom side discharge, handle water of specific gravity up to 1,700 kg/m³, and, depending on model, solids of 20-60 mm diameter.

The company said: “The pumps’ specifications equip them well for an extensive range of dewatering applications; they provide the performance, reliability and ease of use and maintenance essential to users across multiple industries.

“All models feature a built-in starter and motor protection system along with optional automatic level control. Adjustable wear-resistant rubber diffusors and hardened high-chrome impellers ensure durability in tough environments.”

Hrishi Kulkarni, Product Manager, Atlas Copco Power and Flow division, said: “The WEDA pumps can handle flow rates of up to 16,500 l/min, with power ratings up to 54 kW. Accordingly, they make ideal dewatering solutions across many, diverse applications within the construction, industrial, emergency and maintenance sectors. Now, our ubiquitous coverage has been highlighted by these latest additions to the range, as they make our portfolio complete.”

Handling and transportation are eased by the pumps’ weight, which is 20% lower than competitor products, Atlas Copco said, adding that this makes them especially attractive for rental use.
Ease of operation is carefully balanced with high performance, with some models’ ability to pass solids of up to 2 in (51 mm) through the pump. An improved aluminium alloy provides higher corrosion resistance over all applications, while reinforced cable entries assure higher resistance to water leakage.

“Uptime is maximised through several measures,” the company said. “All pumps have seal types appropriate to their size, and an external plug for grease filling or an oil inspection plug for easy maintenance. With many connection options and sizes, discharge connections are adjustable, with flow direction changeable from 90-180°.