Tag Archives: iron

ANDRITZ ups the filtration ante with new ME2500 filter press

ANDRITZ has introduced a new filter press, the ME2500, to complete its range of “proven” A4F and the SE series filter presses for the mining and minerals industry.

The ME2500 is the best-fit for fast processing of tailings (also with high clay content) or mining concentrates like iron, copper, lead or zinc, the company says. The new model has an hourly processing capacity of up to 450 kg/sq.m, a filtration area of up to 840 sq.m, and features chained plates for faster filter cake discharge. These attributes enable the highest throughputs without compromising on safety, while reflecting a customer focus on saving water, ANDRITZ says.

The innovative closure system on the ME2500 largely replaces hydraulic components with electrical ones and further reduces cycle times, thus increasing capacity and operating availability.

“The increased use of electrical components enables highly sustainable operation of the filter press by reducing the amount of hydraulic oil needed, as well as improving safety thanks to more precise control and less reliance on high-pressure lines that are susceptible to leaks,” the company said.

In addition, and to further optimise the productivity of single machines or plants with multiple filter presses, all modules of the ANDRITZ intelligent filter press – controlled by the Metris addIQ control system – are also available for the ME2500 filter press and can be provided with the full range of options. This draws on smart sensors, data analytics and augmented reality, including multiple sensors to allow for online safety monitoring of the plate package and moveable parts.

The company concluded: “The safe disposal of tailings generated by the mining and minerals sector is a significant cost factor for the industry. ANDRITZ is known for its innovative range of overhead and sidebar filter presses that meet the industry’s most stringent requirements with regard to fast cake discharge and saving water and costs. The maintenance-friendly equipment from ANDRITZ is easily upgradeable, with a modular design for customised process solutions.”

Canada Nickel’s Crawford mine could be low carbon nickel leader, Skarn says

Canada Nickel Company, following an assessment from metals and mining ESG research company, Skarn Associates, claims its Crawford project in Ontario, Canada, could have an industry leading low carbon footprint, lower than 99.7% of existing global nickel production.

When in operation, Crawford is expected to produce 2.05 t of carbon dioxide (CO2) per tonne of nickel-equivalent production over the life of mine, which is 93% lower than the industry average of 29 tonnes of CO2, it said.

These results are based on a study by Skarn Associates, applying data from Canada Nickel’s preliminary economic assessment (PEA), the results of which were released on May 25, 2021. This study from Ausenco estimated annual average nickel production of 34,000 t over a 25-year life of mine, use of autonomous trolley trucks and electric shovels to reduce diesel use by 40%, and optimisation of the carbon sequestration potential of the tailings and waste rock. A feasibility study on the project is expected to be completed by mid-2022.

On the Skarn study, Canada Nickel said: “Importantly, this CO2 footprint estimate does not include the carbon offset expected to be provided from the process of spontaneous mineral carbonation from the tailings and waste rock comprised largely of serpentine rock which naturally absorbs CO2 when exposed to air.”

Mark Selby, Chair & CEO of the company, said: “This study demonstrates that Canada Nickel’s Crawford project can be a world-leading large scale, low cost nickel supplier while possessing an extremely low carbon footprint. I am particularly excited that we can achieve this result even before we include the carbon offset potential from our waste rock and tailings which we expect to allow us to produce NetZero NickelTM, NetZero CobaltTM, and NetZero IronTM.

“These results reflect the mine’s low strip ratio and our ability to utilise the low carbon hydroelectricity in the region and by using trolley trucks and electric shovels to reduce the consumption of diesel fuel.”

Skarn Associates’ proprietary E0 GHG intensity metric relates to Scope 1 and 2 mine site emissions from mining and processing of ore, plus fugitive emissions. It includes emissions from integrated smelting and refining facilities, but excludes emissions from third-party smelting and refining, Canada Nickel explained.

Emission intensities are stated on a recovered nickel-equivalent basis, calculated using average 2020 metal prices. Emissions are pro-rated across all commodities produced by the mine, based on contribution to gross revenue.

Rio Tinto bringing Richards Bay Minerals back online

Close to four weeks after deciding to curtail operations at its Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) operations in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, Rio Tinto says it has started the process of resuming work at the zircon, rutile, iron and slag works.

The U-turn follows discussions led by the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Sihle Zikalala, involving all stakeholders focused on securing stability in order to address the issues in the community and provide the stable environment necessary for RBM to resume operations, Rio said.

Rio, which owns 74% of RBM, previously made the call to suspend work to ensure the safety and security of its employees due to an escalation in violence in the communities surrounding the operations.

In the December 4 announcement, it said: “There has been an escalation of criminal activity towards RBM employees and one was shot and seriously injured in the last few days. As a result, all mining operations at RBM have been halted and the smelters are operating at a reduced level, with a minimum number of employees now on site. Construction of the Zulti South project has also been temporarily paused.”

In its latest statement, the company said a phased restart is now in progress across the operation, with RBM expected to return to full operations in early January, leading to regular production in early 2020.

Having previously advised of a force majeure in supply following the suspension, Rio is now contacting customers to say this declaration has been lifted. The company said it would also review the restart of the Zulti South project after normalisation of operations at RBM.

The $463 million Zulti South project will sustain RBM’s current capacity and extend mine life. RBM currently operates four mines in the Zulti North lease area, a mineral separation plant and smelting complex. The Zulti South mine will underpin RBM’s supply of zircon and ilmenite over the life of mine, according to the company.

Bold Baatar, chief executive, Energy & Minerals, said: “The safety and security of our people is always our first priority and we are pleased that we will now be able to get back to work creating value for our people, our communities, South Africa and RBM’s shareholders.

“I would like to thank the Government of South Africa and the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal for their support and assistance in getting us to a position where we can restart operations at RBM. I would also acknowledge the work of community leaders and the police over the previous few weeks.”

Rio previously advised that titanium dioxide slag production for 2019 was expected to be at the bottom end of 2019 guidance of between 1.2-1.4 Mt.

thyssenkrupp helps keep BHP South Flank iron project on track

thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions (Australia) says it is on track to deliver the world’s largest rail-mounted stackers and reclaimer on schedule for BHP’s South Flank iron ore project, in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

The company was, in November 2018, awarded the contract to design, supply, construct and commission two stackers that will deposit iron ore into stockyards for loading, and a reclaimer for loading the ore into trains for transport to Port Hedland.

These large machines will each have a capacity of 20,000 t/h, making them the largest rail mounted stackers and reclaimer in the world.

thyssenkrupp developed the two fully autonomous stackers and reclaimer with the latest statutory requirements for functional safety as defined in AS4024 and AS61508. For machine collision avoidance, a combination of GPS, SIL-rated encoders and limits are used. The fully autonomous machines are digitally connected and monitored from a remote centralised control room, according to thyssenkrupp.

Offsite pre-assembly of these locally designed and manufactured machines is well underway in Perth, according to the company, with many of the large pre-assembled modules already complete. These modules are to be transported from their current location at the AMC complex in Henderson, to the BHP South Flank site with construction likely to commence in late January 2020. The first machine will be commissioned and ready for first ore in line with BHP’s 2021 target.

Zoran Matijevic, Project Director – South Flank Project at thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions (Australia), said: “It has been a great privilege to lead thyssenkrupp’s team through design, procurement, fabrication and preassembly phases so far, and achieve 50% overall project progress milestone ahead of the plan. I look forward to logistics, construction and commissioning phases and final handover of this equipment.”

thyssenkrupp’s Industrial Solutions global Business Unit (BU) Mining has recently streamlined its operations and are now fully focusing on mining equipment, with the engineering centre of excellence for materials handling located in Perth.

TNG signs up Genesee & Wyoming Australia for Mount Peake freight job

TNG Ltd says it has entered into a binding heads of agreement (HoA) with Genesee & Wyoming Australia (GWA), the third-largest rail operator in Australia, for the provision of rail haulage services for its flagship, 100%-owned Mount Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project, in the Northern Territory.

Genesee & Wyoming is a global railroad owner and operator with extensive experience in the transport of bulk commodities for the resources industry, and is the majority owner of the rail line to Darwin that runs approximately 1,100 km from the Mount Peake mine site, according to TNG.

Rail haulage will underpin the logistics chain transporting the magnetite concentrate to be produced by the proposed beneficiation plant at the Mount Peake mine site to the proposed TIVAN® processing facility in Darwin, where TNG intends to produce high-purity vanadium pentoxide, titanium pigment and iron ore fines.

The scope of services includes the loading of magnetite concentrate onto rail at the Adnera rail siding (proposed to be located 85 km from the mine site), rail haulage from Adnera to the TIVAN facility, in Darwin, on the Tarcoola-to-Darwin rail line, and the unloading of magnetite concentrate at the TIVAN facility.

GWA will also load and transport TNG’s final products from the TIVAN facility to the Darwin Port, providing all necessary rail transport plant and equipment, including locomotives, wagons, crew vans and fuelling equipment.

“Following execution of the HoA, TNG and GWA will work together on an exclusive basis, and commit the necessary resources, to develop an optimised rail haulage strategy for Mount Peake, and negotiate and finalise a rail haulage agreement,” TNG said.

TNG’s Managing Director and CEO, Paul Burton, said: “GWA’s presence and expertise in logistics and transportation further strengthens TNG’s global network of high-quality partners assigned for the development and operation of Mount Peake.” This includes the likes of McMahon Services and SMS Group.

An updated definitive feasibility study on Mount Peake from 2017 envisaged pre-production capex of A$853 million ($617 million) for a 3 Mt/y project ramping up to 6 Mt/y in year five. This would see 24.3 Mt of magnetic concentrate turned into 10.6 Mt iron oxide and 243,000 t of vanadium oxide.

Cleveland-Cliffs nears Northshore Mining expansion milestone

Cleveland-Cliffs says it will host a ribbon cutting ceremony for the expansion at its Northshore Mining subsidiary, in Silver Bay, Minnesota, US, on August 7, as the $100 million upgrade nears completion.

The company will be celebrating the startup of the new production equipment, including supporting infrastructure, which will be completed on schedule and within the total investment budget of $100 million, it said. Cleveland-Cliffs invested in upgrading the concentrator building, a new scavenger building, new conveyor systems, a limestone tank and a steam generating plant to support large-scale commercial production of DR-grade pellets.

The company broke ground on the project in March 2018, with the execution of the project concluding after nearly 300,000 labour hours of work, it said. Construction jobs created for the project included 150 people employed at peak construction, which included management, craft and labour.

“With the conclusion of the project, Northshore Mining will be the only US-based iron ore processing facility to produce low silica DR (direct reduction)-grade pellets,” the company said.

The Northshore operation will immediately start to produce DR-grade pellet feedstock for Cliffs’ hot briquetted iron Plant in Toledo, Ohio, a $830 million investment that will be commissioned in mid-2020, as well as DR-grade pellets to be exported to “a new clientele of DRI (direct reduced iron) producers outside the US”, it said.

McMahon welcomed to TNG Mount Peake vanadium-titanium-iron team

TNG has engaged construction group McMahon Services to progress the program of work for the non-process infrastructure (NPI) requirements for its flagship 100%-owned Mount Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project, in the Northern Territory of Australia.

The contract encompasses the NPI at both the Mount Peake mine site, located 235 km north of Alice Springs, and the Darwin TIVAN® processing facility, and will be undertaken in parallel with the front-end engineering and design study for the project being progressed by SMS group.

The NPI requirements for the project include but are not limited to haul roads, airfield upgrades, concentrate handling infrastructure, water and power infrastructure, accommodation facilities and concentrate storage facilities, TNG said.

As part of its engagement, McMahon will advance the existing NPI planning developed by TNG and finalise detailed scopes of work and scheduling for the NPI across both sites. MCM will then work collaboratively with TNG to develop the tendering documents and implement the strategy and delivery framework for the NPI works packages.

“This will extend to any approvals, capital budgeting and detailed project scheduling, enabling progression into the detailed design and ultimately construction phases with selected contractors, in a manner consistent with TNG’s project execution strategy,” TNG said.

TNG’s Managing Director and CEO, Paul Burton, said: “We have been able to establish a global network of high-quality partners in the fields of engineering, project financing and product off-take to help us advance this world-class project towards financing and construction. We are delighted to add McMahon Services – a high calibre Australian contractor with an existing strong footprint in the Northern Territory – to our project development team.”

An updated definitive feasibility study on Mount Peake from 2017 envisaged pre-production capex of A$853 million ($617 million) for a 3 Mt/y project ramping up to 6 Mt/y in year five. This would see 24.3 Mt of magnetic concentrate turned into 10.6 Mt iron oxide and 243,000 t of vanadium oxide.

Nordmin to survey European Electric Metals’ Skroska project in Albania

European Electric Metals has engaged the Nordmin Group of Companies to undertake a site inspection and to comment on the apparent condition of the surface and underground infrastructure and equipment of the Skroska project in Albania.

The site inspection will allow Nordmin to judge whether the existing underground workings and mine equipment can be used if the operations at the Skroska mine are restarted at present capacity of approximately 200 t/d. It will also allow the company to ascertain the requirements for potential expansions.

The Skroska deposit had a ‘historic’ resource of 22.4 Mt of laterite grading 0.99% Ni, 49.13% Fe and 0.065% Co. The laterite deposit is estimated to range from 2 m to 10 m in thickness and to average approximately 6 m thick.

The deposit occurs between the ultramafic rocks below and limestone on top or as a capping. The limestone is a competent rock making it an excellent candidate for use as a natural roof for the open stope underground mining method employed historically at the mine and proposed for the future.

Records indicate around 1.15 Mt of laterite ore was mined during 1985-1990 (by the state-owned mining enterprise) and between 2008-2013 (by a local private company).

The Nordmin Group of Companies is a 100% North American owned and operated provider of comprehensive EPC and EPCM solutions worldwide to industrial sectors spanning resource and project definition through construction and site closure. The group includes Nordmin Engineering, Nordmin Constructors and Nordmin Operators, and is based in Thunder Bay, Ontario with offices in Sudbury, Ontario, Kamloops, British Columbia and Salt Lake City, Utah.

European Electric Metals expects the technical team of Nordmin to be on site in December.

TNG “de-risks” Mount Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project with SMS contract

TNG has signed up SMS Group to carry out the front-end engineering and design (FEED) phase of its Mount Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project in the Northern Territory of Australia.

The mandate for the contract encompasses the Mount Peake concentrator, the TIVAN® processing plant and all associated plant and equipment.

The two companies have been working together on the TIVAN process for some time. The process, developed by the two companies and Perth, Australia-based metallurgical consultants METS and the CSIRO, has been primarily designed for hydro-metallurgical extraction of vanadium, preferably as vanadium pentoxide, from a titano-magnetite orebody and also for separating the titanium and iron, preferably as ferric oxide and titanium dioxide.

The process has undergone more than six years of development including several successful pilot plant test stages, and is designed to use conventional and existing equipment currently used in extractive resources, TNG says.

In addition to the FEED contract for the process, plant and equipment, SMS’ scope will include providing a proposal for full procurement and construction, including the balance of plant and equipment to be provided on a turnkey, single-source, fixed price EPC basis.

Under the contract, SMS will now design and engineer the entire processing flowsheet for Mount Peake, which includes the concentrator, where magnetite concentrate is to be produced, and the downstream processing plant, where three high-purity products – vanadium pentoxide, titanium dioxide and iron oxide – will be produced.

Interestingly, SMS has agreed to provide to TNG production quantity, production rate and production quality guarantees, elements TNG Managing Director Paul Burton (pictured, left) said would significantly “de-risk” the project.

SMS’s responsible Managing Director Herbert Weissenbaeck (pictured, right) said the agreement was the logical next step in the development of TIVAN and Mount Peake – “which together have the potential to essentially disrupt the TiO2 pigment and vanadium space”.

The downstream processing plant will use TNG’s 100%-owned TIVAN process. The scope of work for the plant will include a titanium pigment plant – to be developed in collaboration with its nominated sub-contractor Ti-Cons.

An updated definitive feasibility study on Mount Peake from 2017 envisaged pre-production capex of A$853 million ($617 million) for a 3 Mt/y project ramping up to 6 Mt/y in year five. This would see 24.3 Mt of magnetic concentrate turned into 10.6 Mt iron oxide and 243,000 t of vanadium oxide.