Tag Archives: mineral processing

More Weba chutes set to arrive at Zimbabwe platinum mine

South Africa-based Weba Chute Systems is set to provide 10 more of its custom engineered transfer chutes for the expansion of an underground crusher station at a platinum mine in Zimbabwe.

Overseeing the contract for Weba Chute Systems is Project Manager, Ted Cruikshank, who explains that the design, manufacture and delivery of the units is already 80% complete. Over the past 20 years, the company has installed approximately 70 chutes for this customer.

“The chutes being supplied in this latest contract will feed run-of-mine material from the ore pass to the underground crusher, as well as from the crusher to the outgoing conveyor,” Cruikshank said. “This has involved designing and building chutes ranging in height from two metres to six metres.”

Before the crusher, the chutes take large material of up to 650 mm in size from a vibrating feeder, at a maximum tonnage of 1,100 t/h. Other chutes take the feeder’s undersize, which is smaller than 180 mm in size, at 550 t/h. Some of the chutes will also be used in conveyor-to-conveyor applications; these feed 1,500-mm wide belts with up to 1,350 t/h of material with a maximum lump size of 250 mm.

“The abrasiveness of platinum ore makes our chute design philosophy – based on the cascade system – very important,” Cruikshank said. “Our use of dead boxes on the inside of the chute creates a layer of ore for the moving material to flow over – thereby extending the wear life of the chute itself.”

Replaceable lips on the dead boxes become primary wear parts, which can be easily and quickly swapped out at the necessary intervals. By controlling the flow of the mined and crushed material, the chutes facilitate smoother transition and central loading onto conveyor belts, in turn reducing wear, damage and spillage, the company explained.

“The chutes also include inspection doors for easy access during maintenance,” Cruikshank said. “To promote optimal uptime for the customer, we are also including a spare set of wearing lip liners for each chute. These are vital for securing the material layer, while ensuring that the dead box itself is protected from undue wear.”

Weba Chute Systems’ agent in Zimbabwe, the locally owned firm Hilmax, will supervise the installation of the chutes.

Weir preparing to trial proprietary ore sorting tech by the end of 2022

In the Weir Group Capital Markets Event presentation last week, Chris Carpenter revealed that the company was collaborating within its divisions on trials of ore sorting technology in an effort to move less rock at mine sites and optimise processing within the plant.

Carpenter, Vice President of Technology at Weir ESCO, said the company was combining Motion Metrics’ particle size distribution (PSD) capability with ore characterisation technology to explore “in-pit sorting” opportunities for its clients.

“Looking further out, we believe ore characterisation and in-pit ore sorting has the potential to transform mining by moving less rock, using less energy and creating less waste,” he said during his presentation. “Ore characterisation technology, which is underpinned by sophisticated sensing systems, captures critical data on properties and composition of rock, including rock hardness and mineral and moisture content.

“When coupled with Motion Metrics fragmentation analysis technology, it has the potential to be a game changer, giving miners a full picture of the size and characteristics of rocks.”

Motion Metrics, a developer of artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D rugged machine vision technology, was acquired by Weir almost a year ago, with the business incorporated into the Weir ESCO division. Its smart, rugged cameras monitor and provide data on equipment performance, faults, payloads and rock fragmentation. This data is then analysed using embedded and cloud-based AI to provide real-time feedback to the mining operation.

These technologies were initially developed for ground engaging tool applications but have recently been extended into a suite of products and solutions that can be applied from drill and blast through to primary processing.

Carpenter said the added PSD capability from Motion Metrics was expanding the company’s value presence across the mine to the processing plant, where Weir Minerals operates.

“Results from early adoption of Motion Metrics PSD solutions have been extremely encouraging,” he said. “Feedback from customers is positive; data sharing and collaboration have increased.

“Given this early progress, we are really excited about the opportunity and expect fragmentation analysis to be a key growth driver for Motion Metrics in the years to come.”

On the in-pit sorting potential, Carpenter said Weir ESCO had laboratory-validated equipment and field trials of its proprietary solution that were due to start at customer sites before the end of the year tied to these developments.

“If successful, this technology opens the door to in-pit sorting, where miners complete the first stage of crushing in the pit and analyse the outputs to make real-time decisions about which rocks have sufficient mineral content to be moved,” he said. “This is a step change from the current process, where energy is expended in transporting and processing all of the rocks, regardless of mineral content, and with significant waste generated from zero- and low-grade material.”

He concluded: “Our vision is to move less rock, moving only the rocks with sufficient mineral content and using the data that is captured on size and hardness to optimise processing. The natural evolution thereafter will be towards real-time automation control of processing equipment, ensuring the right rocks are processed in the most efficient way, using less energy and creating less waste.”

Weir Minerals expands local presence in Kazakhstan with new service ‘Supercentre’

Weir Minerals says it has opened a new service “Supercentre” in Almaty, Kazakhstan, marking a strategically important milestone that expands local capabilities of its engineering and service expertise to accelerate customer support in the region.

The new facility includes a customer service office; a workshop for maintenance, repair and assembly of Warman® pumps, Cavex® hydrocyclones and Isogate® knife-gate valves; and a warehouse holding strategic equipment and spare parts under Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) contracts. The 3,300 sq.m Weir Minerals Supercentre is fully equipped to perform rubber lining with premium Linatex® rubber in both cold and hot bonding, the company added.

Weir Minerals service capabilities in Kazakhstan include a complete range of services, such as installation supervision and commissioning, operational support, maintenance and troubleshooting, assistance in developing a maintenance strategy and equipment condition monitoring and analysis.

The official opening of the Supercentre was carried out by Carola Schulz, Managing Director of Weir Minerals NATCA (North Africa, Turkey and Central Asia); Gavin Dyer, Regional Managing Director of Weir Minerals ENACA (Europe and NATCA); and key customers and partners of Weir Minerals in Central Asia.

Schulz said: “Our new Supercentre in Kazakhstan will support our key customers in the region, as well as manufacture Linatex hoses and execute rubber-lining activities. This £1 million ($1.1 million) investment is core to our localisation strategy and we will continue to invest to support our ambitious growth plans in Central Asia. We have a very close strategic partnership with our customers in Kazakhstan; and we have recently been very successful with new projects in Uzbekistan. This facility will initially be supporting our customers in Uzbekistan.”

Dyer continued: “We are guided by the philosophy of supporting the local economy and always being located close to our customers. We strive to be able to contribute to our customers’ value chain and support their success; and for me the local employees are the main pillar ensuring that we are successful. It is our people that create our legacy, and we are heavily investing in the development of our employees to support our growth and the growth of our customers.”

George Sweiha, Group Procurement Director at KAZ Minerals Group, said: “From the very beginning of the mineral extraction projects at the Bozshakol and Aktogay sites, KAZ Minerals Group has been striving to ensure that original equipment manufacturers are represented in Kazakhstan to develop local capabilities; by this I mean hiring and developing local specialists and building best-in-class facilities. I am glad to see that Weir Minerals shares our vision and recognises the huge benefits of localisation for business partners, but most importantly for the country and society in which we operate.”

Sandvik completes acquisition of Schenck Process Group

Sandvik says it has completed the previously announced acquisition of the mining related business of Schenck Process Group (SP Mining).

SP Mining is one of the market leaders in screening, feeding, screening media and train loading solutions in the industry, according to Sandvik. It also has a strong aftermarket business, which includes application support, screen refurbishment, product engineering design and manufacturing and digital support services.

It will be reported in Stationary Crushing and Screening, a division in Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions (SRP).

The two companies already had a global partnership agreement in place dating from 2016 that brought together Sandvik’s high productivity cone crushers and Schenck Process’ high capacity multislope screens.

In 2022, SP Mining expects revenues of about €200 million ($199 million) of which approximately 70% is aftermarket, and an EBITA margin accretive to Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions’ margin, Sandvik said.

Sandvik announced the planned acquisition of SP Mining back in May.

Iron Bridge Magnetite project progresses with first ore feed milestone

Fortescue Metals Group has reached a new milestone on its majority-owned Iron Bridge Magnetite project in the Pilbara of Western Australia, with first ore fed into the processing plant.

With first production anticipated in the March 2023 quarter, Iron Bridge will see the world’s fourth largest iron ore miner deliver an enhanced product range and create 900 new jobs, it said.

Significantly, it could become one of Fortescue’s first fossil fuel free sites, enabled by the recently announced $6.2 billion decarbonisation investment to reach “real zero” Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030.

At a milestone event held at Iron Bridge today, Fortescue’s Executive Chairman, Andrew Forrest, was joined by Chief Operating Officer Iron Ore, Dino Otranto, Fortescue Board members, Elizabeth Gaines and Penny Bingham-Hall, representatives from joint venture partner Formosa, Western Australian Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Roger Cook, along with company executives, valued partners and suppliers.

Traditional Custodians also attended the milestone event to welcome over 100 guests to Nyamal country.

Iron Bridge, 145 km south of Port Hedland, will deliver 22 Mt/y of high grade 67% Fe magnetite concentrate. This product enables Fortescue to enter the high iron ore grade market segment, providing an enhanced product range while also increasing annual production and shipping capacity, it said.

Since the investment decision in April 2019, more than 12.8 million workhours have culminated in the design and construction of the mine, pipelines, village and infrastructure at Iron Bridge. There are currently 3,470 people working across the Ore Processing Facility and pipelines scope of work.

Forrest said: “At Fortescue, we take pride in the fact that we consistently deliver what we say we will, and Iron Bridge is no different. Building on our track record of safely and successfully developing and operating iron ore projects in the Pilbara, Iron Bridge will lead the way for magnetite operations in Western Australia.

“This project demonstrates Fortescue’s commitment to our strategic pillars of investing in the long-term sustainability of our iron ore business, investing in growth, maintaining balance sheet strength, as well as delivering strong returns to our shareholders.

“As we transition to a global green energy, technology and resources company, Iron Bridge is an obvious choice to be considered as one of our first decarbonised, fossil fuel free sites, as we deliver on our target to achieve real zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030.”

Otranto said: “The Iron Bridge high grade magnetite product is a significant differentiator for Fortescue, and led by the highly experienced project team, I am incredibly pleased with the significant progress made to achieve first ore feed into the processing plant.

“This is a project that has been delivered during a challenging environment, and despite a global pandemic, rising inflationary pressures and a tight labour market, the Fortescue Values have risen to the forefront and demonstrated our ability to continue delivering this ground-breaking project.”

The nature of the Iron Bridge orebodies and Fortescue’s use of a dry crushing and grinding circuit together contribute to the project’s operational efficiency across energy, water use and cost.

Low cost power will be delivered to Iron Bridge through Fortescue’s investment in the Pilbara Energy Connect project, which includes energy transmission line infrastructure, solar gas hybrid generation and associated battery storage solution.

The Iron Bridge Magnetite project is an unincorporated joint venture between FMG Magnetite Pty Ltd (69%), and Formosa Steel IB Pty Ltd (31%). The joint venture partners are each responsible for their equity share of the total capital expenditure.

MMD to deliver prime sizing station to gold-copper mine in Southeast Asia

MMD says it has signed a contract to deliver a 1150 Series Fixed Sizer Station to an open-pit gold and copper mining operation in Southeast Asia in 2023.

Once installed, the sizer station will provide increased processing at 2,600 t/h and extend the mine’s life, according to the company.

The open-pit mine is situated in a remote and tropical region of Southeast Asia. Run-of-mine ore delivered by trucks to the fixed sizer station is abrasive and the seasonal heavy rainfall can make it very sticky. Like most sizer stations, it is a turnkey tailored design featuring: apron feeder, grizzly, 1150 Series Sizer and discharge conveyor. Additionally, MMD will be providing the supporting steelwork and electrical package, it said.

The modular design, together with the compact nature of the sizer station’s components, suits the logistical and accessibility challenges faced with getting the machine assembled at this remote mine location, according to the company. The sizer station’s flexibility, together with high energy efficiency, minimal maintenance and low installation costs, delivers a low total cost of ownership, it added.

The scope of supply includes both engineering and manufacture. This encompasses consultancy and design work, and will include training, installation, commissioning and supervision as the project is delivered.

Mark McVey, Lead Director at MMD Australia, said: “We are pleased to have been chosen as the supplier for the gold and copper ore processing project. Our technology will provide an energy-efficient sizing solution that will process the variable material conditions at consistently high tonnages, supporting the customer’s future objectives.”

MMD has already manufactured some of the major components and is working with the customer to deliver all the components for completion of the project in 2023.

Kwatani looks to digital monitoring for improved screen uptime

Close monitoring is the basis for keeping vibrating screens productive and achieving the lowest cost of ownership, according to Kenny Mayhew-Ridgers, Chief Operating Officer of South Africa-based vibrating screen specialist Kwatani.

Moving from paper systems to digital solutions is a vital step towards this goal, he added.

“Where machine data recording – combined with periodic inspections and regular maintenance – can be captured in the digital sphere, you can generate a complete picture of the equipment’s lifecycle,” Mayhew-Ridgers says. “Real-time data monitoring is a game changer for screen reliability and performance.”

Wherever there are operational deviations from the prescribed norm, sensor-generated data can quickly alert the right people on the mine – giving them the ability to react timeously, he says. Importantly, this technology also allows patterns to be detected in the relationship between component life and throughput.

“By analysing these patterns, the mine can make well-informed decisions about its maintenance strategies, being aware of the optimal conditions for its equipment duty,” Mayhew-Ridgers says. “It also gives us, as original equipment manufacturers, the opportunity to compare machine performance in detail across different customer sites – so that we can adapt and advise accordingly.”

Where Kwatani sees one customer getting longer life from their exciters, for instance, the relevant data is easily available to make comparisons and identify distinguishing factors. He explains that Kwatani can monitor its vibrating screens using industrial sensors and measurement technology which is readily available and supported worldwide. In other words, it is not so specialised that it becomes unaffordable; neither is it so complicated that customers cannot maintain it themselves, the company says.

“What is key to the successful application of digital technology is that the raw data that we process must be analysed to become useful for decision making and planning,” Mayhew-Ridgers says. “This means streaming it seamlessly to databases, and allowing our customers to visualise the information effectively.”

To do this, Kwatani partners with system integrators and works closely with its mining customers so that the end users get the most out of the information without spending time and money to process the raw data themselves.

This digital monitoring can also help to overcome a common challenge in many mining operations: working in silos. Paper systems do not easily lend themselves to sharing of data across different aspects of the operation. This, in turn, makes it difficult to improve equipment performance on a holistic basis. The availability of various streams of data on a single platform enhances transparency between service technicians, foreman, engineers and the OEM of equipment on site.

“This of course requires that we integrate our systems with our customers’ existing infrastructure, which is an important focus for us,” Mayhew-Ridgers says. “Whether greenfields or brownfields project, it is important that information be compatible and seamlessly shared.”

He highlights that the data generated is valuable not only for reflecting a machine’s current status, but because it can store an entire life cycle history. Digital systems can keep track of the equipment’s inspections, maintenance and operational performance over its lifespan.

“The insights gained from this can lead to improvements in the design, or in the way that it is operated,” Mayhew-Ridgers says. “This can result in better efficiencies, improved production or other benefits.”

In 2021, Sandvik Group acquired Kwatani with its more than 45 year legacy as an OEM, and its South African manufacturing facilities are set to become the global engineering and manufacturing base for vibrating screens and feeders for both local and international customers.

The company is a Level 2 B-BBEE organisation. The Kwatani brand will continue to be used across Africa while products sold internationally will be sold through the Sandvik sales channels under the Kwatani product name.

Metso Outotec adds mill lining recycling to latest Boliden Kevitsa service agreement

Metso Outotec says it has signed a Life Cycle Services (LCS) contract with Boliden for its Kevitsa mine in the Sodankylä region of Finland, which will see the OEM offer the mining company a novel Planet Positive mill lining recycling service for used liners.

The 3+2-year agreement covers the supply and optimisation services of the Megaliner™ liners for four mills with advanced discharge systems, supported by shutdown planning and execution services of the mill linings.

The contract is a performance-based cost-per-tonne agreement, with the common target to ensure the availability of the grinding circuit and to maximise valuable production time, striving for a common sustainability goal that benefits both parties, the company said.

The value of the order is about €35 million ($34 million) and the first part of the contract has been booked in Minerals’ September quarter orders received.

Anssi Poutanen, Senior Vice President, Mill Lining business line, Metso Outotec, said: “We are very excited to expand cooperation with Boliden in Finland. Metso Outotec is committed to supporting Boliden’s operative and sustainability targets and further increasing their liner wear life. When it is time to replace the worn liners, our innovative mill lining recycling service will dispose of the worn liners in a sustainable way.”

After over a decade of intensive development work and pilots for worn mill liner recycling, Metso Outotec says it is ready to introduce its latest circularity innovation, a unique separation line to process rubber, Poly-Met™ and Megaliner liners of all sizes. For customers, the new mill liner recycling service solves the problem of disposing of worn mill liners and offers a way to reduce CO2 emissions and improve environmental efficiency, as less material is being sent to landfills unprocessed, according to the company.

The first-of-its-kind service aims to recycle and create value from used mill liners on an industrial scale. It enables the separation of different liner components so that they can be either reused or recycled in the most optimal way.

Lars Furtenbach, RTD & Engineering Director, Mill lining business line at Metso Outotec, said the new separation line has already processed more than 200 liners.

“We are also exploring ways to increase the number of recycled materials in our liners to further close the circularity loop,” he added.

In the first phase, the recycling service using the new separation line is available for mill lining service contract customers in Europe. The recycling service will be expanded to new markets in 2023.

Q.E.D. Environmental Systems launches new aggressive fluid duty landfill liquid pump

Q.E.D. Environmental Systems, Inc, a manufacturer of innovative environmental products and subsidiary of Graco Inc, has launched new aggressive fluid duty landfill liquid pump for diverse range of applications, including mining.

The AutoPump® Ultra 4+ Aggressive Fluid Duty landfill liquid pump features upgraded materials that extends the pump’s service life and expands its use cases to a wider set of conditions, the company says.

The pump has stainless steel parts that have been upgraded to 316-grade, dramatically improving corrosion resistance. Its non-metallic internal parts, meanwhile, are polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF), a high-grade engineered plastic that retains higher strength at elevated temperatures and has extremely broad chemical resistance. These components ensure the new pump withstands the acidic and oxidising cleaning agents sometimes used for pump maintenance.

The AutoPump Ultra 4+ Aggressive Fluids pump has a patented design to achieve chemical resistance that lasts in a host of challenging scenarios, according to the company. Specifically, it is able to provide reliability and safety in the following difficult conditions: hydrocarbon (LNAPL and dissolved phase) remediation; landfill leachate and methane condensate pumping; solvent (dissolved phase and DNAPL) clean-up; suspended solids, silts and corrosives; high viscosities; high temperatures; and frequent starts and stops.

It is available as either a 4 in (102 mm) bottom inlet or a 4 in top inlet and can withstand temperatures up to 180° fahrenheit (82°C). It has a maximum fluid viscosity of 1,000 centistokes, a maximum depth of 250 ft (76 m), and a flow range of 6-14 gallons per minute (23-53 litres per minute).