Tag Archives: mineral sands

KPS to leverage ETC tech in hybrid power conversion at Iluka’s Jacinth Ambrosia mine

Pacific Energy Ltd’s wholly owned KPS subsidiary has signed a contract to convert its 10 MW diesel power station at Iluka Resources’ Jacinth Ambrosia mineral sands mine in South Australia to a hybrid facility.

The facility will incorporate electric turbo compounding (ETC) technology, which, the company says, allows generators to maintain the same power output using less fuel and producing lower CO2 emissions.

The conversion and upgrade will have a meaningful impact on lowering emissions and fuel costs for Iluka, Pacific Energy claims.

KPS has operated the 10 MW diesel power station at the Jacinth Ambrosia site since 2009. Under the new contract, which runs for an initial term of seven years, KPS will:

  • Install 3.5 MW of solar power generation;
  • Integrate the solar array with the diesel power station; and
  • Introduce ETC technology to each of the 10 1 MW generators.

ETC technology makes generators work more cleanly and effectively by recovering waste energy from the exhaust to improve power density and fuel efficiency, the company explained.

Juwi Renewable Energy Pty Ltd, the Brisbane-based subsidiary of juwi AG, is to construct the medium penetration solar/diesel hybrid power solution for Jacinth Ambrosia, with KPS owning and operating the hybrid project. After completion, it is expected to deliver almost 21% of the mine site’s annual electricity needs.

Pacific Energy Chief Executive, Jamie Cullen, said: “This is an exciting development for both Pacific Energy and Iluka Resources in what we believe is a world first – integrating solar and ETC technology with an existing fossil fuel facility. The reduction in diesel consumption and improvement in fuel efficiency is expected to save over 2 million litres of diesel and over 5,500 tonnes of CO2 per year, every year, for at least the next seven years.”

Strandline seals energy agreement for Coburn with Contract Power Australia

Strandline Resources has executed a 15-year electricity supply agreement (ESA) with Contract Power Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pacific Energy Ltd, to build, own, operate and maintain (BOOM) the power generation and LNG storage and regasification facilities for the Coburn mineral sands project in Western Australia.

Coburn’s purpose-designed power infrastructure is based on a low-cost, low-emission solution integrating natural gas-fuelled generation with state-of-the-art solar and battery storage technology.

The executed ESA, which follows Contract Power Australia being appointed preferred contractor at Coburn, enables Strandline to capture energy supply cost savings relative to the definitive feasibility study published in June 2020. This study anticipated a development capital for the project of A$260 million ($199 million), excluding financing costs.

Contract Power specialises in turnkey design, installation and operation of energy assets and has a strong track record of delivery in the mining sector of Western Australia, Strandline said.

Coburn’s power station will be located near the mineral separation plant. The power station is designed to be suitable for a maximum demand capacity of 15 MW and average consumed power of circa-10 MW. Natural gas will be supplied by others under an industry standard long-term LNG supply agreement and trucked to an on-site storage and re-vapourisation facility supplied by Contract Power. The LNG then feeds a set of engine generators on an N+1 basis and has circa-30% solar (renewable) penetration for the major stable loads. Generation is at 11 kV with step up to 22 kV for power transmission to the project loads across the mine site.

Coburn has a JORC compliant mineral resource of 1,600 Mt at 1.2% total heavy mineral (THM), classified as 119 Mt measured, 607 Mt indicated, and 880 Mt inferred. The ore reserve comes in at 523 Mt grading 1.11% THM for circa-5.8 Mt of contained heavy mineral, underpinning an initial mine life of 22.5 years at a mining rate of 23.4 Mt/y.

The contract is based on a 15-year BOOM commercial model with fixed and variable payment regime for power consumed over the term, Strandline said. The contract provides for incorporation of wind turbine and other new generation technology solutions under agreed commercial structures as and when they become commercially attractive to the project.

Strandline Managing Director, Luke Graham, said the execution of this major development and operational contract marked another key step in the company’s strategy to bring Coburn into production as well as establishing an important relationship with Contract Power, a leader in sustainable clean energy generation in Western Australia.

Tronox boosts mineral sands dredging process with help of IPR-supplied SlurrySucker

Following a successful one-week trial, heavy minerals company Tronox Mineral Sands has taken delivery of a SlurrySucker dredging unit from Integrated Pump Rental.

The SlurrySucker will remove sand from the process dams near the Tronox mining operation on South Africa’s West Coast. This installation enhances the safety and efficiency of the dredging process, which previously had to be carried out manually by a team of underwater divers, IPR said.

“The pumping capacity of the dredging unit will ensure optimal operation of Tronox’s dams which need to be kept at the required storage volumes at all times,” Ruaan Venter, Rental Development Manager at Integrated Pump Rental, said.

The dredging unit will assist Tronox in regularly cleaning sediment from its process dams, reducing the risk of pump blockage or failure. This solution aims to provide rapid results on a cost-effective basis, while the remote operation raises safety levels, the company added.

To withstand the corrosive effects of salt water, the SlurrySucker has been equipped with a stainless steel casing as well as stainless steel components including wear plates and impellers. The units were manufactured at Integrated Pump Rental’s facility in Jet Park, Johannesburg, South Africa.

The SlurrySucker dredging unit comprises a floating barge with an electric hoist operated from the side of the dam. This ensures a high level of safety with the barge being operated remotely, including the lifting and lowering of the pump. At Tronox, the SlurrySucker is designed to pump 150 cu.m/h of sediment – with a solids content of 50% – back to the thickener in the plant.

“The electrically-driven unit also makes sure that there is no risk of contaminating the water in the dams with diesel or oil leakage,” Venter says. The compact unit is easy to transport between the dams requiring dredging, making for optimal usage of the equipment.

With its local manufacturing capability and technical support offering, Integrated Pump Rental says it is well equipped to maintain the SlurrySucker out of its Johannesburg facility.

Tronox’s Cooljarloo mine feels the benefits of Weir Minerals Total Asset Management Plan

Weir Minerals says it has further strengthened its partnership with Tronox following the signing of an exclusive arrangement to take ownership of maintenance, asset management and optimisation of the mine’s key assets.

Weir Minerals’ Total Asset Management Plan is a “unique and innovative” service contract that is revolutionising mining operations, with improved performance and a reduction in unplanned maintenance time, the company says.

Such a plan was successfully implemented at the Tronox mine in Cooljarloo, Western Australia, with Weir Minerals managing 20 assets including slurry pumps on the plant, two floating dredges and a floating concentrator which processes over 3,000 t/h of heavy mineral concentrate.

Tronox produces more than 770,000 t/y of heavy mineral concentrate using a dredging operation and dry mining techniques at Cooljarloo, Tronox says. The dredging operation recovers heavy minerals from the sand and clay using a series of gravity spirals, with the dry mine using earthmoving equipment to extract ore located above the water table, feeding it to a land-based concentrator for separation using a hopper and conveyor system.

Daniel Fleckhammer, Weir Minerals Director, said: “The Weir Minerals team worked closely with Tronox to determine what their goals and vision for their mine were. The team then developed a tailored Total Asset Management Plan which aimed to look after the customer’s assets, improve their wear life and keep the mine running.”

Weir Minerals successfully helped Tronox reduce its maintenance costs by 10% and cut unplanned maintenance by 30%, according to the company. The miner is also now able to transition from a six-month shutdown cycle to an eight-month shutdown cycle, which will save the mine over A$1 million/y ($774,802/y) on maintenance costs. Weir estimates this increased reliability is potentially worth over A$1 million/y in additional productivity.

Dave Netherway, Tronox Maintenance Manager at Cooljarloo, said the Total Asset Management Plan the company has in place with Weir Minerals means it pays “on a cents per tonne” arrangement based on the throughput through the plant.

“Weir have skin in the game with the way we operate,” he said.

Being located on site, the Weir Minerals team is prepared for crucial maintenance and gains vital insights into the customer’s issues.

“By leveraging their worldwide expertise in pump technology, the team proactively evaluate each asset and provide outstanding service to Tronox,” the company says.

A clear set of key performance indicators developed in conjunction with Tronox enable Weir Minerals to increase savings and improve the reliability of assets, it says. Both companies work towards a common goal that is mutually beneficial to all.

Ian Rennie, Tronox Site Director at Cooljarloo, said: “If other companies around the world are looking at this type of agreement, I’d really encourage them to explore it. At Tronox, we’ve only been touching the surface for a year now and we really see some huge benefits already.”

Woodside and EDL to supply LNG to Strandline’s Coburn mineral sands project

After securing a contractor to build the power generation facilities at its Coburn project in Western Australia, Strandline Resources has appointed subsidiaries of Woodside Energy and EDL, in joint venture (WEJV), as preferred contractor to supply LNG to the mineral sands development’s power generation facilities.

The WEJV solution provides Strandline with a long-term clean, reliable and affordable solution for Coburn, the company said.

Under the WEJV proposal, LNG will be supplied via road train from Woodside’s Pluto LNG Truck Loading Facility near Karratha, Western Australia.

“Coburn’s mine site power infrastructure is based on a low-cost, low-emission solution integrating LNG-fuelled generation with state-of-the-art solar and battery storage technology (provided by third parties),” the company said.

The proposed LNG supply contract is over a 10-year term (with appropriate pricing review and adjustment mechanisms) and enables Strandline to capture energy supply cost savings relative to the definitive feasibility study published in June 2020.

As preferred contractor, the parties will now compile final contract documentation subject to the satisfaction of Coburn’s lenders and agreement between the parties.

Strandline Managing Director, Luke Graham, said the appointment establishes an important long-term relationship with two industry leaders in the energy sector, in Woodside and EDL.

“The company continues to move rapidly towards development of Coburn and these key contract appointments to well-credentialled suppliers provide delivery certainty,” he said.

Strandline energises Coburn mineral sands plan with Contract Power BOO agreement

Strandline Resources says it has taken another important step towards development of its Coburn mineral sands project in Western Australia by appointing Contract Power Australia as preferred contractor to build, own and operate (BOO) the power generation facilities for the project.

Coburn’s purpose-designed power infrastructure is based on a low-cost, low-emission solution integrating natural gas fuelled generation with solar and battery storage technology.

The proposed power solution enables Strandline to capture energy supply cost savings relative to the definitive feasibility study published in June 2020, it said.

Contract Power, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pacific Energy Ltd, specialises in turnkey design, installation and operation of energy assets and has a strong track record of delivery in the mining sector of Western Australia, Strandline says.

Coburn’s power station will be located near the mineral separation plant. The power station is designed for a maximum demand capacity of 16 MW and average consumed power of circa-10 MW. Natural gas will be supplied by others under an industry standard long-term LNG supply agreement and trucked to an on-site storage and re-vapourisation facility supplied by Contract Power (Contract Power’s typical LNG-fuelled power station build layout, pictured), according to Strandline. The LNG then feeds a set of engine generators on an N+1 basis and has circa-30% solar penetration for the major stable loads. Generation is at 11 kV with step up to 22 kV for power transmission to the project loads across the mine site, Strandline says.

As preferred contractor, the parties will now compile final contract documentation to the satisfaction of Strandline and Coburn’s lenders. The contract is based on a 15-year BOO (and maintain) commercial model with fixed and variable payment regime for power consumed over the term.

This appointment follows Strandline’s recent A$18.5 million ($13.1 million) equity raising to advance early works development activities while finalising the balance of project funding. Strandline says it continues to make strong progress towards definitive finance documentation and conditions precedent for the NAIF A$150 million loan facility and is advancing discussions to secure a commercial debt tranche expected to stand alongside the NAIF funding.

Since raising the A$18.5 million, Strandline has appointed Macmahon as the principal contractor to provide site-wide civil and bulk earthworks construction services for the project, instructed Piacentini & Son to design and construct three mobile dozer mining units for Coburn and awarded preferred EPC status to Primero Group for the mineral sands asset.

Strandline Managing Director, Luke Graham, said the appointment marked another key step in its strategy to bring Coburn into production and establishes an important relationship with Contract Power, a leader in sustainable clean energy generation in Western Australia.

Coburn has a JORC compliant mineral resource of 1,600 Mt at 1.2% total heavy mineral (THM), classified as 119 Mt measured, 607 Mt indicated, and 880 Mt inferred. The ore reserve comes in at 523 Mt grading 1.11% THM for circa-5.8 Mt of contained heavy mineral, underpinning an initial mine life of 22.5 years at a mining rate of 23.4 Mt/y.

Primero, Mineral Technologies enlisted for Strandline’s Coburn mineral sands project

Primero Group has been awarded preferred EPC status on a substantial contract with Strandline Resources on the Coburn mineral sands project in Western Australia.

The total volume of awarded engineering procurement and construction (EPC) works totals around A$150 million ($107 million), according to Primero, and follows an initial eight-week Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) process that provided further definition of the delivery strategy and project deliverables between the groups. It also coincided with the appointment of Mineral Technologies (MT), a global services provider and leader in the design and supply of mineral sands processing facilities (and a subsidiary of Downer Group), as the strategic technology partner alongside Primero for the project delivery.

Strandline said the contract involved the engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning and performance testing of the Wet Concentration Plant (WCP), Mineral Separation Plant (MSP) and associated processing circuits at the operation.

The Coburn WCP is designed to beneficiate the heavy minerals (ilmenite, leucoxene, rutile, zircon and monazite) and reject the non-valuable, lighter minerals through multiple stages of high capacity gravity separation and classification, according to Strandline. The rich heavy mineral concentrate produced from the WCP will be transported to the MSP and stockpiled ready for processing.

“The WCP infrastructure is relocatable and is planned to be moved several times during the mine life as the mine advances along the orebody,” Strandline said. “The MSP design comprises conventional electrostatic separation, gravity and magnetic fractionation to recover a range of premium-quality final products, including chloride ilmenite, rutile, premium zircon and zircon concentrate.”

The full project award is subject to Strandline Resources approving a Final Investment Decision in the coming months, Primero said. The ECI process came after Strandline’s recent A$18.5 million equity raising.

Primero Managing Director and CEO, Cameron Henry, said: “This award is an excellent example of Primero’s ECI phase in action and adds to our growing book of projects in preferred contractor status. We have worked intensively with Strandline over the past two months in designing a delivery solution that best meets the key project objectives and value drivers, while also minimising execution risks.”

Strandline has also already appointed Piacentini & Son to design and construct three mobile dozer mining units for the project, while Macmahon has been named as the principal contractor to provide site-wide civil and bulk earthworks construction services for the project.

Kenmare, Mammoet begin WCP B relocation at Moma mineral sands mine

Kenmare Resources says the relocation of Wet Concentrator Plant (WCP) B at its Moma titanium minerals mine, in northern Mozambique, is underway.

Kenmare previously announced three development projects that together have the objective of increasing annual ilmenite production to 1.2 Mt (plus co-products) on a sustainable basis from 2021, with the move of WCP B to the high grade Pilivili ore zone is the final project.

The increased production is expected to significantly lower cash operating costs to between $125-$135/t (in 2020 real terms). Consequently, from 2021 the group expects to be positioned in the first quartile of the industry revenue to cost (or margin) curve, supporting stronger free cash flow generation and providing for increased shareholder returns, it said.

WCP B, consisting of a 1,700 t floating dredge and a 7,000 t WCP, is being moved 23 km from its previous mining area at Namalope to a new high-grade ore zone called Pilivili. It is being transported along a purpose-built road using platform vehicles called self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs). The relocation of WCP B and its dredge are being undertaken by Mammoet.

Mining at Namalope completed in late August. The WCP and its associated dredge have now been successfully placed on the concrete plinths in the relocation pond and the pond has been dewatered. The dredge and the WCP are to be moved in two stages. The first stage involves the movement of the dredge – this is now underway and expected to be completed this week. Once the dredge has been relocated to Pilivili, the SPMTs will return to Namalope to transport the WCP along the same route. The physical relocation is expected to be completed in the next few weeks.

Michael Carvill, Managing Director of Kenmare, said: “The relocation of WCP B and its dredge form the third and final project of our development program to increase Moma’s ilmenite production to 1.2 Mt per annum on a sustainable basis. Once WCP B and the dredge reach Pilivili we will begin the process of re-establishing them in their new location and we expect mining to commence at Pilivili during Q4 (December quarter) 2020. I look forward to providing further updates as the project progresses.”

Strandline’s Coburn mineral sands project to go mobile with Piacentini dozers

Strandline Resources says it has taken another important step towards development of its Coburn mineral sands project in Western Australia by appointing Piacentini & Son to design and construct three mobile dozer mining units for the project.

The scope of the A$21 million ($15.3 million) fixed-price contract forms a key part of Coburn’s efficient dry mining methodology, capable of receiving, screening and pumping ore from the mine to the processing facilities at an average rate of 3,100 t/h, based on two units in operation at any one time, it said.

The contract follows Strandline’s recent A$18.5 million equity raising to advance early works development activities while finalising the balance of project funding. Strandline says it is making solid progress towards definitive finance documentation and conditions precedent for the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility A$150 million loan facility and is advancing discussions on the commercial debt tranche which is expected to stand alongside.

Coburn has a JORC compliant mineral resource of 1.6 Bt at 1.2% total heavy mineral (THM), classified as 119 Mt measured, 607 Mt indicated, and 880 Mt inferred. The ore reserve comes in at 523 Mt grading 1.11% THM for circa-5.8 Mt of contained heavy mineral, underpinning an initial mine life of 22.5 years at a mining rate of 23.4 Mt/y.

Last month, Strandline appointed Macmahon as the principal contractor to provide site-wide civil and bulk earthworks construction services for the project. The company is also expected to carry out contract mining at the site.

Strandline says the in-pit dozer mining units from Piacentini are designed to be frequently relocated as the mine progresses through the mine plan.

The parties have agreed final contract documentation based on a fixed price, fixed schedule arrangement, in line with the assumptions contained within the Coburn definitive feasibility study, Strandline added.

“The agreement is subject to standard conditions precedent regarding the development of the project and Strandline releasing a formal notice to proceed to commence the works under contract,” the company clarified.

Multotec solution scrubs up well at Ekapa Minerals diamond plant

A revolutionary new concept in fines scrubbing is proving to be a game changer for Ekapa Minerals at its Combined Treatment Plant (CTP) in Kimberley, South Africa.

The innovation, developed by Multotec Wear Linings, is processing both virgin underground kimberlite as well as tailings for retreatment at the CTP. The solution is effectively a pulping chute that scrubs and washes the re-crushed product after it has passed through the high pressure grinding rolls (HPGR) inter-particle tertiary crushing circuit.

The important advantage here, according to Multotec Wear Linings Projects Sales Manager, John Britton, is that it performs the scrubbing action faster and more efficiently than a traditional rotary scrubber would, and at much lower cost.

Multotec commissioned two of these pulping chutes at Ekapa Minerals in late 2019, where they have been operating consistently and in line with expectations. With the use of patented wave generators, the pulping chute uses the gravitational energy from the slurry flow to create a constant turbulent mixing action that releases the mud, clay and slime sticking to the kimberlite particles.

According to Ekapa Minerals CEO, Jahn Hohne, the pulping chutes are a welcome contribution to the company’s cost saving efforts, and a clear demonstration of Multotec’s expertise in developing value-adding solutions in the mining sector.

“The dual chute pulping plant is ideally suited to de-conglomerating the HPGR cake product and is exceeding expectations in efficiency and effectiveness at over 600 t/h, which is a major relief on the existing overloaded pair of CTP scrubbers,” he said. “The net result is a meaningful increase of up to 20% throughput capacity of the entire processing plant which substantially improves the economy of scale of CTP, feeding directly to the bottom line.”

Britton highlighted the efficiency of the system, which is able to aggressively scrub the material in just three to four seconds as it passes through the chute. This represents just a fraction of the usual retention time in a rotary scrubber, which is three to four minutes, according to the company. He also emphasises the drastic reduction in running cost which the pulping chute achieves.

“From our experience of plant layouts and flow diagrams, it is clear that fines scrubbers are significant contributors to a plant’s capital, operating and maintenance costs,” Britton said. “Scrubbers are equipped with large drives with gears and gearboxes to rotate the drum. They are high consumers of power and require mechanical component maintenance which means higher operating costs.”

Substantial structures and supports are also needed for the scrubber and its drive mechanisms. In designing the pulping chute, Multotec sought a simplified solution, Britton says. In addition to improving scrubbing efficiency, the objective included reducing the cost of replacing scrubber liners and the downtime that this demanded. The cost of replacing the steel shell of a scrubber – which is constantly subject to stress, wear and fatigue – was another cost to be considered.

“The pulping chute, by contrast, is a stationery and much simplified innovation, focused on the scrubbing of fines less than 32 mm in size,” the company said. “Slurry deflectors located at the top end of the scrubbing chute direct at least part of the slurry away from the scrubbing chute floor. This curls into an arched form which flows backwards into the approaching flow of slurry, creating the turbulent scrubbing effect.”

Britton said: “We custom-design the chutes to suit the application and can increase chute capacity to up to 800 t/h. This is achieved with no moving parts, bearings, hydraulic packs or girth gears; the only power required is to supply material and water to the receiving chute. These actions are also required to feed the scrubber, then gravity takes over and provides the required energy.”

Maintenance is also streamlined by designing the chute in segments. Should one segment be wearing more than others, it can be quickly removed and replaced – putting the chute back into operation while the original segment is refurbished as a spare.

Britton says the pulping chute has drawn interest from other diamond producers in southern Africa, Australia and Canada. It can also be applied in commodity sectors such as coal, platinum, chrome, iron ore and mineral sands.