Tag Archives: mineral separation

MBE Minerals ready to boost coal processing efficiencies in South Africa

As South Africa continues to work hard to contain the cost of its coal-fired power generation, MBE Minerals SA is stressing the importance of efficiencies throughout the value chain – not least in beneficiation.

The continuous improvement in coal beneficiation technology and regular equipment upgrades in plants will become more important, according to the company’s Managing Director, Johannes Kottmann.

MBE Minerals, which has over a century of experience in the coal sector, has built up a wide footprint of vibrating screens in Africa for sizing, scalping, dewatering and media recovery. It also provides destoning solutions to customers.

“Among the company’s innovations is the side plate mounted drive, a much lighter option to using vibrator motors,” Kottmann says. “The screens can also be supplied with vibrator motors, if necessary, while resonance screens offer the added benefit of lower power consumption.”

All types of screening surfaces can be accommodated, with each screen incorporating mechanical design features such as vibration dampening, side plates, cross members and the appropriate feed and discharge chutes.

Kottmann highlights that MBE Minerals is actively engaged with developments in coal beneficiation technology through its international network, including the MBE Coal and Minerals’ Research and Development Centre in Cologne, Germany.

“This centre consults with customers globally in terms of optimum processing solutions, with the support of an in-house laboratory and pilot test work facilities,” he says. The centre also offers customer training, which can range from general mineral processing to maintenance of MBE Minerals’ equipment.

In addition to designing, engineering and supplying equipment, MBE Minerals conducts projects on a turnkey or engineering procurement and construction basis, he notes. The company can also operate complete coal processing plants.

MBE is well known for its BATAC® jig technology, which, the company says, delivers high separation efficiencies and improved product quality, as well as high availability and throughput. This technology’s ease of operation, robust design and economical maintenance cost have also been important factors in its success.

The company developed the BATAC jig to overcome the limitations of early stratification technologies, which achieved separation either by moving the entire jigging bed screen or through water pulsation generated in an air chamber beside the jigging bed.

“The separation accuracy of BATAC jigs is due to electronic control of the air pulse generator and sensing of the thickness and densities of the material layers being separated,” Kottmann says. The under-bed pulsated BATAC jig has proved ideal for coarse applications from 150 mm down to fine coal in the 10 to 0.5 mm size range, with throughput rates of between 100 and 1,200 t/h, the company claims.

MBE Minerals has also developed a solution for destoning raw coal – the ROMJIG® – which has produced impressive results in extensive testing around the world, it says. It achieves an overall reduction in the stone handled, Kottmann says, and there are indications of a lower percentage of refuse in the washery feed.

“This allows costs to be saved in a number of areas, such as reduced wear on machinery and transporting equipment, less grain degradation, and less dust and slurry,” he says. “It also means that flocculation consumption is reduced, along with flotation agents in downstream fines recovery circuits.”

The range of vibrating screens manufactured by the company includes dimensions up to 3.6 m in width and 6.75 m in length; they come in single or double deck configuration and with either circular or linear motion. They have been operating in the African mining industry for the past 40 years.

“We ensure that each application, whether greenfields or brownfields, is carefully assessed in conjunction with the customer, during a comprehensive engagement process to determine the optimum solution,” Kottmann says. Services available include detailed engineering, feasibility studies, raw material testing, financing concepts, erection and commissioning.

Components – as well as automation and process control equipment – can be supplied and installed for complete plants and systems. Measures to modernise plants or improve capacity can also be proposed. The company’s scope of services includes personnel training, along with pre- and post-sales services and support.

Flowrox expands Central Europe reach with German subsidiary

Finland-based Flowrox has strengthened its operations in Central Europe by opening a new subsidiary, Flowrox GmbH, in Ratingen, Düsseldorf, Germany.

Jukka Koskela, President & CEO of Flowrox, said the new subsidiary was of strategic importance to the flow control, process automation, environmental and solid-liquid separation technology specialist.

“For years we have been operating in Central Europe through representatives,” Koskela said. “Our offering has recently expanded, and we also provide complete industrial solutions. That is why we feel it is crucial to be close to customers in this major market. By setting up a local operation in Central Europe, we can better support our customers and representatives with local projects, sales and services.”

Dirk Otto has joined Flowrox as Managing and Sales Director, Central Europe. Otto has a strong background in process technology and solid-liquid separation, according to Flowox. Before joining Flowrox, Otto worked with leading companies  in the field such as Larox, Clear Edge Filtration and Ipsen International.

With the opening of this new branch, Flowrox now has 10 subsidiaries located in Australia, Chile, China, Finland, Germany, Peru, Russia, South Africa, Sweden and the US, as well as more than 230 sales representatives in over 80 countries.

Weir Minerals strives for unmatched hydrocyclone performance with release of Cavex 2

Almost 25 years after the original Cavex® hydrocyclone came into the classification market, Cavex 2 is set to introduce a step-change in performance and sustainability, with water and energy savings, according to Weir Minerals.

The launch of Cavex 2 marks a new generation of hydrocyclones, Weir says. Like the original Cavex hydrocyclones did more than two decades ago, Cavex 2 introduces new geometric features to offer performance unmatched by any cyclone in operation today, the company claims.

Debra Switzer, Global Product Manager for Hydrocyclones at Weir Minerals, said: “Our Cavex 1 design set an industry benchmark over two decades ago with its unique 360° laminar spiral inlet geometry, which significantly reduced turbulence. This design was so successful and desired by the market that it was widely replicated by competitors.

“Following years of research, development and trials, we have improved upon this design with the creation of LIG+™ inlet and chamber design. This unique design produces a more stabilised flow pattern, further reduces turbulences and friction throughout the hydrocyclone and provides up to 30% additional capacity.”

The advanced LIG+ design (patent pending) enables the Cavex 2 hydrocyclones to classify up to 30% more feed slurry, while occupying the same footprint as competitor hydrocyclones, according to Weir. This allows operators to achieve more throughput with fewer operating hydrocyclones, reducing the upfront capital expenditure.

The new design has taken into consideration the shape and angle of the hydrocyclone to ensure particles report to the correct stream, Weir says. This reduces recirculation and misclassification, further improving separation efficiency.

“Cavex 2 allows our customers to do more,” Switzer says. “A more sustainable circuit, with lower energy and water requirements. Expand the capacity of their existing circuits, without increasing the footprint of the cyclones or clusters. It’s the kind of generational engineering leap that will change the way circuits are designed for decades to come.”

Cavex 2 takes advantage of Weir Minerals’ Synertrex® IIoT technology, which enhances the overall performance of the hydrocyclone. Armed with this technology, operators are automatically alerted to roping or blockage conditions ahead of time, ensuring the hydrocyclone runs under the most optimal operating conditions.

“To minimise the amount of bypass that is produced in any hydrocyclone, it is favourable for it to operate in the semi-roping condition,” Switzer said. “This is often difficult to do continuously because any upset in the hydrocyclone’s feed conditions could move it into the roping condition, but, with Synertrex, this balancing act can be closely managed.”

Cavex 2 hydrocyclones can be customised to suit almost any application, according to Weir, with a variety of spigots, vortex finders and liners. Liners are available in a range of material options, including Weir Minerals’ proprietary R55® rubber compound or Linatex® premium rubber, both of which have been proven to outlast competitors elastomers in similar applications, Weir says. Liners can be replaced via a ‘snap-in’ system requiring zero adhesive, while smaller models (400CVD and below) are available with moulded fibreglass housings, the company says.

Switzer concluded: “Every stage of the Cavex 2’s design has been guided by the needs of our customers. As a consequence, it has been tested in multiple mining applications throughout the globe. These tests revealed outstanding results of up to 30% additional capacity.

“Decreasing ore grades and increasing need to reduce both water and energy usage have created the need for a low maintenance, highly efficient hydrocyclone, which can be readily retrofitted into existing circuits to increase throughput and maximise returns.

“I can’t wait for our customers to see what this new range is capable of.”

Northern Minerals lays the groundwork for Steinert XRT ore sorter installation

Northern Minerals is set to commission a Steinert sensor-based ore sorter for use at its Browns Range rare earth pilot plant, in northern Western Australia, after gaining the relevant regulatory approvals for installation of the machine.

The ore sorting equipment concentrates ore prior to the beneficiation circuit by selecting ore and rejecting waste based on X-ray Transmission. This has the potential to double the feed grade and reduce production costs, according to the company.

Both the Western Australian Office of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation have now cleared the installation and commissioning, with construction commenced on the structural and mechanical equipment (pictured). Commissioning is scheduled for mid-2021.

The total capital investment for the procurement, installation and commissioning of the ore sorter is budgeted at A$5.9 million ($4.3 million), Northern Minerals said.

Previous trials of ore sorting technology at Browns Range, announced in October 2018, identified the potential to double the mill feed grade. This would lead to an increased production rate of heavy rare earth carbonate and a potential lowering of overall operating costs.

Once the ore sorting system is commissioned, Northern Minerals plans to run additional test work at pilot plant scale on all ore types to establish baseline data on feed grade improvements, it said. This work will also help evaluate material flow-through benefits of ore sorting on overall processing efficiencies, feeding into any future commercial, large-scale project feasibility studies at Browns Range.

Northern Minerals says it is also evaluating the economics of further downstream processing options for Browns Range ore.

To date, Browns Range has produced a mixed heavy rare earth carbonate for small-scale export to offtake partners. The options being assessed would take a further step along the supply chain to produce separated heavy rare earth oxides.

The company announced in August 2019 it had commenced a scoping study with US-based K-Technologies Inc to investigate a separation technology on intermediate mixed rare earths materials produced at Browns Range. K-Tech’s technology is focused on continuous ion exchange, continuous ion-chromatography and related advanced separation methodologies.

The study continues to progress well, with positive test results being achieved at K-Tech’s facilities in Florida albeit slower than planned because of constraints associated with COVID-19, Northern Minerals said. However, the company expects to see separated dysprosium and terbium oxides from the study before the end of this year.

Separately to collaborating with K-Tech, Northern Minerals is pursuing studies into traditional solvent extraction to produce oxides from the mixed heavy rare earth material produced at Browns Range.

Northern Minerals CEO, Mark Tory, said: “With approvals in place for the ore sorter and installation now under way, we will be in a strong position to thoroughly evaluate the flow-through benefits of that technology at a pilot plant scale.

“The results will provide a valuable input into future feasibility studies to assess the commercial viability of a large-scale heavy rare earths mining and processing operation at Browns Range.

“In addition to our investment in ore sorting to improve the mill feed grade, we are also committed to assessing opportunities to further unlock value at Browns Range through downstream processing to oxide products, which opens up a wider field of offtake and future project financing opportunities.”

Northern Minerals started producing rare earth carbonate through the Browns Range pilot plant in October 2018 as part of a three-year pilot assessment of economic and temporarily technical feasibility of a larger scale development at Browns Range.

Lost Dutchman Mine ready to tell its metal separation tale

A company out of Arizona, USA, believes it has come up with a density separation technology that could upgrade heavy metal concentrates without the need for water or chemicals.

Lost Dutchman Mine (LDM), named after the legend of a rich Arizona gold deposit discovered by an elusive Dutch prospector, never since located, is the company in question. Being supported along the way by the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) out of Sudbury, Ontario, the firm is looking to find a way into the mining sector at a time when environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns have reached a new high.

Mark Ogram, one of three Co-founders of LDM, explained the company’s aim and name, saying: “We’ve been able to find gold where people could not find it.

“We have now come up with a solution that requires no chemicals or water to purify a gold ore.”

While gold is the company’s initial focus, the process can be applied to most heavy metals including silver, copper and tungsten, according to Ogram. Some encouraging results have also been seen removing sulphides from gold ore ahead of further processing, in addition to ‘cleaning’ coal, he added.

A gravity separation process that uses air flow rather than water to separate these materials by density, the obvious comparisons are with Knelson concentrators or other separation technologies – all of which tend to use water or another medium for their processes. Ogram says Knelson concentrators are also for free gold, not refractory gold, the latter of which the LDM technology can cope with.

allmineral’s allair® technology also comes to mind as a comparison. This is a process that leverages many of the functions of the water-operated alljig® technology but, instead, uses air as the pulsating medium. So far, allair’s applications have been confined to mostly coal and other minerals.

Like many of these technologies, it is feed preparation that will prove decisive for the application of LDM technology, with ore crush size and moisture content the two key factors.

“We don’t think we would need ball mills to get the feed down to the right size,” LDM Co-founder Ken Abbott said. “A standard crushing and screening setup should be suitable.”

While test work to date has been with material in the 30-60 mesh range, Abbott is confident the technology will work with material from 100-200 mesh.

“It will be a little more of a sensitive process, but it does work should people require it,” he said.

When it comes to moisture content, a drying process will most likely be needed ahead of feeding to the LDM unit.

“The material needs to flow freely to work well,” Abbott said.

In-field test work involved the company using a tumble-type continuous screener/dryer to reach the appropriate moisture content, but a more ‘industrial’ process will be required in commercial applications.

The best results are likely to be achieved when both factors are consistent, according to LDM.

“The system requires a steady and uniform distribution in the feed cycle that includes surge capacity and automated material flow to ensure a steady feed rate,” the company says.

Dale A Shay, a consultant with RIMCON advising LDM, said vat leaching operations were already producing material at the appropriate size for the LDM technology to be tested. “They are also reducing the moisture content to an appropriate level,” he said.

Despite this, the company feels tailings applications may be the most suitable place to start with. This harks back to the ESG concerns miners are feeling – some of which revolves around tailings impoundment areas – as well as the fact the ‘conservative’ mining industry is generally more comfortable testing new technologies on material they already consider to be ‘waste’.

For the technology to prove out, the company will have to scale up its testing.

LDM has, to date, carried out benchtop, laboratory scale and in-field tests on low-grade material, but it has only reached a 1 ton (0.9 t) per hour rate.

“We would put in a tonne and get a few grams out,” Ogram said. “That is how we developed the technology.”

Despite there being a linear progression of recoveries from benchtop to lab to the field, LDM will need to go bigger to find the widescale applications it is after.

Yet, its potential entry into the market is well timed.

Removing the use of chemicals and water in a process that will most likely come after initial crushing could prove cost-effective, as well as environmentally sound.

Yes, the air flow component and feed drying will consume power on mine sites, but this ‘upfront’ operating cost will pay off further downstream as not as much material will be transported to make its way down the process flowsheet. It is more likely to go straight to tailings or backfill material feed.

Abbott explains: “The technology drastically reduces the material that will move onto final concentration, which substantially reduces material movement on site.”

For new developments, there is a knock-on benefit for permitting; the regulatory boxes are much more likely to be ticked when the words ‘water’ and ‘cyanide’ are absent from applications.

LDM Co-founder, Wayne Rod, sums this up: “Although from a cost perspective, it is expected to be competitive with other concentration technologies, the real savings will come on the ESG front and being able to reduce any environmental issues you may have.”

This is a message Rod and the rest of the LDM team are taking to the headquarters of major mining companies, where executives and board members are treating ESG challenges like a ‘cost’ they need to reduce to stay viable.

“As that ESG issue becomes even more prevalent, I see technology becoming a much bigger focus area,” Rod says. “Taking water and chemicals out of the concentration process will help alleviate some of that pressure.”

Metso and Outotec establish business areas and leaders ahead of merger completion

With Metso and Outotec having recently cleared one of the final remaining hurdles towards merging the two companies, the future Metso Outotec Board of Directors has laid out the planned company structure and related executive team appointments.

The nominations will become effective after the closing of the partial demerger of Metso and the combination of Metso’s Minerals business and Outotec, which is currently expected to take place on June 30, 2020, subject to receipt of all required regulatory and other approvals, including competition clearances – which the companies made significant headway on recently.

The companies said: “Combined, the future Metso Outotec will be a forerunner in sustainable technologies, end-to-end solutions and services for the minerals processing, aggregates, metals refining and recycling industries globally. The new organisation is designed to leverage the strengths and expertise of both companies.”

Metso Outotec will consist of the following six business areas:

  • Aggregates, providing crushing and screening equipment for the production of aggregates;
  • Minerals, providing equipment and full plant solutions for minerals processing, covering comminution, separation and pumps;
  • Metals, providing processing solutions and equipment for metals refining and chemical processing;
  • Recycling, providing equipment and services for metal and waste recycling;
  • Services, providing spare parts, refurbishments and professional services for mining, metals and aggregates customers; and
  • Consumables, providing a comprehensive offering of wear parts for mining, metals and aggregates processes.

The boards have also made some significant decisions on the key personnel that will lead these business units.

Markku Simula will become President of the Aggregates business unit. Simula currently serves as President, Aggregates Equipment at Metso.

Recently appointed Metso Mining Equipment President, Stephan Kirsch, will become President of the combined Minerals business area.

Jari Ålgars, currently CFO at Outotec, will become President of Metals.

Uffe Hansen, who is currently President of Recycling at Metso, will become President of Recycling at Metso Outotec.

Metso’s Sami Takaluoma will retain his President of the Consumables business area post at the new merged entity.

Markku Teräsvasara, who currently serves as the President and CEO at Outotec, will take on the President, Services and Deputy CEO role at Metso Outotec.

In addition to the business area president appointments, the following function heads and executive team members have been appointed:

  • Eeva Sipilä, CFO and Deputy CEO. Her appointment was announced on July 4, 2019. She currently serves as the CFO and Deputy CEO at Metso;
  • Nina Kiviranta, General Counsel. She currently serves as General Counsel at Outotec;
  • Piia Karhu, Senior Vice President, Business Development. She currently serves as Senior Vice President, Customer Experience at Finnair. She will join the company on July 1, 2020; and
  • Hannele Järvistö, Senior Vice President, Human Resources (interim). She currently serves as Senior Vice President, Human Resources (interim) at Metso. “This appointment is valid until a new position-holder has been selected and will start in this role,” the company said.

All the function heads and executive team members will report to Metso Outotec’s future President and CEO, Pekka Vauramo (pictured), the company said.

Reflecting on these changes, Vauramo said: “Above all, Metso Outotec will be strong in sustainability. Our extensive combined offering for minerals processing, from equipment to a broad range of services, will help our customers improve their profitability and lower their operating costs and risks, while at the same time reduce the consumption of energy and water.

“We at Metso Outotec understand our customer’s world and the daily challenges they face. Together, we will partner for positive change.”

Bunting ups the mineral separation ante with ElectroStatic Separator

Bunting has launched a new separation device that, it says, significantly broadens the company’s separation capabilities, opening new opportunities for optimising mineral reserves.

The development of the ElectroStatic Separator comes in response to enhanced material separation requirements in the recycling, plastics and minerals industries, Bunting said.

It uses tungsten electrode wire to generate electrostatic charges to separate dry liberated particles, exploiting the difference in electrical conductivity between various materials in a feed material to produce a separation.

“The separation depends on a number of key material characteristics including conductivity, moisture content and size range,” Bunting said. “In many applications, often due to the fine particle size, the ElectroStatic Separator is the only technology that enables a separation (eg -2 mm granulated cable scrap).”

The technology also replaces less environmentally friendly separation processes such as froth flotation in mineral processing applications (eg separation of rutile from silica sand), according to the company.

In operation, the technology uses the difference in conductivity between insulators (eg plastics) and conductors (eg copper and aluminium) to obtain a separation on an earthed roll. A vibratory feeder evenly feeds a material mix onto the top of a rotating earthed metal roll, with the rotating roll transferring the material under an electrode bar inducing an electrostatic charge. Non-conductive materials (ie insulators) adhere to the earthed roll via an image force, while the conductors lose their charge quickly and, under centrifugal force, are discharged, according to Bunting. This enables a separation.

ElectroStatic Separators provide material segregation in plants processing minerals, producing plastics, and recycling secondary metals, the company says, with differences in conductivity found in recycled materials and minerals sufficient to enable excellent levels of separation.

“Indeed, this includes the separation of metals with different conductivity,” the company said.

The mineral processing industry commonly uses ElectroStatic Separators in conjunction with high intensity magnetic separators such as Bunting’s own Rare Earth Roll Magnetic Separator and Induced Magnetic Roll Separator, it said. This combined separation process is used when processing beach sands, for example.

The new separator is available as a single or double staged system in feed widths of 500 mm, 1,000 mm and 1,500 mm to suit a specific application.

The Bunting Centre of Excellence in the UK includes a laboratory-scale model of the new ElectroStatic Separator, according to the company.

Eriez makes a case for DVMF tech in hard-rock lithium sector

Eriez says it’s high-intensity Dry Vibrating Magnetic Filter (DVMF) technology holds the key to removing very fine iron-bearing contaminants from hard-to-flow powders, such as lithium, to produce higher quality end-products.

In a recently published white paper, the separation technology leader says the DVMF technology has been validated as the most effective separation process for hard-rock mining lithium applications.

‘Hard Rock Mining: High-Intensity Dry Vibrating Magnetic Filter (DVMF) Removes Fine Iron-Bearing Contaminants Found in Lithium and Other Hard-To-Flow Powders’ was written by Eriez Mining and Minerals Processing Director, Jose Marin.

According to the paper, the DVMF is ideal for both lithium producers and users, with typical DVMF applications including fine sand, glassmaking, talc, clays and various other finely divided industrial minerals and chemical products.

The DVMF uses a high-intensity electromagnet and flux converging matrix, which amplifies the magnetic field and provides high-gradient collection sites for the magnetic material as the feed materials filter through, according to Eriez.

The canister is attached to dual high-frequency, low-amplitude vibratory drives and these drives deliver a strong vibratory action to the canister assembly, which enhances the fluidity of very fine powders, resulting in a smooth and even flow of product through the matrix grid.

On the DVMF’s hard-rock lithium separation credentials, Marin explained: “Eriez 5,000 gauss strength DVMFs reduce contamination to parts per billion, rather than parts per million. These results are a real breakthrough in terms of magnetic contaminant removal in hard-rock mining.”

To learn more about Eriez DVMFs and download this white paper, click here.

SciDev and Iluka Resources take chemistry to the Max at Jacinth-Ambrosia

ASX-listed SciDev Ltd says it has been awarded a three-year contract with Iluka Resources for delivery of MaxiFlox® chemistry to the Jacinth–Ambrosia zircon mine, in South Australia.

The contract, expected to be worth some A$8-12 million ($5-8 million) over the three-year term, follows the delivery of a chemical products trial for the miner in the December quarter of 2018. This itself occurred following the announcement of a commercial OptiFlox® System test SciDev carried out.

MaxiFlox is specifically designed for use in solid liquid separation processes, SciDev says. Products in the MaxiFlox range are supplied in both liquid and powder form across an extensive range of molecular weights and charge densities to solve industrial challenges. Products include:

  • MaxiFlox organic liquid coagulants (based on synthetic organic monomers and naturally occurring polysaccharides);
  • MaxiFlox inorganic liquid coagulant blends;
  • MaxiFlox cationic and anionic flocculant emulsions;
  • MaxiFlox cationic and anionic flocculant powders;
  • MaxiFlox mud solidification polymers, and;
  • MaxiFlox antifoam products.

The technology can be used across a range of industries including mining and minerals processing, water and wastewater, oil and gas, food and beverage and paper manufacturing.

Iluka’s Jacinth-Ambrosia operation is the world’s largest zircon mine, according to the miner. Comprising two contiguous deposits, Jacinth and Ambrosia, the mine is around 800 km from Adelaide and 270 km from the Port of Thevenard.

The operation encompasses mining and wet concentration activities with heavy mineral concentrate transported to Iluka’s Narngulu mineral separation plant in Western Australia for final processing. Jacinth-Ambrosia can produce up to some 1,000 t/h of heavy mineral concentrate, which can produce up to ~300,000 t/y of zircon.

Multotec’s SX10 low density spiral opens up coal separation options

Multotec Gravity Division says its new SX10 low density spiral further extends the benefits this innovation offers in fine coal beneficiation, with the technology able to produce both thermal and coking coal on one spiral.

The Multotec SX10 low density spiral’s reduced cut point of 1.55 g/cm3 delivers considerable advantages over the cut points of between 1.6 and 1.8 g/cm3 typically achieved in the coal industry today, according to Multotec Technology Manager, Faan Bornman.

The result, he says, is cleaner coal with less waste being achieved in a single stage. This helps achieve savings on capital costs as no further spiral stages are required for cleaning down the line.

“The approach taken with the Multotec SX10 spiral is to remove the gangue, or mineral containing particles, from the trough in two off-takes,” Multotec said.

The first off-take removes ash, opening up the available separation surface of the spiral and allowing the remaining material to separate more easily. This separates clean coal from less-clean coal.

“The low density spiral is essentially a primary and secondary stage on one centre column,” Bornman said. “Rejects are discarded into the centre column and the remaining product is re-pulped before being sent to a secondary off-take.”

Facilitating the two off-takes is a longer spiral on the Multotec SX10. This increases the residence time and gives the particles sufficient time to separate, according to the company.

Depending on the setting of the product box splitters, this new spiral has the ability to produce both thermal coal and coking coal on one spiral, Multotec claimed. Bornman said this was proven through test work done in the US where the two offtakes enable the removal of most of the gangue leaving a middlings and cleaner coal products to be collected at the dart splitters.

Experimental work was carried out using coal from two South Africa collieries as well as doing site test work in the US. Promising results were obtained leading to the first order for Multotec SX10 spirals from a North America-based mine, it said.