Tag Archives: Outotec

Outotec addresses carbon losses in CIP, CIL gold circuits

Outotec has released a fully automated in-situ measurement system that, it says, can minimise gold solution losses in carbon-in-pulp (CIP) and carbon-in-leach (CIL) circuits.

Outotec CarbonSense is a system that is directly immersed in the slurry, eliminating the need for sample transfer and ensuring optimal carbon management, according to the company. It is designed to operate continuously in the agitated area of the reactor to ensure a highly representative analysis. It also features a reference probe to ensure reliable measurement even in changing process conditions.

As part of the solution, a single connection cabinet can support up to eight measurement assemblies, along with fibre-optic and copper media connections to the plant network, according to Outotec. “The system supports virtually any network topology, including star and ring configurations,” it said. “Maintenance is simplified with all power supplies and fuses located in one place.”

The portable calibration unit uses authentic slurry and carbon to ensure the best possible results and reliable measurement performance, Outotec said. No recalibration is needed when slurry properties change since the measurement is based on the difference between the measurement probe and the reference probe.

Continuous and reliable carbon concentration measurements minimise gold losses by enabling accurate control over carbon transfer between reactors, according to Outotec, with the Outotec ACT Carbon Management application designed to take full advantage of the measurement data.

The system is delivered as a ready-to-install package including measurement assemblies, connection cabinets and analysis software and licences.

The key benefits of Outotec CarbonSense, according to the company, are:

  • Enables continuous, representative, and reliable carbon measurement;
  • Supports development of efficient strategies for advanced CIP/CIL control;
  • Fully automatic operation;
  • Simple to install, operate, and maintain with no moving parts or sample transfer; and
  • Increases safety by helping to avoid blockages and other sampling issues.

MACA to mobilise to Okvau gold project in August

More than a year after signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a subsidiary of Emerald Resources to supply equipment and contract mining services at the Okvau gold project in Cambodia, MACA has been confirmed as the mining contractor.

As part of the new agreement, ASX-listed MACA is to supply earthmoving equipment and conduct contract mining services at Okvau.

Emerald said: “The signing of the mining contract follows extensive work with MACA around scheduling of pre-production and production mining.”

The company added: “It represents a positive step in the development of the Okvau gold project by adding a high level of confidence in the execution of the mining schedule with the highly experienced MACA earthmoving team.”

The contract provides for the use of new fit for purpose earthmoving equipment with an onsite expatriate management team experienced in similar international operations, according to Emerald.

MACA’s proposed scope of work includes site preparation, drill and blast, load and haul and maintenance works. This equates to around $230 million in revenue over the seven-year term.

Mobilisation activities are expected to commence in August ahead of pre-production mining in October 2020. First gold is expected in the June quarter of 2021.

Last month, Outotec booked a €13 million ($14.2 million) order from the project, with the Finland-based company set to deliver an Outotec HIGmill® high intensity grinding mill, a SAG mill, TankCell® flotation cells, an OKTOP® Conditioner, thickeners and spare parts to the project.

Emerald Managing Director, Morgan Hart, said: “We are extremely pleased to have appointed MACA as the mining contractor for the Okvau gold project operations which continues the existing relationship between the Emerald and MACA management teams. The signing of the Mining Contract follows a thorough and collaborative process with both teams in finalising the mining schedule for the development and operations of the Okvau gold project.”

He said the sealing of this contract gave the company “greater confidence” to achieve its goal of becoming the first modern large-scale Cambodian gold producer by the June quarter of 2021.

A definitive feasibility study on the project displayed an ore reserve of 14.3 Mt at 2 g/t Au for 900,000 oz of gold in a single open pit with a waste:ore ratio of 5.8:1. The life of mine average annual production came in at 106,000 oz with an all-in sustaining cost of $754/oz.

Outotec test work stacks up for Keliber lithium project

Lithium explorer and developer, Keliber Oy, says a continuous lithium hydroxide pilot project conducted using its own ore has demonstrated the functionality of its planned production process.

High purity lithium hydroxide was produced in the pilot, which was the last part of a three-phase continuous piloting program, it said.

Keliber previously completed a definitive feasibility study (DFS) for a project to produce 11,000 t/y of battery-grade lithium carbonate from spodumene-rich pegmatite deposits in Central Ostrobothnia, Finland.

One of the more interesting features of the project is the processing route. Instead of conventional sulphide roasting route to produce a carbonate, Keliber plans to use Outotec’s soda leaching process. This comes after conventional spodumene concentration and conversion of alpha to beta spodumene in a rotary kiln.

The LiOH pilot was operated at the Outotec R&D centre in January 2020. “The goals of the continuous LiOH pilot were to produce battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate, to optimise the process flowsheet, including process parameters of the production process, and to demonstrate the functionality of the chosen production technology,” Keliber said.

The goals of the 14-day continuous pilot test were met, according to the company. “The purity of the product received with a single crystallisation stage was extremely high. The lithium recovery in the process was high and better than the one used in the DFS released in February 2019.”

In the first and second phase of the pilot program in late 2019, the conversion and calcination processes were tested successfully with good results, the company added.

Pertti Lamberg, CEO of Keliber, said: “A successful test program using our own ore and including all the process stages demonstrates the functionality and strength of the chosen technology. This is an important milestone and we can safely continue the detailed design of the process based on these results.”

Sami Heikkinen, Chemical Plant Manager, said: “We have proven with Outotec our ability to produce high-purity, battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate, our desired end-product, with good extraction. It is really important for Keliber that we can verify the functionality of our cleantech process.”

Outotec mineral process equipment destined for Okvau gold project

Outotec says it has been awarded a contract from Renaissance Minerals, a subsidiary of Emerald Resources, for the delivery of process equipment to the greenfield Okvau gold project, in Cambodia.

The order value, booked into Outotec’s 2020 March quarter order intake, is around €13 million ($14.2 million).

Outotec’s scope includes the delivery of an Outotec HIGmill® high intensity grinding mill, a semi-autogenous (SAG) mill, TankCell® flotation cells, an OKTOP® Conditioner, thickeners and spare parts.

The Okvau gold project is in the Mondulkiri province of eastern Cambodia. The 2 Mt/y operation will be the first large-scale mining project in the country, according to Outotec, with project commissioning expected in the June quarter of 2021.

Last year, ASX-listed mining contractor, MACA, entered into a memorandum of understanding with a subsidiary of Emerald Resources to supply equipment and contract mining services at the project.

Paul Sohlberg, Head of Outotec’s Minerals Processing business, said: “We are pleased to be part of Cambodia’s first significant gold processing project with Emerald’s highly credentialed gold project development team.

“Outotec’s leading technologies such as energy efficient ultrafine grinding, proven flotation technology for low grade sulphide ore and superior thickening technology, enable our customer to do profitable business sustainably. This order will strengthen Outotec’s position as a supplier of advanced minerals processing technologies in Southeast Asia.”

Outotec bolsters flotation line with new cells, control solutions

Outotec says it has expanded its offering with new flotation cell and level-control solutions for “superior metallurgical performance”.

The new solutions from the mineral processing equipment manufacturer includes the Outotec TankCell s-Series flotation units – standardised units based on the company’s proven TankCell e-Series solution – and Outotec CellStation (pictured), an “intelligent and easy-to-operate solution” for controlling the air feed and pulp level in flotation cells, it said.

Outotec TankCell s-Series flotation units are “easy to operate, allow a flexible layout, and are designed to enable gains in throughput, grade, and recovery, while improving the sustainability and minimising the environmental impact of your process”, it said.

The units are built with cost-effective standardised equipment delivered preconfigured to optimise delivery lead time and capital expenditure, the company added.

“Based on in-depth test work, we can design a tailor-made flotation circuit based on the s-Series that will deliver optimised cell volume and residence time for your plant,” Outotec said, adding that units are available in sizes from 5 cu.m to 30 cu.m.

Outotec CellStation, meanwhile, is an intelligent solution that simplifies the “often-complex task of controlling the air feed and pulp levels in flotation cells”, Outotec said. This is a task that becomes more challenging as the number and complexity of cells increases, it added.

The solution incorporates Outotec’s ExactLevel controller, which enables more accurate level control and significantly reduces process disturbance, resulting in more stable froth conditions and therefore improvements in the flotation cell’s metallurgical performance, it said.

CellStation has plug-and-play connectivity with the Outotec FrothSense sensor system, which measures the essential properties of froth, including speed, direction, bubble size, stability, and colour, and provides statistical data related to these variables.

Metso breaks records as it looks forward to more growth

It was a record year in terms of profitability for Metso in 2019; a year that saw the minerals processing company make several strategic decisions to fundamentally change its group structure.

Orders received across the group increased 5% to €3.7 billion ($4.1 billion), with sales growing 15% to €3.635 billion. Adjusted EBITA rose from €369 million in 2018 to €474 million (13% of sales) in 2019, while operating profit jumped to €418 million from €351 million.

Metso President and CEO, Pekka Vauramo, said 2019 was in many ways historical and transformational for the company.

“It also marked a record in our financial performance, as our sales increased in both segments and our profitability was higher than ever in the company’s history,” he said.

The company also launched some major new products – including the Metso Truck Body and the VPX filter – in addition to publishing the Metso Climate Program, which aims for notable reductions in emissions.

The year will be remembered for two major strategic decisions from Metso.

“The first was the acquisition of McCloskey, a Canadian supplier of mobile aggregates crushers and screens,” Vauramo said. “After the closing of the acquisition in October, Metso’s offering strengthened in the mobile aggregates equipment market, which is estimated to see the industry’s fastest-growing demand.”

“The second and truly transformative step was the decision related to the partial demerger of Metso, after which Metso’s Minerals business will be combined with Outotec to create Metso Outotec, a unique company in the minerals, metals and aggregates industries,” Vauramo said.

At the same time as this, the company took the decision to allow its valves business to continue as an independent listed company named Neles.

Vauramo said: “We are confident that, as a result of this transaction, both companies will be well-positioned to grow and create value for our customers and other stakeholders.”

Shareholders of both Metso and Outotec approved the transaction in October at respective meetings and internal preparations have proceeded according to plan, Vauramo said.

The completion of the transaction still requires approvals from the competition authorities in various markets, but according to the company’s estimate, closing should take place on June 30, 2020.

Outotec upgrades ‘state-of-the-art’ process simulation package

Outotec says it has upgraded its HSC Chemistry® process modelling platform with new features, faster operation, and an improved user interface.

Outotec HSC Chemistry is widely used in the metallurgical and chemical industry and universities for R&D, process design and training workshops, according to Outotec, with the latest version being the result of more than 50 years of development, hundreds of hours of discussions with end users and decades of industry experience.

“It is truly a state-of-the-art process simulation package that seamlessly integrates into the wider metallurgical and chemical engineering process design environment,” the company said.

Metallurgical and chemical process technology must always be tailored to the local raw materials, energy sources and legislation, as the ores and secondary raw materials are unique at every site, Outotec says.

“Process flowsheet modelling is the basic tool, which makes it possible to optimise process recoveries, grades, OPEX, CAPEX, KPI guarantees, engineering data, environmental footprints, etc,” the company added.

The HSC Sim module is able to simulate the whole lifecycle of metals and chemicals including mineral processing, smelting, hydrometallurgical refining, precious metals recovery, and recycling, according to Outotec. “With HSC, a process designer can create a competitive and sustainable process.”

HSC LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) tools make it possible to understand and optimise the process, not only from the technical and economic point of view, but also considering the environmental impact. “It is critical to do this at the process design stage as it is difficult and expensive, if not impossible, to make changes after the engineering, construction, and start-up stages,” Outotec says.

HSC also acts as a basic R&D tool, which decreases the amount of expensive trial-and-error chemistry, Outotec says. “The experiments can be wisely designed before costly laboratory and pilot test campaigns. HSC also provides a lot of benefits in the analysis stage of the research work, and finally converts valuable experimental results into an easy to use digital format,” the company said.

Universities widely use HSC in workshops, because HSC offers versatile tools for various stages of education, according to Outotec. “Methodological skills related to modelling and simulation create connections between theory and practice, which helps students to understand the role and relevance of theoretical studies when they have a chance to apply their theoretical knowledge in real-life related problems using tools that are actually used in R&D projects.”

The HSC 10 top new features, according to Outotec, include:

  • New subscription-based licensing replaces old perpetual licensing;
  • HSC 9 calculation module files are upward compatible with the new HSC 10;
  • Sim Model Base expands personal expertise to organisation expertise;
  • Sim Model Optimization with Monte-Carlo, PSO, Simplex, MFit (SQP);
  • Sim Model Convergence Monitor for static models;
  • Sim Dynamic Report is a new tool for collecting simulation data;
  • Sim file loading and calculation speed improvements;
  • Sim Unit Operation Protection;
  • Sim model combination improvements;
  • Sim OpenLCA dialog improved and updated;
  • Sim new generic unit operations;
  • Gem Equilibrium Module: Own Pitzer parameters, electrode potential calculations;
  • Aqua Module with own Pitzer database;
  • New Sampler Module with save/open features;
  • Diagram Navigator Module: new triangulation algorithm and several small improvements;
  • Data Processing Module with new algorithms and faster graphics;
  • Material Database Module with links to location maps;
  • HSC Main Database Module with new and updated data for chemical species; and
  • HSC Main Menu with Sub Menu.

Outotec and Neste to introduced bio-based diluent to metals extraction sector

Outotec says it and Neste have jointly verified the viability of applying a bio-based diluent as a new solution for metals extraction.

Neste MY Renewable Isoalkane™ is a fully bio-based diluent for extracting metals in hydrometallurgical processes, Ouotec said, explaining that the diluent is based on Neste’s NEXBTL technology and produced entirely from bio-based waste and residue raw materials.

Laboratory studies and pilot trials at the Outotec Research Center in Pori, Finland, and Neste’s Technology Center in Porvoo, Finland, have confirmed the high-level performance of the product for solvent extraction of copper, and it can be also used for other base metals, according to Outotec.

“Thanks to its renewable origins and being readily biodegradable, the bio-based diluent reduces environmental risk and has a remarkably smaller carbon footprint over its life cycle when compared to fossil equivalents,” Outotec said. Moreover, Neste MY Renewable Isoalkane evaporates at a lower rate, which improves copper extraction efficiency and safety due to significantly reduced volatile organic compounds, the company added.

Neste MY Renewable Isoalkane is fully compatible with conventional fossil diluents at solvent extraction plants, and can be introduced into the extraction process without any downtime, Outotec said.

Kari Knuutila, Chief Technology Officer at Outotec, said: “This cooperation with Neste is part of our continuous innovation efforts of improving the environmental performance of our technologies and helping our customers to meet their sustainability goals. In this project, experts from two industries discovered synergies and co-created a new application for Neste’s bio-based product.”

Mercedes Alonso, Executive Vice President, Renewable Polymers and Chemicals at Neste, said: “Using Neste MY Renewable Isoalkane as a replacement to fossil diluents provides significant ecological benefits, while simultaneously improving the efficiency, economy and safety of metals extraction processes.”

Outotec and Neste have agreed to cooperate in introducing the Neste MY Renewable Isoalkane to metal producers. Outotec will provide technical industry expertise, whereas Neste will be responsible for the production, sales and deliveries of the bio-based diluent to the solvent extraction sites globally.

Outotec looks to strike the right water balance with Pretium platform

Outotec has launched a new real-time water monitoring tool to enable miners to simulate and evaluate proposed water-treatment investments and process changes, and keep tabs on water use across their operations.

As the company says, water is a scarce and valuable resource, and mining operations are under increasing pressure to optimise their water usage in order to improve environmental and economic performance.

Outotec Pretium Water Advisor enables real-time monitoring of the water balance across an entire site, allowing operators to create short-term forecasts for water volume and quality, it said.

The platform predicts changes in water balance and quality based on changing production and environmental conditions. This enables simulation and evaluation of proposed water-treatment investments and process changes.

“The solution combines intelligent water measurement stations and instrumentation with Outotec’s predictive water balance computing to eliminate the need to rely on time-consuming manual water-balance and key performance indicator (KPI) calculations,” Outotec said.

Plant managers and engineers can view water KPIs as both graphical views and historical trends via a web-based interface and also access scenario management tools for performing simulations and evaluating the impacts of new water treatment investments, process changes, or the impact of expansion plans on the site’s water resources, the company said.

“Water Advisor monitoring stations provide accurate and reliable real-time data on both environmental and process waters, and are designed to perform reliably in harsh environments even under constant exposure to rain, humidity, dust, frost, and sun,” the company said. “Stations can be easily connected to the Outotec technical platform for data collection, processing, visualisation, and device management.”

Outotec Pretium Water Advisor has been commercialised with the help of funding from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, a body of the European Union, under Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

Future Neles valves business bolsters service strength in Portugal, France

Metso’s valve business – to be renamed Neles Corp after a partial demerger – has strengthened its valves service availability with new service centres in Portugal and France.

The company will establish two new facilities in Lisbon, Portugal, and in the Mulhouse area, France, to increase its valves’ service availability and improve its customer presence, it said. These service centres will offer valve repair services as well as predictive maintenance services, eg digitalised process diagnostic services and shutdown planning, to help customers to increase their plant reliability, it said.

Timo Hänninen, Vice President of Valve Services at Metso, said: “We are constantly developing our operations to fulfil our customers’ needs. We have a comprehensive service portfolio, ranging from genuine quality parts to complex shutdown solutions. We want to be a reliability partner by helping our customers to reduce the risks of valve failure and expensive unplanned shutdowns.”

The service centre in Portugal was opened during the September quarter of 2019, with the France facility planned to open in the June quarter of 2020.

Neles currently has 40 service sites in more than 20 countries.

“Our valve services experts are involved in more than 150 large-size shutdowns globally every year, and today we have more than 100 valve service agreements with our customers,” Hänninen says.

Neles Corp is planned to be created in a partial demerger of Metso, in which Metso’s Flow Control business would become the independent Neles. Simultaneously, Metso’s Minerals Business would combine with Outotec to create Metso Outotec.

The partial demerger is targeted to be completed in the June quarter of 2020, subject to the receipt of all required regulatory and other approvals. The Extraordinary General Meetings of both Metso and Outotec approved the transaction on October 29, 2019.