Tag Archives: SAG mill

Metso wins major mill lining order from Russian Copper Company

Metso is to supply SAG and ball mill linings for the facilities of Russian Copper Company’s (RCC) in-development Tominsky processing plant (TPP), in Russia.

The TPP is RCC’s biggest investment project and one of the largest scale and high-tech projects commissioned in Russia in recent years, according to RCC. The plant will be constructed at the Tominsky copper porphyry deposit and will have a capacity of 28 Mt/y of copper ore, producing up to 500,000 t/y of copper concentrate, the company said.

The Metso contract complements two earlier mill lining contracts for RCC’s Mikheevsky processing plant, signed in December 2019, the mining OEM said.

With a combined value of approximately €24 million ($26.1 million), the three orders have been booked for Metso’s March quarter 2020 (Tominsky) and December quarter 2019 (Mikheevsky) orders received, it said.

First shipments started already in March, with the RCC deliveries covering almost one year’s worth of mill lining needs, according to the company.

Alexey Muzychkin, Metso Senior Vice President in Russia and CIS, said: “We are proud to be part of the construction projects of RCC by providing reliable supplies of equipment and spare parts for their plants. We managed to meet the tight delivery schedule required to ensure the smooth operation of RCC’s production facilities.”

Vsevolod Levin, President of RCC, said: “RCC implements the best available technologies at its operations, as well as installs equipment from the world’s leading manufacturers. For this reason, Metso is our long-time reliable partner in implementing the most ambitious projects. This ensures superior operational performance of our enterprises, as well as the safety of technological processes for human health and environment.”

RCC was founded in 2004 and is now one of the biggest copper producers in Russia, according to Metso.

It is a vertically integrated holding company with operational assets in Chelyabinsk, Sverdlovsk, Orenburg, Novgorod, Khabarovsk (all in Russia) and Kazakhstan. RCC manages eight mining enterprises, a hydrometallurgical plant, three metallurgical plants, and a trading company. Together, they cover the complete production cycle, from mining and processing to production and sales.

The company produces copper concentrate, copper cathodes and copper rods, as well as zinc concentrate, refined gold, and refined silver, with its production facilities able to produce 220,000 t/y of copper cathodes and 235,000 t/y of copper rods, Metso said.

JKMRC researchers tackle SAG mill fill productivity challenge with new ‘soft sensor’

Researchers from the Sustainable Minerals Institute’s Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (JKMRC) say they are developing a soft sensor to overcome previously-accepted performance challenges facing SAG mills.

SAG mills are a key asset for mineral processing operations as one of the critical stages of extracting mineral out of ore, and their continued stable operation is central to productivity, the JKMRC says.

However, the performance of a SAG mill changes rapidly in response to conditions such as feed size and hardness, as well as longer-term variability due to liner wear – something no instrumentation can directly observe, according to the research centre.

The new Mill Filling Prediction (MFP) tool is a soft sensor (a mathematical model that act as a sensor) to provide information about the mill’s contents and enable it to be controlled closer to its maximum capacity, it says. The MFP tool is developed by Dr Marko Hilden (pictured with Mohsen Yahyaei here), a Senior Researcher at JKMRC, who transformed and updated models that have been developed by various researchers at JKMRC and developed new models to suit the new application.

Associate Professor, Mohsen Yahyaei, who is JKMRC’s Advanced Process Prediction and Control (APPCo) Group Leader, said the MFP tool includes mathematical models that predict the wear condition of the mill, the level of mill filling, the filling of the steel grinding media and particle trajectory.

“The models capture data from commonly installed sensors around SAG mills, which allows the model to run in real time, giving the operator instant feedback on the critical conditions that affect mill performance,” he said.

“The MFPT is already being implemented at a number of industrial sites, and they are starting to see multiple benefits in the control of the grinding circuit.”

In the mining sector, most energy is used during mineral processing, with comminution – which includes grinding – accounting for 70% of total energy usage in some sub-sectors, according to the JKMRC.

Associate Professor Yahyaei said precisely predicting mill filling can increase operators’ confidence in running the mill at a higher average filling and power draw, thereby increasing overall equipment effectiveness and throughput.

“The operator can be alerted when undesirable conditions such as slurry pooling are imminent, reducing the risk of the mill being overloaded,” he said.

“Estimation and display of steel ball level reduces the need to perform regular manual measurements which require stopping and sometimes entering the mill, and, therefore, reduces the impact on production and personnel health and safety.

“And warnings, when shell impacts are likely, can help the operators select operating conditions that avoid excessive liner wear and grinding media consumption.”

JKMRC’s APPCo Group aims to transform unit process modelling and simulation by moving from steady-state models to techniques that make greater use of data generated on-site and sensor technologies in combination with advanced process control, computational analytics and modelling techniques, according to the JKMRC.

Metso to help Pavlik Gold double processing capacity

Metso says Pavlik Gold JSC has chosen it as the supplier for the key crushing and grinding equipment for its ore processing plant in Magadan, Russia.

The Pavlik gold plant, which commenced its operations in 2015, currently produces around 225,000 oz/y of gold. With the new equipment, the plant expects to double its ore processing capacity and increase gold production, according to Metso.

Metso’s delivery consists of the primary crushing station with a Nordberg® C160™ jaw crusher, one SAG mill and two ball mills with a total installed power of more than 20 MW. The circa-€25 million ($27 million) order has been booked in Metso’s March quarter orders received, with delivery expected to take place in the first half of 2021.

Alexey Muzychkin, SVP, Russia and CIS, Metso, said: “We greatly value our long-term cooperation with Pavlik Gold, where Metso’s equipment has been in use already for several years. We are sure that the experience and technical competence of both companies in this type of projects will help us rapidly achieve the goals.”

Earlier this month, FLSmidth announced that it would supply a new 7 Mt/y gold processing plant to the mine. 

Marks reveals Resolution copper concentrator details at SME

There’s some good news for mineral processing equipment suppliers looking to win business from the Resolution copper mine in Arizona, USA: the Rio Tinto/BHP-owned project already has a preliminary concentrator plan in place.

The sticking point is that, according to Anita Marks, Principal Advisor, Process Engineering, Resolution Copper, the plant ground-breaking is not likely for another eight years!

Speaking at the 2020 SME MineXchange Conference & Expo, in Phoenix, Arizona, on Tuesday, Marks revealed the plans for the concentrator at the mine, which when operational could become the largest copper producer in North America.

The project, situated close to the former-operating Magma mine, is currently in the process of deepening Shaft 9 down to a level of 2,086 m deep. The project partners will have spent over $2 billion (Rio Tinto share $1.1 billion) by the end of this year to develop and permit the project, including $302 million of additional expenditure approved earlier in 2019. Marks’ long timeline to groundbreaking is a reflection of the lengthy permitting process the project will have to go through.

Following the shaft deepening – expected to be completed in 2021 – and if the project receives the required approvals, development work for the block cave mine could start to take place.

At the same time as the company is focused on these aspects of the project, Resolution is leveraging the drill core it has obtained to calculate all-important metallurgical information and come up with a preliminary concentrator design.

The project has delineated indicated and inferred resources totalling 1.97 Bt at 1.53% Cu and 0.036% Mo from drilling, so there are many datapoints to draw from when it comes to generating a process flowsheet. It has used 79,000 ft (24,079 m) of core – including 38 full holes and 10 partial holes – 527 grindability samples, 646 rougher/cleaner kinetic tests and three pilot projects to come up with these plans, according to Marks.

Ahead of the concentrator, ore will be crushed underground – possibly with a gyratory crusher – and conveyed underground before being hoisted to surface.

The concentrator looks like having a SAG and ball mill configuration without a pebble mill (at least in the initial stages), plus a large cell bulk flotation circuit with columns for cleaning. It would have a separate float for tailings separation and produce both a copper and molybdenum concentrate.

This has the potential block cave mine producing 120,000 t/d of ore, with plant availability expected to be 92%.

And water consumption and recycling are high on the priority list for the project, with Marks saying the company is trying to reclaim as much water as possible. A tailings thickener is expected at the concentrator itself, with the aim to capture 80-85% of the water used in the process, she said.

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.”

FLSmidth to help modernise crushing, grinding circuit at Zijin’s Serbia copper op

Zijin Mining Group has chosen an FLSmidth gyratory crusher, SAG mill and ball mill for the Majdanpek mine, part of the Chinese mining company’s majority owned Zijin Bor copper mine, in Serbia.

The delivery of the equipment to Majdanpek, 180 km from Belgrade, is expected to occur between 12 and 18 months from now, with the project estimated to reach completion by the end of 2020. The order has a combined value of around DKK200 million ($30 million), according to FLSmidth, and has been recognised in the order intake for the September quarter.

The order of the new FLSmidth crushing and grinding circuit for the front end of the concentrator comes as Zijin looks to modernise Majdanpek, which will be the largest of its three Serbian copper concentrators, FLSmidth said.

Acquired as part of the majority acquisition of Bor in late 2018, the Majdanpek mine uses open-pit mining and flotation to produce copper concentrates, with a designed mining and processing scale of 10 Mt/y, according to Zijin. The operation is currently at a scale of 6 Mt/y, it said.

In the next six years, the company says it plans to invest more than $1 billion in the upgrading, expansion, or construction of the four mines and smelter at Bor. After the completion of the first phase of the project, it is estimated output will go to 82,000 t/y of copper in concentrates, with the smelter producing 80,000 t/y of copper cathode. After the completion of phase two, this could go to 120,000 t/y of concentrate and 150,000 t/y of cathode.

Manfred Schaffer, President of Mining and Group Executive Vice President at FLSmidth, said: “This extensive order underlines the strong value proposition of FLSmidth to our customers in the copper industry. Our market leading crushers and mills will provide significant improvements for Zijin Mining in terms of productivity and processing efficiency.”

Flotation and grinding circuit classification rise to the top in CEEC awards

The Coalition for Energy Efficient Comminution (CEEC) has announced the recipients of its 2019 CEEC Medals, which are granted annually to authors of outstanding papers presenting “innovative approaches to enhancing energy efficiency in comminution and mineral processing”.

Dr Zeljka Pokrajcic, CEEC Medal Evaluation Committee Chair, announced that the CEEC Medal for Technical Research was awarded to Laureate Professor, Graeme Jameson AO, and Dr Cagri Emer from the Centre for Multiphase Processes, University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, for their publication, ‘Coarse chalcopyrite recovery in a universal froth flotation machine.

The CEEC Medal for Operations was awarded to Kyle Bartholomew, Rob McIvor and Omar Arafat from Metcom Technologies, Grand Rapids, Minnesota, USA, for their publication, ‘A guide to maximising ball mill circuit classification system efficiency (CSE), for operators and equipment designers.’

Dr Pokrajcic said: “The Evaluation Committee closely considered a number of high quality nominations from leading global industry experts before shortlisting two research papers and three operations papers.”

Jameson and Emer’s (pictured) CEEC Medal winning paper was published in Minerals Engineering (134, 118-133) in January and documents a flotation device, the NovaCell. The NovaCell features a fluidised bed for coarse particle collection and a high shear aeration zone for ultra-fines separation, CEEC said. The researchers’ case study showed the device resulted in a 40% reduction in comminution energy and a 12% reduction in overall site operating cost.

Dr Pokrajcic said the entry was a clear standout in the Technical Research category, presenting high quality research that was well supported by strong technical information and cost analysis.

“The paper presents a new dual-zone flotation device for both coarse and fine particle separation. It reinforces important developments that are supporting industry’s move to coarse particle flotation at scale,” Dr Pokrajcic said.

“This work shows leadership in flotation approaches that can significantly improve comminution efficiency and productivity. It also provides a compelling case for the reduction of operating and capital costs by removing coarse size waste in the comminution circuit.”

The winning Operations Medal paper by Bartholomew, McIvor and Arafat was presented at the 14th AusIMM Mill Operators’ Conference, in Brisbane, in August 2018.

Dr Pokrajcic said the paper provided a “useful methodology for measuring and improving classification efficiency in a grinding circuit”, highlighting the importance of classification in comminution circuits to improve efficiency and productivity.

The paper’s case study measured an almost 25% increase in the generation of new -25 micron material following an increase in ball mill re-circulating load and optimising cyclone performance, according to CEEC.

“The three authors from Metcom Technologies are highly regarded contributors to the field of comminution efficiency, last year publishing (along with Jim Finch) a paper on ball mill classification system optimisation that was Highly Commended by the CEEC Medal judges,” CEEC said.

Dr Pokrajcic said: “This year’s exceptional CEEC Medal winning paper by Bartholomew, McIvor and Arafat provides a succinct, clear, systematic approach to practical operational improvements that not only helps inform operations of the efficiencies that can be achieved, but also demonstrates the economic case for change.”

The 2019 CEEC Medal Evaluation Committee also selected three papers for High Commendation. The recipient in the Technical Research category was Hamid Manouchehri for his paper, ‘How Far the Crushing Performance Can be Pushed? Cone Crusher vs Vertical Shaft Impactor (VSI)’. This paper was presented at Comminution ‘18, in Cape Town, South Africa.

CEEC said: “Manouchehri’s paper presented an adept comparison of the conventional cone crusher and the VSI in a fine crushing duty, and third and fourth stage crushing duty.”

The judges added: “His trials conducted at pilot scale and at laboratory showed the VSI produced more fines, and in some cases product of higher porosity, reducing downstream power consumption.”

In the Operations category, Malcolm Powell, Sarma Kanchibotla, Vladimir Jokovic, Marko Hilden, Benjamin Bonfils, Anand Musunuri, Pamela Moyo, Sam Yu, Jace Young, Paul Yaroshak, Emrah Yalcin and Barun Gorain were awarded High Commendation for their paper, ‘Advanced mine to mill application at the Barrick Cortez Mine.’ This paper was presented at the 14th AusIMM Mill Operators’ Conference.

The CEEC Medal Evaluation judges commented that this was an “outstanding paper” building on the commonly applied mine-to-mill optimisation where grade deportment and dilution, as well as blast movement during high intensity blasting, is considered and evaluated.

Also winning a High Commendation in this category was Berge Simonian for a paper titled, ‘Mount Milligan Mine Performance Update.’ Presented in January at the 51st Annual Canadian Mineral Processors Operators Conference in Alberta, Canada, CEEC said the paper detailed the optimisation and debottlenecking of a relatively new mineral processing circuit.

“Efficiency gains achieved through modification to secondary crushing screening, SAG mill lifter design and ball mill charge optimisation enabled the circuit to operate at throughput beyond design,” the judges said.

CEEC CEO, Alison Keogh, praised the CEEC Medal recipients and Highly Commended authors, saying their outstanding contributions help inspire and foster industry uptake of eco-efficient comminution and processing.

Keogh said: “The CEEC Board thanks the successful authors and each of the nominees for their important research efforts and case studies. These publications, shared widely via CEEC’s global network, provide tangible value by helping operators, researchers and METS companies take steps to operate more efficiently while reducing their energy usage, footprint and costs.”

To view the abstracts and to find out more about the CEEC Medal visit www.ceecthefuture.org/ceec-medal

Miners able to pick ‘n’ mix with latest FLSmidth mill lining components

FLSmidth says it has launched redesigned mill lining components engineered to suit the specific functions and differing operating environments of the mining industry with its.

The new PulpMax™ mill liners are designed to increase the throughput of semi-autogenous (SAG) mills and substantially boost the wear life of liners, the company said.

FLSmidth said: “Delivering on a promise to provide increased productivity to the mining industry, the composite design incorporated in FLSmidth’s new PulpMax mill liners ensure that users enjoy reduced downtime and maintenance, increased throughput and improved worker safety.”

With lighter weight mill liners, installation is faster and safer as each liner is easier to manipulate, according to the company. There are also fewer parts, and, hence, fewer movements are required to perform a reline, resulting in a significant decrease in scheduled downtime.

The composite nature of the liner reduces its weight by almost 50%, according to FLSmidth, which allows the plant to increase its ball charge level without increasing the total weight of the mill.

This higher ball charge further contributes to the higher throughput.

“The lighter weight of these liners has an important impact on size, design and installation time,” the company said. “Each liner can now be larger – subject to the size of the mill opening – and the mill can be lined with fewer of them, reducing the downtime required to conduct replacement.

A lighter liner means fewer bolts to hold it in place, a factor further reducing installation time, according to the company. This shorter downtime also means less time for contractors inside the mills, leading to a faster and safer liner changeout.

Another important benefit of the composite material used in many of FLSmidth’s redesigned liners is it is not necessary to torch the liners, as is sometimes required when removing old steel liners, the company said. “This torching process in the mill is best avoided, as it can cause costly damage to the mill shell,” FLSmidth explained.

Finally, there has also been the development of composite material shell liners bolted from the outside of the mill, once again, speeding up installation and reducing risk.

Jack Meegan, Product Line Manager for Comminution at FLSmidth, said: “As mines increasingly recognise the positive financial impact derived from just a few more percentage points in throughput improvement, many are looking beyond conventional steel cast liners for mills. FLSmidth’s innovations, based on combinations of steel, rubber and ceramic components, allow the liners to be thinner, resulting in a larger volume inside the mill, making higher charge levels possible.”

He continued: “Responding to the continuous assessment of customer needs, FLSmidth has launched a mill liner solution based on extensive data on mill operations, shutdowns, wear profiles and other factors. These have been used to develop a high-end technical and financial solution.”

Following installation, an ongoing measurement of actual wear, tonnage processed and estimated wear life is conducted so further recommendations can be made to improve performance, Meegan explained.

FLSmidth’s SAGwise makes an impact on mill consumables

Just over a year since launching its SAGwise™ total process control solution for semi-autogenous (SAG) mills, FLSmidth is putting some savings statistics behind the sensory and process optimisation system.

SAGwise is designed to optimise the use of the three main consumables in SAG milling: power, media and liners.

Winston Mokoena, Key Account Manager at FLSmidth, said the solution reduces critical impacts inside the mill by up to 45%. This adds life to wear liners and grinding balls, helping to prolong liner life between maintenance and giving mills more uptime, he added.

“SAGwise can improve mill production by 6% and substantially reduce process variability,” Mokoena said. “This ensures that the mill provides a constant and optimal feed to the next stage of the process, effectively facilitating better performance of downstream operations.”

Among the challenges mill optimisation tries to address is too little material in the mill, or too much. Too little leads to critical impacts between the grinding media and the mill liners, damaging both elements without producing value. If the mill is overfilled with mined material, on the other hand, this results in grinding inefficiencies.

“The SAGwise system uses four or eight unidirectional or bidirectional audio sensors located in close proximity to the mill, which detect the analogue sounds and convert them into digital signals for analysis by a processing unit,” FLSmidth said. “This unit uses the sound patterns and other process variables to determine the necessary adjustment to the mill’s feed, speed and pulp density.”

So direct are the improvements that can be achieved by this solution that customers can pay back their investment in less than six months, depending on the commodity value and the specific mill environment, according to FLSmidth.

“The parameters that are monitored by SAGwise include the mill’s power consumption, load impacts, mill load and pulp density,” Mokoena said. “The system then responds to these parameters by controlling the mill speed, the feed rate and the water to achieve the ‘sweet spot’ where the mill runs at optimum efficiency.”

Norilsk Nickel chooses Metso Megaliner for Talnakh concentrator

Norilsk Nickel has recently switched out the chrome and molybdenum alloy lining of a SAG mill at its Talnakh concentrator in Russia as the company looked to increase the life of these all-important wear parts.

Sever Minerals and Norilsknikelremont (a subsidiary of Norilsk) were contracted to complete the mill relining project, using liners supplied by Metso’s global team, which also used the OEM’s Megaliner™ concept.

The new lining is more durable, weighs less and ended up being safer to install than previous the previous lining, according to Norilsk.

A Norilsk spokesperson told IM that the mill lining was replaced with two elements, the Metso Poly-Met; a rubber-steel combination installed on the front-facing part of the mill; and the Metso Megaliner, which has large shell or head liners used to protect the drum.

The spokesperson added: “The cladding manufacturers guarantee that the mill can work for 5,600 hours uninterrupted (that is about eight months non-stop). The previous version required the SAG mill to be stopped for replacement every six months.”

By developing the technology, adopting better project management and using the specialised equipment, Norilsk said it was able to reduce the time taken to replace the mill lining by three days.

The Megaliner is, according to Metso, a new, innovative mill liner concept, dramatically improving worker safety and maximising mill availability. Each shell or head liner covers a large area, has few attachment components and an attachment system which gives a safer working environment for the installation crew, it said.

The weight of the mill lining also came down with the switch from pure metal to a metal-rubber compound, Norilsk said.

“The new mill liner weighs close to 130 t, which is 120 t less than the old mill liner. The average weight of one mill liner element is 1.8 t (elements have different configurations and respective mass),” the spokesperson said.

This reduced weight came with other benefits.

“Due to the lower weight of the capstan, the new mill liner is more wear resistant and better technologically-equipped to cope with an increased number of planned tasks,” the spokesperson explained.