Tag Archives: SAG mill

Metso Outotec to help modernise Nornickel’s Talnakh processing plant

Metso Outotec says it has signed an agreement to deliver its “industry-leading comminution equipment” to Norilsk Nickel’s refurbishment project at the Talnakh processing plant in Norilsk, Russia.

The contract includes delivery of one SAG mill and two ball mills with a total installed power of 36 MW, as well as two HP series pebble crushers. Metso Outotec will also supply spare parts and consumables, including metallic mill liners, and will supervise the installation of the equipment. The delivery is scheduled for 2022.

While the order value was not disclosed, Metso Outotec said the order has been booked in its December quarter 2020 orders received.

Sergey Dubovitsky, Senior Vice President, Strategy, Strategic Projects, Logistics & Procurement at Norilsk Nickel, said: “The modernisation of the Talnakh processing plant is one of the priority projects for Norilsk Nickel. Its implementation will significantly increase the volume and efficiency of production. To achieve this, we utilise the most modern technologies from Metso Outotec.”

Stephan Kirsch, President, Minerals business area, Metso Outotec, added: “We are pleased to continue our partnership with Norilsk Nickel. The supply of leading-edge equipment from Metso Outotec for the reconstruction of the comminution section at the Talnakh concentrator will enable an increase in the amount of ore processed. Our company has taken part in several projects with Norilsk Nickel to boost throughput rates of the processing facilities, and we are grateful for having been again selected to provide reliable solutions for a project as significant as Talnakh.”

DRA under budget and ahead of schedule at NST’s Jundee expansion project

DRA Global says it has completed its engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract under budget and ahead of time for Northern Star Resources at the Jundee gold mine, near Wiluna, Western Australia.

The Jundee mining operation is situated in the Northern Yandal Greenstone Belt, with the mine yielding a record 300,000 oz for Northern Star in the year ending June 30, 2020.

Jundee’s processing circuit comprises a two-stage crushing circuit, SAG and ball mill, and conventional carbon-in-leach plant. The ball mill upgrade, undertaken by DRA, increased processing plant capacity to a nominal design throughput rate of 2.7 Mt/y, from 2.2 Mt/y.

DRA delivered the EPCM project scope under budget and ahead of time, with ore commissioning achieved some six weeks ahead of schedule in a total duration of 35 weeks, it said.

“DRA’s project team achieved this outcome by working in close collaboration with the Northern Star project and operations team, the equipment vendors and construction sub-contractors,” it said.

Delivery of the project required overcoming challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, including risk mitigation strategies being initiated to maintain the accelerated project schedule, according to the company.

Northern Star’s General Manager Processing, Simon Tyrrell, said DRA had consistently met and exceeded performance expectations through a collaborative approach to the Jundee ball mill project delivery.

DRA was engaged on the EPCM contract after having completed an engineering and cost study which included scope definition, design, planning, capital and operating cost estimation. The project follows several previous plant upgrades and studies successfully completed by DRA at the Jundee gold mine, which have contributed towards the continuous production growth seen at the mine over the last four-to-five years, DRA said.

The process plant shutdown and tie-in of the new ball mill was performed in conjunction with the Northern Star operations team and contractors without incident, and the process plant has since ramped up to run consistently above nameplate design capacity, the company added.

MACA receives early call up for Red 5’s King of the Hills gold project

Red 5 Ltd says it has taken another key step towards the development of its King of the Hills (KOTH) project in Western Australia, after issuing a notice of award for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract and the bulk earthworks for the process plant to MACA Interquip.

The EPC contract and bulk earthworks – which encompass the KOTH processing facility, equipping of the bore fields, high voltage power distribution, workshop, warehouse and bulk earthworks – will be undertaken as a fixed‐price contract, Red 5 said.

The KOTH feasibility study outlined a 16-year life of mine plan from open-pit and underground mining, whereby the company would produce 176,000 oz/y of gold over the first six years. The capital cost came in at A$226 million ($158 million) and life of mine all-in sustaining costs were A$1,415/oz.

MACA Interquip, a multi‐disciplined mineral processing provider, has a strong track record of the construction of similar carbon‐in‐leach processing plants to the 4 Mt/y process plant planned at KOTH, Red 5 explained.

Following execution of the EPC contract, commitments to‐date for the KOTH project will total A$143 million, compared with the capital budget of A$155 million for these items – which represent 82% of the total capital budget for processing infrastructure of A$188 million (excluding owners costs and contingency).

Commitments made to date include:

  • Purchase of 240‐bed camp accommodation, water and waste water treatment plants and central facilities;
  • Design and construction contract for a 450‐person village;
  • 6 Mt/y gyratory crusher and 4 Mt/y SAG mill;
  • Early works agreement with APA Group for the gas pipeline lateral; and
  • EPC contract for the process facility and bulk earthworks.

Construction of the village commenced in October 2020 and is on track to be operational in February 2021. The process plant bulk earthworks (for which equipment will be mobilised) are scheduled to commence on December 1, 2020, pending the final remaining permit (currently on schedule).

The EPC contract provides for two phases. The first is limited to A$50 million and Phase 2 is for the remainder of the contract value, which will be released at the discretion of Red 5, based on the status of debt financing.

The notice of award provides for the immediate commencement of the design and procurement activities for the process plant as well as mobilisation of earthmoving equipment to site, Red 5 said. It, however, limits commitments to A$10 million and is an interim measure to allow the plant design and mobilisation for earthworks to commence immediately while the contract is executed.

Once executed, the value of these contracts, together with the purchase of the 6 Mt/y gyratory crusher and 4 Mt/y SAG mill (already awarded to MACA Interquip), is A$129 million.

The purchased long‐lead items of the crusher and mill are currently being transported, in preparation for the planned delivery to Australia late in the June quarter of 2021.

The company is currently calling tenders for both the open pit and underground mining contracts, the independent power producer contract and the supply of gas. These contracts are expected to be finalised in the coming months, it said.

Red 5 Managing Director, Mark Williams, said: “Our decision to award these key contracts and make commitments to significant long‐lead items prior to completing project debt funding reflects our confidence in the robustness of the King of the Hills project.

“Importantly, the commitments made to date are below budget for this stage of the KOTH project, and should give our stakeholders confidence that we are well on track to progress the development of this major project, with production planned to start in June quarter of 2022.”

Orion settles on SAG milling and water treatment at Prieska Cu-Zn project

Two significant engineering changes have had a positive impact on the expected returns from Orion Minerals’ Prieska copper-zinc project in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.

Issuing an updated bankable feasibility study (BFS) for a proposed new 2.4 Mt/y copper and zinc mining operation earlier this week, the company said there had been “numerous improvements” on the previous study completed in June 2019.

This included a 43% increase in post-tax undiscounted free cash flows from the project to A$1.2 billion ($798 million); a 36% increase in after-tax net present value (8% discount rate) to A$552 million; and a five-month reduction in the capital payback period to 2.4 years.

In the plant, the major changes include the use of SAG milling, and removal of secondary crushing, screening and rock conveyors.

The use of a SAG and ball milling circuit followed by differential flotation removes the need for multiple stages of crushing – which was included in the previous study.

The new plan envisages a high steel charged SAG mill operating in an open circuit with a secondary ball mill operated in a closed circuit with a classification cyclone cluster. The SAG mill trommel screen oversize feeds a pebble crushing circuit which returns crushed product to the SAG mill feed conveyor, the company said.

The milling circuit, meanwhile, is fed with (F100) 250 mm primary crushed material from the primary stockpile at a throughput rate of 300 t/h and produces a product size of 70% passing 75 μm, which is fed to the differential flotation circuit.

In a presentation, Orion stated that the processing plant costs from the 2019 study to the latest BFS had dropped 16% to A$91 million.

The next big change was a different de-watering philosophy of the old workings of Prieska, with the BFS including a new water treatment route. This resulted in a 30% decrease in the shaft dewatering timeline, it said.

The Hutchings Shaft and underground workings at Prieska are currently filled with water to a depth of 310 m below surface and contain a volume of 8.6 Mcu.m of water.

Dewatering of the workings via a pumping system to be installed in the Hutchings Shaft is now planned, with water being pumped into a 1 Mcu.m volume dewatering dam on surface, from where mechanical evaporators and a reverse osmosis water treatment plant will be used to dispose of and treat the water for discharge into the environment.

The use of water treatment supplements mechanical evaporation, which allows the pumping schedule to be accelerated by four months, Orion said. “Furthermore, the Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation stipulated as part of the IWUL (Repli Integrated Water Use Licence) application process that provision be made for a portion of the dewatered volume to be made available for social, commercial or agricultural use in the locality.”

Forced evaporation is planned to be used as the primary means to dispose of the water with the water treatment plant (WTP) as the secondary means to treat and then discharge treated water into the environment as irrigation water.

Forced evaporation requires the use of a large evaporation dam, according to Orion, which impacts environmental considerations when compared with the small footprint required by the WTP.

“This is mitigated through the early construction of the tailings storage facility (TSF) which serves a dual purpose for early project phase dewatering and later as a TSF during the operational life of the mine,” the company said.

These actions, in addition to prioritising the extraction of higher grade (and confidence) mineral resources earlier in the mine schedule, helped significantly improve the project return economics, according to Orion.

While the changes also came with a 9% increase in peak funding requirements to A$413 million to cater for the operational improvements, it would also see 20% more payable copper produced – 226,000 t – and 17% more payable zinc produced – 680,000 t – over the 12-year mine life.

Orion’s Managing Director and CEO, Errol Smart, said: “With the Prieska BFS update now complete, the development of the Prieska project is ideally positioned to play a vital role in the local economic recovery plan for the Northern Cape region.

“The project’s low exposure to imported materials and foreign labour reduces construction challenges as the world overcomes and recovers from COVID-19.”

Smart added that the company was targeting a production start-up in 2024 as market conditions permitted.

Zest WEG keeps DRC mining project on track in face of COVID-19 restrictions

The Zest WEG Group, a subsidiary of leading Brazilian motor and controls manufacturer WEG, is intent on keeping its customers’ projects on track despite COVID-19-related travel restrictions and has devised a way to complete the final step in the manufacturing process remotely.

In an innovative first to keep a customer’s mining project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on schedule, Zest WEG successfully conducted a remote witness test of medium voltage (MV) variable speed drives (VSDs) in WEG’s Brazil factory.

David Spohr, Business Development Executive for high-voltage equipment at South Africa-based Zest WEG, said these extraordinary times called for extraordinary measures.

“With the restrictions on international travel, we had to think creatively about how to complete this final step in the manufacturing process – the witnessed factory acceptance test (FAT) – before the equipment could be shipped to the DRC site,” he said.

Under normal circumstances, these tests would require the customer to travel to Brazil and spend a week at the factory witnessing and signing off a range of detailed test and equipment requirements.

This order comprised two 7 MW, 3,300 V WEG MVW01 VSDs for the ball and SAG mill drive application and two 1.2 MW, 3,300 V WEG MVW01 VSDs for the high pressure grinding roll (HPGR) mill application. Both applications required non-standard features, according to the company, namely “frozen charge protection” software on the ball and SAG mill application and a “master and follower” configuration on the HPGR mill application, it said.

Spohr said: “It was essential that we did not delay the customer’s project, so we arranged to conduct the witness test using web-based communication software. This allowed the participation of Zest WEG experts, the engineering contractor and the end user, all from the safety of their homes in Johannesburg – communicating with five testing technicians in the WEG factory in Brazil.”

Using a high-definition camera and web-based communication software, the factory technicians were able to walk the contractor and end user through each element of the FAT, with clear and real-time visual images of the test results and equipment on the factory floor, according to the company.

The tests continued for three days, beginning at 13:00 and ending at 19:00 to account for time zone differences. Testing covered three key areas – PLC communication software integration, full functional testing and full load testing, according to the company.

“As with any other witnessed FAT, the customer was provided with a comprehensive results report by WEG,” Spohr said. “This enabled the customer to check, in exactly the same way, that the remote FAT results were within the required tolerances.”

Spohr noted that this pioneering step is likely to influence the way these tests are done in future.
“It has shown that the testing can be done to the same standards, but with significant savings in time and cost,” he said.

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.”