Tag Archives: TankCell®

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.

Outotec continues to invest in technology as sales rise

Outotec registered a year-on-year improvement in financial performance in 2018, excluding a €110 million ($125 million) ilmenite smelter project provision, the company reported today.

The company’s sales increased 12% in 2018 to €1.28 billion, while its order intake jumped 4% to €1.25 billion. The €110 million provision for the Saudi Arabia project saw adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) come in at -€46.2 million, compared with €33.5 million in 2017, yet President and CEO, Markku Teräsvasara, said adjusted EBIT would have almost doubled to €64 million had it not been for this deduction.

“In 2018, we made significant progress in several areas,” Teräsvasara said. “In the beginning of the year, the market for minerals and metals technologies improved, but global macroeconomic uncertainties and reduced metal prices started to affect the market sentiment, and we saw several larger investment decisions being delayed into 2019.

“This was demonstrated in our order intake, which increased 4% year-on-year (in comparable currencies 8%) but declined in the fourth (December) quarter from the comparison period,” he said.

The company’s largest order in the December quarter – around €34 million – was for the delivery of battery chemicals technology in Finland for the Terrafame plant to be built in Sotkamo. The company has since followed this up with a contract in Australia to convert spodumene to lithium hydroxide.

Teräsvasara said profitability continued to improve in the Minerals Processing segment, with EBIT coming in at €78.5 million, compared with €60 million a year earlier.

Outotec said copper, gold, and battery metals projects were the most active during 2018, with demand for minerals processing equipment and spare parts stable throughout the year. In the company’s Metals, Energy & Water divisions, meanwhile, “solid demand” was registered in hydrometallurgical and pelletising solutions, as well as sulphuric acid plants, Outotec said.

Outotec said the €110 million provision related to possible costs for an ilmenite smelter project in Saudi Arabia. Back in October, the company said it was working with the client to investigate the reasons why one of the repaired furnaces in a first-of-its-kind ilmenite smelter had issues starting up.

“The currently estimated provision is based on progress made with the analysis of the furnace,” the company said today, adding that the provision was booked in its December quarter results.

Teräsvasara highlighted the “leading technologies” that were part of the company’s core strength in the 2018 results.

During the year, the company continued to develop its technological capabilities and grow its patent portfolio, with Outotec’s R&D investments representing 5% of its sales and totalling €57 million last year, he said.

Outotec went into a little more detail about this in its 2018 and Q4 review.

The first two industrial references of Outotec TankCell® e630s are running at the Buenavista del Cobre concentrator in northern Mexico, the company said.

“The site has reported an increase of more than 3% in overall recovery with a higher-grade copper concentrate. The TankCell® e630 flotation cell has a nominal volume of 630 m³ and is equipped with a FloatForce mechanism with a diameter of 2,200 mm,” Outotec said.

The company has also developed and filed a patent application for a thermal leaching process to convert spodumene concentrate into battery-grade lithium hydroxide. The lithium hydroxide process has been piloted at the Outotec Research Center in Pori for Critical Elements Corporation in Canada and Keliber Oy in Finland. Lithium hydroxide corresponds to the change in demand in the metal salt markets, it said.

Meanwhile, the new Hybrid filter plates that are 40% lighter, and, therefore, more competitive than conventional plates, were introduced to the spare and wear parts markets during 2018, Outotec said. “The new plates also improve the filtration capacity, provide low residual moisture in the cake, and reduce operational costs,” it added.

Outotec has also designed a skid-mounted, modular prefabricated sulphuric acid plant which significantly lowers the installation cost and time. In addition, the modular plant offers lower operation costs, increased availability and maintainability, as well as environmentally sound and safe operation, it said. “The innovative plant concept is based on Outotec’s technology and expertise gained from 650 plants delivered globally,” Outotec said.

Meanwhile, Outotec is in the middle of a pilot study with Sweden-based miner LKAB to treat industrial waters at its Svappavaara mine in the country. The pilot started in August and consists of nanofiltration and chemical precipitation of sulphate with Outotec’s Ettringite process. The pilot has shown sulphate concentration can be significantly reduced from the inlet value of 1,800 mg/l to the level of 150 mg/l, Outotec said.

A new digital product, Outotec Health Indicator, was also introduced last year. This produces data for flotation process control when used together with Courier on-stream elemental analysers. It enables higher performance in terms of concentrate quality and recovery of valuable minerals, according to the company.

Lastly, Outotec has been developing MesoTherm™ bio-oxidation technology for leaching base metals. The development work has shown it to be effective on certain copper sulphides, yielding 98% copper dissolution.