Zululand Anthracite Colliery (ZAC) says it has commissioned a new 25 t/h filter press at its coal washing plant, in Emakhalathini, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
The filter press, from South Africa-based Filtaquip, removes slurry from the water used in the coal washing process. It will aid in preventing incidents such as the coal slurry spill, which occurred at ZAC after the end wall at Slurry Pond 3 failed on December 24, 2021, the company noted.
ZAC Engineering Production Superintendent, Howard Atkinson, explained: “The filter press filters slurry-laden water and removes all the ultrafines from the water to enable reclaimed water to be reused in the beneficiation process.”
The filter press plant, which cost R14.5 million ($933,660), was commissioned on May 10, 2022, and was in full production by May 16.
Filtaquip says its filter presses have high pressure technology for up to 21 bar feed pressure; Q-Shift plate movement technology for efficiency; external filtrate discharge; and an automated and maintenance free shaker system.
The conservation, protection and management of water is a top priority for ZAC, it said.
ZAC GM, Wayne Rowe, said: “The principal aim of ZAC’s sustainable water management policy is to minimise and reduce freshwater consumption in all our operations.”
ZAC operates an underground, deep level, narrow seam operation, using both continuous miners and drill and blast mining techniques. ZAC’s current life of mine is up to 2027, but there are undeveloped known resources still to be considered in future, it says.