Engineering & Mining Journal

DEC 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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Page 56 of 115

FLOTATION DECEMBER 2018 • E&MJ 55 In July 2017, Glencore Technology reported it sold two Jameson Cells to Toronto's First Quantum Mineral's Cobre Panama mine in Panama. At the time, the company reported that cells were also being installed at McArthur River mine, located roughly 600 miles from Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory, on a zinc-cleaning circuit. In December 2016, Glencore Tech- nology reported two cells were being in- stalled on a copper/molybdenum circuit at the Collahuasi mine in Chile. In the same report, the company stated James- on cells had been installed and commis- sioned at Newmont's Cadia copper/gold operations. Two more cells were report- edly being built for the Cadia operation, along with "several" others for an African copper miner. It also reported an earlier model cell was being upgraded at a coal operation in Bowen Basin, Queensland. Those deployments add to the rough- ly 350 units that were already operating in almost 30 countries around the globe. In each case, the cells were selected as technical solutions to technical problems, increasingly relating to grade, Lawson said. "Deleterious elements are there be- cause of entrainment, and our technology is essential to eliminate those deleterious elements," she said. Deleterious means beyond the ca- pability of smelters to handle, she said. "Things like fluorine and uranium and other gangue species too abundant for smelters to deal with," Lawson said. "In those cases, we are an absolutely excellent solution because, with the froth washing, we can eliminate those materials or those minerals that are there accidentally, and produce very high concentrate grade and improve their return from the smelter." Lawson said the cells are ideally situ- ated at the head of a circuit "where you might have half your minerals liberated and then we could remove half of those lib- erated minerals to final concentrate, mak- ing the rest of the circuit smaller." Adoption is easy as the Jameson Cell "has direct scale-up from pilot testing," she said. "So, if you have an existing operation and we pilot on your site, then we will know exactly how our Jameson Cell will operate." With four generations in operation, three decades of history, and field results from around the world attesting to the viability of the solution, the primary barrier to adoption now is normalcy bias, Lawson said. "We just have to get over some of those barriers that people have to adopting something dif- ferent," she said. "The technology does it, and it speaks for itself. They just need to be willing to listen and to adopt change." Last month, Glencore Technologies an- nounced a 25% capital back performance guarantee on the cells. The guarantee for- malizes the confidence the company has in how well the cells will perform, Lawson said. "Work with us and we will demon- strate what can be done and that we are willing to stand by it," she added. Coarser is Better Newcrest Mining Ltd. announced the commissioning of its Coarse Ore Flota- tion plant at Cadia Valley Operations in central west New South Wales. The plant was calendared to reach full capacity in December, according to the miner's quar- terly report released in September. The miner credited the new plant with helping to improve its numbers. Newcrest reported that "while total mine production was 8% higher than the prior quarter," Cadia's "gold produc- tion for the September quarter was 37% higher." The increase in gold production was driven primarily by a return to "ac- cess to full processing capacity" after an embankment slump limited mill through- put. It was "also," however, "assisted by increased head grade … and higher plant recovery due to debottlenecking work in the flotation circuit and the commission- ing of the Coarse Ore Flotation plant." The miner reported in its 2018 In- vestor Day Briefing Book that coarse ore flotation "has demonstrated increased recovery of coarse particles compared to conventional flotation technology." At Ca- dia, the new plant treats a full flotation tailings stream coming off a concentra- tor flotation circuit at a rate of roughly 9 million metric tons (mt) per year. "The primary objective" of the circuit "is to recover gold and copper currently lost to tailings in coarse composite particles," meaning bigger than 150 microns, "with- out additional power input for particle size reduction," Newcrest reported. In its Newcrest 2018 Investor Day Market Release, the miner declared the commissioning of the plant had produced "positive results" and the plant would "support the life-of-mine (LOM) gold re- covery improvement." In the 2018 Inves- tor Day Briefing Book, it attributed possi- ble "energy saving(s)" to the new circuit. The plant cost roughly $30 mil- lion, and trial operations began in July 2018, according to Newcrest. It centers on two technologies sold by Eriez, Cross- Flow and Hydrofloat. The former "is a fluidized-bed classifi- er," Eriez reported. In the CrossFlow, feed particles sink through rising waters piped in at the base of the main separator housing. Smaller particles that fail to sink are "car- ried over the top of the separator," Eriez reported. Bigger, coarser particles settle and form a fluidized bed that is piped out through the underflow control valve. Thus, the CrossFlow is used to coarsen feed for the HydroFloat Separator, which floats "liberated and semi-liberated parti- cles at a much coarser size than that which can be achieved using conventional flota- tion," Eriez reported. The separator com- bines "flotation with gravity concentration" for an outcome "that cannot be achieved by either approach alone," Eriez reported. The inverted cone shape of the separa- tor tank interior helps provide the "gravity concentration." Bubbles "dispersed by the fluidization system, percolate through the hindered-settling zone and attach to the hydrophobic component altering its density and rendering it sufficiently buoyant to float and be recovered," Eriez reported. "The use of the dense phase, fluidized bed eliminates axial mixing, increases coarse particle residence time Cadia Valley Operations has installed both Jameson Cell technology from Glencore Technology, and CrossFlow and Hydrofloat technology from Eriez. Above, the Cadia Valley processing facility. (Photo: Newcrest)

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