Boksburg-based slurry equipment manufacturer eDART’s dual valves and poppet samplers continue to offer high-quality level control at South African miner Northam Platinum’s Booysendal plant near Lydenburg, Mpumalanga.
eDART slurry valves director Richard Rule says, when Booysendal was originally built in 2010, eDART supplied dual dart valves and poppet samplers. It continues to be involved in the commissioning and after-sales support to Booysendal which has sourced additional samplers over the years.
He notes that the company’s dart valves have kept level error to less than 2.5% over an eight-hour period at the Booysendal plant. “This is a great and important achievement as level control is vital in order to maintain the required ‘grade’ of the concentrate.”
Rule explains that, initially, external dart valves were chosen for flotation level control to concentrate the metal from ore, and that Northam currently has 27 flotation machines, each of which are fitted with a dual dart valve.
“It can be argued that this is the most important valve on a concentrator as it is the last controlling element that determines if the metal reports to the concentrator or is lost to the tails.”
According to Rule, Booysendal has commented that eDART’s dart valves offer the “best level control they have experienced on a plant”.
He adds that the company does not just sell product and walk away. “We offer a considered assessment of valve requirements to our customers and, throughout the first year of operation after our original installation at Booysendal, we assisted in the optimisation and fine- tuning of the plant to ensure that the best possible performance was obtained from our valves.”
Driven by the need for improved efficiency and throughput, good concentrators continually evolve. Samplers play an important and useful role in the monitoring system required to direct this evolution. “The Booysendal plant in particular has been very proactive in using our samplers and analysis to improve their processes. “I believe eDART’s valve technology played a role in Northam’s improved results at its Booysendal plant, [owing] to their superior quality,” says Rule.
Booysendal plant superintendent Brian Whitehead adds, “through the proper sizing of valves, we have been able to increase our feed rate to the plant without any major control issues on the valves”.
Together with valves company Afrivalve – which forms part of eDART Group – eDART was responsible for servicing and maintenance of equipment at the Booysendal plant, which included all the calibration and servicing of their valves to maintain optimised operational efficiency. Other control loop elements also had to be correctly selected, calibrated and tuned in order to ensure peak plant performance.
eDART are specialists in the design and manufacture of slurry equipment and offer external and internal dual/single dart valves, as well as pinch, dosing and slurry valves; pneumatic actuators, instrumentation, samplers, flow analysis technology; and related accessories.