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Integrated solutions help reduce costs and increase output

Image of the Enduron high pressure grinding roll

The Enduron high pressure grinding roll

15th September 2023

     

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Integrated solutions can be applied in various on-mine phases, from comminution to tailings, to help companies mine and process ore more cost effectively and sustainably.

Weir Minerals Africa regional integrated solutions manager Teddy Malunga explains that plant performance often drops over time and the unplanned replacement of individual items of equipment could also lead to an imbalance in throughput capacity. The implementation of integrated solutions, however, helps reduce operational costs and increase throughput, while maximising water recovery and power savings.

“When a client approaches us with a challenge in their circuit, we conduct a comprehensive audit [and ]this includes comparing its overall performance to its original design parameters,” he says.

By analysing each stage of the process and each item of equipment conclusions can be drawn about where any bottlenecks might occur. The solution that is designed should then be aimed at achieving the required key performance indicators such as throughput and target P80, while reducing downtime and raising productivity, he notes.

Malunga points to Weir Minerals’ Synertrex intelligent platform and its ecosystem of solutions that can be used to measure where potential equipment under-performance occurs, and to ensure optimal running conditions across the plant.

An integrated solution can demonstrate a tangible and measurable improvement such as increased plant throughput, capacity, availability, efficiency or recovery – or a combination of these improvements.

Improving energy efficiency is an important aim of system optimisation, as mines look to reduce their costs and their carbon footprint. Traditional mill circuit flowsheets, comprising semiautogenous grinding (SAG) mills and ball mills, are inefficient, with 40 % to 60% of the slurry returned to the mill for reprocessing. This recirculated load reduces the throughput and capacity of mills.

“The redesigned and reconfigured mill circuit that Weir Minerals envisages will see the SAG mill replaced by a more efficient high pressure grinding roll (HPGR), which is less energy intensive, while also reducing recirculating loads threefold,” says Malunga. “Compared to traditional crushing and grinding methods, Enduron HPGRs can reduce energy consumption by up to 40%.”

He adds that Weir Minerals’ Cavex 2 hydrocyclones allow a 27% improvement of capacity with the latest generation design, with a reduced bypass and better cut-point. The company says that its products improve the number of hours pumps can run while reducing power consumption.

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