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Mineral Processing

Under mineral processing engineering, the services cover process flowsheet design,   process units,dust control, process control and optimisation, conservation of consumables, product management and waste disposal and metallurgical support services.

 

Flowsheet design capability covers areas such as comminution (crushing, screening and dust control), separation or concentration (dense medium separation, X-ray separation), materials handling including conveying and pumping.

 

Process units that we are familiar with include various types of crushers, screens, scrubbers cyclones, thickeners and flotation cells.  Each unit must be fit for purpose in terms of operational and cost efficiency and effectiveness. The metallurgical process is dynamic as it has to respond to the changing ore characteristics requiring each unit to be appropriately adjusted or controlled.

 

Dust control is a critical part of any comminution process as it can pose a significant risk to environmental health, the natural environment, safety and housekeeping.  Dust can be suppressed  or extracted and ultimately disposed of.  We are familiar with various dust extraction and suppression units.

 

Process control and optimisation is a key part of process metallurgy as it allows for a safe and logical start-up, steady operation and controlled shutdown of the plant and its process units.  SCADA, supported by PLC and field instrumentation are key components of the plant’s control system.  We have expertise in developing plant operating philosophies and functional specifications  around which the control system is built.

 

Conservation of consumables is key to the management of cost as well as promoting a culture of conserving scarce resources such as water, electricity and various chemicals used in the process.  A good understanding of how each consumable is used in the process provides the process manager with a base on which such usage can be minimised.  Beside water and energy conservation, we are familiar with conservation requirements for ferrosilicon,  flocculants and coagulants.

 

Product management and waste disposal are the end processes of an operating plant and must be considered in the design of the entire process.  The final product must be consistent with the quality that has been  promised to customers and must be packaged and parcelled  for ease of storage, transportation, distribution and further beneficiation  by the downstream users.  Diamonds in particular, must be sorted and cleaned so that there are no gangue minerals and no surface impurities.  While the final product is prepared for the buying customer, the disposal of waste must be done in the interest of the physical environment, the workers and the surrounding communities.  We are familiar with separation, thickening, pumping and conveying devices required for the processing and transportation of waste.  Dumps and dams used for the deposition of  solid waste must be built to conserve land, to minimise pollution, to reduce the probability of catastrophic failure  and promote progressive rehabilitation.

 

Metallurgical support services include the adoption of appropriate safety, health and environmental standards, various legal requirements, product protection as well as research and development for continuous improvement.  These are essential for the sustainability of the business from  economic, social and environmental perspectives.