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:: Tati Nickel Project - DMS Successfully Commissioned
DRA was appointed as the EPCM contractor for the 12Mtpa DMS project at Tati Nickel's existing Phoenix mine which is 40 km north east of Francistown in Botswana.
DRA was appointed as the EPCM contractor for the 12Mtpa DMS project at Tati Nickel's existing Phoenix mine which is 40 km north east of Francistown in Botswana. The $151m project began in August 2006 and was completed in December 2008, with the commissioning of the new primary gyratory crusher. The project also achieved its initial completion milestone of accepting first material into the DMS system on the 2nd July 2008, one day ahead of schedule, which was a significant achievement in the current project environment.
The new plant is sited within the existing concentrator complex and consists of a primary gyratory crusher, secondary and tertiary crushing and screening circuits, and associated materials handling systems, consisting of 42 conveyors. Over 950 tons of conveyor structural steel was designed and fabricated in India.
The crushed material, -25 mm in size, feeds the DMS section, built in four parallel modules, with a combined capacity of 1600 tph. By removal of the waste portion, a higher nickel grade product is fed into the existing milling circuit, thereby increasing the nickel concentrate volume processed through the existing concentrate plant.
Production at the Phoenix mine commenced in 1995 at 1.2Mtpa, using dry magnetic separation concentration due to lack of sufficient water. In 2000 a capital project was undertaken to increase tonnage and switch to the much more efficient conventional mill/flotation process. The 3.6mtpa concentrator was commissioned in 2002. This included the construction of a 43 km water line from Shashe dam as well as a increased 20MW power supply from Francistown. The concentrates are at present trucked 200 km to the smelter at Selibe Pikwe .
The Phoenix deposit consists of high grade lenses of massive Nickel/Copper sulphides surrounded by disseminated low grade ore. It requires very selective mining and blending to avoid wide fluctuations in the feed grade to the concentrator. The new DMS plant will also make a significant contribution to grade stability, and will allow lower grades to be profitably mined.
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