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MEI Online: Gravity Concentration: Latest News: May 3rd 2005


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:: Bateman's Test Rig for Processing Industrial-Minerals

The design and engineering of large-scale facilities to separate the constituent minerals in complex ore bodies containing industrial minerals cannot be reliably tackled without extensively testing, on a pilot-plant scale, the effectiveness of a range of the most likely processes.

Accordingly Bateman has established a facility in which as many as three stages of wet-gravity separation and two-stages of desliming can be evaluated using representative samples of the ore and the data produced can be scaled up during the full-scale design stages.

The industrial-minerals test rig consists of a three-stage spiral circuit with tanks, sumps and pumps with variable-speed drives on each pump. Complete circuits can be simulated in the rig and tested as the rig's generic framework permits the insertion of different types of minerals-separation equipment, e.g. spirals, upstream classifiers, magnetic separators (e.g. small LIMS, WHIMS (wet, low- and high-intensity magnetic separation), etc.) and other wet-separation equipment. In respect of spirals, full-scale units obtained from different suppliers can be used.

The Bateman test rig is available to all clients. While it is usually located at Bateman's Boksburg site in South Africa, it is movable and can easily be taken to a remote site to facilitate the testing of bulk samples of the ore body. Depending on the grade of the feed, the open-circuit system can handle up to 6 t/h of material.

The control equipment is housed in a standard container, facilitating moves to alternative sites. The rig is usually mounted on a concrete slab to protect the surrounding environment. A power supply rated at 380 V is also required.

The rig has been used in several of Bateman's most recent feasibility studies and industrial-minerals projects.

Tests on the Tormin heavy-minerals resource involved the production of a heavy-mineral concentrate to recover and concentrate zircon, leucoxene, rutile, ilmenite and garnet. For Norilsk's titanium project, the rig was used to obtain data needed for the development of the process flow-sheet and studies are underway for Malawi Sands on the removal of non-magnetic zircon from a sillimanite (alumina silicate) ore from a non-magnetic concentrate containing zircon.

Besides the applications mentioned above, the test rig is ideal for studies on chromite containing ores, for which the recovery and upgrading stages are very similar to that for heavy-mineral sands. With minor modification, the processing of coal in spirals circuits can also be investigated.




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