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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Africa: October 11th 2016


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:: Multotec Improves Recoveries, Grades And Yields


Northam Chrome Producers is realising improved recoveries, better grades and higher yields following the retrofit of Multotec spirals at its recovery plant.

The decision to replace the existing spirals with those designed and manufactured by Multotec was taken by this chrome producer following extensive testwork performed by both Northam Chrome Producers and Multotec.

Results from the testwork performed at Northam Chrome Producers revealed that Multotec’s spirals outperformed the competitor units originally installed in the plant. Testwork was later revalidated at Multotec’s in-house technology division in Spartan, Gauteng, South Africa by Faan Bornman, technology manager.

Based on the outcome of these trials, Northam Chrome Producers decided to replace the existing spirals, which had reached their end of life, with Multotec spiral technology. “Tests showed that by using the Multotec spirals, the plant would be able to increase recoveries by an additional yield of 6%,” says Multotec’s Graeme Smith.

Smith says Multotec was tasked with removing 172 spiral assemblies from Northam Chrome Producers’ existing recovery plant and replacing these with 72 Multotec spiral assemblies. These comprised Multotec HX5 and Multotec HX3 spirals with feed tonnage capacities ranging from four to nine tph per start.

Smith says one of the biggest challenges of the eight-week long project was retrofitting the new spirals into the existing structure. Extensive work was done by Multotec’s in-house drawing office, which undertook all the drawings and confirmed the new layout of the plant, while also presenting the modifications needed to the structure to accommodate the new installation.

The project was overseen by Smith and field service technician, Raymond Masinga. “The commissioning of the plant was an easy exercise. It started up the same day and immediately started outperforming the earlier test results,” Smith says. He reports that the entire plant’s yield is now closer to 30%, compared to the average of 21% in 2014.

Multotec engineers have ascertained that the cost of the spiral assembly is about 0,004c/feed ton, with Northam Chrome Producers expected to see a return on its investment within a four year period.




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