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:: Fomento Increased Recovery Rates with Magnetic Separation
Metso Minerals has now won Fomento's trust over twice. A decade long association with India's progressive iron ore mining company added an extra dimension recently when Metso installed its second HGMS for Fomento at The Greater Ferromet Beneficiation plant in South Goa, India. Among the leaders Sociedade de Fomento Industrial Pvt. Ltd is a highly reputed mining, ore beneficiation and allied technology development company in India, with exports of over 2.50 million tons per year of high grade sinterfeed, calibrated lumps and concentrates. Fomento presently operates four iron ore mines in Goa and two mines in Karnataka. Besides, it has other non-operating mines kept as reserves. Fomento also has a significant presence in the mineral-rich belt of the Sandur-Hospet region in Bellary district of Karnataka State (South India). The total reserves accessible to Fomento are estimated at over 200 million tonnes.
Right technology found with testing Fomento has been running their beneficiation plant since 1986, Ferromet Concentrates, at Cudegal that produces BF iron ore lumps and fines. This was modernized in 1997. While doing this, the plant was producing more than 150 tph of slurry/tails, called cyclone overflow, which was sent to the tailing ponds for settling the particles and returning the water. The slurry assayed about 52-57% Fe. Fomento evaluated various options of the available technology to recover iron values from the slurry going to the tailing stack. Fomento's in house R&D, as well as, the test work done with various research laboratories revealed that magnetic separation techniques would increase the iron values reporting as concentrates.
Metso approached Fomento in 1996 and requested for their participation in the process by offering their experience in building iron ore plants, and offered HGMS as a prospective equipment. Metso also offered to carry out extensive test work on various Fomento ore types. YS Reddy, Fomento's Chief Superintendent of Mines & Director, felt that "HGMS was the only matrix based separator which could handle particle sizes from 500 to 5 microns with a higher throughput capacity. HGMS's strength was also found in its ability to work on ores of various magnetic susceptibility, since the magnetic field is developed by an electromagnet" A go ahead for the test work was given by Fomento.
The Chairman of the Fomento Group, Auduth Timblo, gave the mandate to the project team to "acquire mineral resources by either physical acquisition or through the technology in mineral enrichment". His support and keen involvement has been vital to initiate the relationship that now spans over a decade. After 6 months of elaborate test work, Metso came up with a proposal for upgrading the slurry to a suitable level of >64% Fe with Fe Recovery > 70%. The final tailing grade could be brought down to 38- 45% levels.
Metso's proposal was to install a 250-05 Single Head HGMS to handle the required tonnage. This unit having a single head could generate a magnetic strength up to 5000 Gauss at an input power of 40 Kw DC. The weight of the head was more than 22 tonnes. As a protection from Magnetite entering the HGMS, Metso further recommended the use of LIMS WS1212 CC ahead of the HGMS.
Fomento, convinced with the suitability of the application, ordered the Single Head HGMS system for the plant in 1996. The system was supplied and commissioned in 1997.
With the expansion of the plant in 2006, Fomento ordered the secon head of the processing line of HGMS from Metso Minerals. The second unit was successfully installed and commissioned in March 2007. Prashant Sardessai, Director Technical, Fomento, comments: "Installing the second head allows Fomento to process an additional capacity and new types of ores, and prepares us for treating ores liberated by grinding, which will be the next step at Fomento."
"The uniqueness of our relationship with Metso lies in the fact that the company strives hard to contribute more than what we expect from them. Professionalism of the team, readiness to adopt challenges and ability to offer the best in class products is what has kept them ahead in their peer group. Our placing the second order of HGMS and choosing Metso came as a logical sequence to Fomento plans, riding on the good experiences with our existing installation and their great service support," Sardessai continues.
Sunil Yadav, Vice President, Projects & Systems, Metso Minerals, adds: "Repeated orders are more cherished as they build an everlasting bond between the companies. Metso Minerals is proud to be a part of Fomento's success story."
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