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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Australasia: October 25th 2013

 
 

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:: Steinert X-Ray Ore Sorting Installation Success

 

Wolfram Camp (Australia) was first discovered in 1894, and has operated intermittently under a number of owners producing Tungsten, Molybdenum and Bismuth Concentrates.

In 2008, Open Cut Mining and Ore Processing through a new Concentrator commenced operation; however the plant operated for less than three months when technical difficulties coupled with a shortage of working capital, further compounded by the global financial crisis, resulted in a suspension of operations.

Wolfram Camp Mining Pty Limited was acquired by the current owners in 2011 and embarked on a plant modification and expansion program.

The Process Plant was designed to treat ore from an open pit mine at a rate of 150,000 tonnes per annum, through a process comprising

  • Two-stage crushing
  • Ball Mill Grinding in closed circuit with a screen
  • Bulk sulphide flotation, followed by selective flotation of molybdenite into a concentrate.
  • Flotation tailings treated in a gravity circuit comprising centrifugal Jigs and Shaking tables producing a + 60% Wolframite concentrate.

The plant modification program comprised improvement to ball mill screening, cycloning to remove slimes, the addition of spirals, shaking tables, removal of centrifugal jigs, drying, magnetic and electrostatic separation.

Limited test work had been carried out by the previous owners into X-Ray Ore Sorting and indications were that a high proportion of barren material could be rejected with minimum loss of valuable minerals. This offered a process route to increase annual tonnage treatment by rejecting a significant amount of waste ahead of the grinding and downstream process plant.

Pilot ore sorting was carried out at site which confirmed earlier findings, then an arrangement was entered into with Steinert to lease a commercial capacity ore sorter for on-site trials which further confirmed the amenability to X-Ray ore sorting and culminated in acquisition of a new unit which was commissioned in March 2013 and incorporated into the Wolfram Camp Process.

This meant that sub-standard grade ROM material could be upgraded to economic grades. With all the improvements implemented successfully, the plant now operates at 300,000 tonnes per annum.

 

 

   

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