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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Africa: January 18th 2012


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:: Kelsey Jig Delivers Zircon from MSP Wet Gravity Rejects Retreatment

Trials using the Kelsey Centrifugal Jig (KCJ) at Exxaro’s Namakwa Sands Secondary Concentration Plant (SCP) in South Africa are showing that it is possible to efficiently recover zircon minerals from old stockpiled tailings material.

A spokesman for Namakwa Sands said, “A declining grade is testimony of the need to improve recoveries throughout the treatment process as well as exploring new opportunities to recover zircon from tailings dumps. The benefits of retreating the Mineral Separation Plant wet gravity tailings include elimination of the environmental need to rehabilitate tailings dumps, generation of increased revenues, and integration of new technology into our Namakwa Sands operation."

In 2010, Namakwa Sands installed a KCJ Pilot Plant at the SCP to assess the performance of zircon recovery from stockpiled Quartz Rejects material following extensive laboratory testing by Mineral Technologies at our Australian laboratory and on-site.

The KCJ Pilot Plant is modular and housed in shipping container sized modules (see photos right), which enable rapid assembly and start-up with minimal site preparation.

Performance was measured by collecting and analysing samples from sample points incorporated within the pilot plant.

To date, test results have shown that Zircon concentrate material with an average grade acceptable for further processing through the mineral separation plant (MSP) has been produced at zircon recoveries equivalent to or better than those achieved by reprocessing through the SCP.

Production rates have been in the order of 3-5 tonnes per hour of zircon concentrate. Feedback from the Exxaro team at Namakwa Sands indicates that processing of old tailings dump material through a compact KCJ offers significant advantages over reprocessing the same material through the SCP on a campaign basis.

The next stages of the trial involve ongoing production of zircon concentrate as well as further processing of stockpiled KCJ concentrate through Namakwa Sands’ MSP process for final cleaning.

It is anticipated that the KCJ concentrate will be amenable to MSP processing due to the low level of aluminosilicate minerals as most of these minerals are efficiently rejected to KCJ tailings.




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