Exploration in Cameroon advances with Multotec pilot plant
While exploring for heavy minerals in Cameroon, a multinational mining company obtains valuable results and insights through the use of an on-site pilot plant from South Africa-based processing equipment leader Multotec.
The pilot plant was designed and assembled at Multotec’s extensive design, manufacturing and testing facilities in Spartan, near Johannesburg, and shipped to the remote site in central Africa last year. The containerized plant features a range of Multotec’s own equipment including screenboards, cyclone rig and spiral rig.
According to Faan Bornman, Head of Technology: Research and Development at Multotec’s Technology Division, drill samples from the prospect area are screened to remove oversized material, with undersized material going into a sump to be mixed. with water of the correct density.
The undersized material is passed to the cyclone for desliming – the removal of very fine particles – providing an underflow with an optimum size range of between 38 microns and 1 mm. This is routed to the spiral platform for concentration, the spiral delivering concentrate, intermediates and tailings. The process allows the project to assess its economic heavy mineral (EHM) portion, which is concentrated towards the inner section of the spiral.
“Multotec’s HX5 and 117HM spirals were used to meet customer requirements, with the new 117HM spiral showing excellent recovery in mineral sands,” says Bornman. “With the HX5 handling up to 5.5 tph and the 117HM 2.3 tph, these spirals also offer different recoveries and grades in the various heavy minerals.”
The equipment for this pilot plant is critical to making an accurate assessment of the viability of the deposit, but the results also give the customer important insight into how the full-scale plant should be designed if exploration proves successful. positive.
“To ensure that the customer received optimum value from the pilot plant, we sent a process engineer on site to commission the system,” he explains. “During the few weeks he was there, he also conducted training with local staff on how to run and maintain the plant.”