Presented at the Preconcentration Digital Conference November 2020
CRONIMET Australia in cooperation with Speciality Metals International, the mining lease holder of the Mt Carbine Tungsten mine, have demonstrated the preconcentration and processing of large (>12 million tonnes) tailings and mine waste dumps on site in far north Queensland. The first stage of this project has proven the economic viability of preconcentration using sensor-based particle sorting whilst ensuring high recovery of industry critical tungsten minerals – wolframite and scheelite.
Sensor-based sorting technology have enabled the production of a sorter product to feed the existing wet gravity plant ensuring higher recoveries and increasing concentrate production. Processing of 1,000 tonne low grade samples using the TOMRA x-ray transmission (XRT) ore sorter installed on site, has reduced the volume of material entering the downstream wet processing plant by up to 60%. The sorted 10-25mm size range produced the highest upgrade ratio (product/feed) of 24:1 and achieved sorter concentrate grade of 1.52% WO3, sorter waste grades below 0.014% WO3and metal recoveries of up to 93.4%.
The appropriately sized, barren sorter waste material is also sold as aggregate and other quarrying products and thus adding to the overall economic benefit of the project. The utilisation of the sorting technology on site has produced an economically viable project, significantly reduced capital cost, and reduced the time to market of the final tungsten concentrate. The next phase of the project includes design and installation of a larger two sorter plant capable of over 150t/h feedrate.
G Rech1 and R Kroukamp2
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