Home / Insights / Innovative, High-Capacity Pilot Plant Crushes, Screens and Blends Minerals for High Integrity Sampling
06.03.2023 | Case studies
Innovative, High-Capacity Pilot Plant Crushes, Screens and Blends Minerals for High Integrity Sampling
SUDBURY, ONTARIO—The new Xstrata Process Support (XPS) minerals crushing and blending pilot plant here converts a wide range of ores into samples for process testing.
It is significantly larger, more productive, more easily cleaned, and more automated than prior manually operated laboratory scale facilities. The unit crushes and screens up to 150 kg/hr (330 lb/hr) of ore, compared with about 100 kg/day (220 lb/day) for the company’s former manually operated facility. “As far as we know, there is nothing else like it,” says XPS metallurgist and project manager David Middleditch.
XPS’s combination of large-scale equipment and automated conveying and screening equipment increases production, improves plant safety and ensures test sample integrity. The company also designed the plant for superior cleanability. In the past, says Middleditch, laboratories used small-scale equipment because it was easier to clean to avoid cross-contamination between product runs. XPS opted for larger equipment, but can still clean the entire line in only three or four hours.
A new double-deckcircular vibratory screenerplays a key role in automating the flow of material through the facility by separating on-size crushed ore having maximum particle sizes down to 1.7 mm (10 mesh) from oversized fragments that require further processing. The screener disassembles rapidly for thorough cleaning, to prevent cross contamination between batches.