Acrux Sorting Coal (ASC) has signed a coal beneficiation agreement with two wholly owned subsidiaries of Wescoal, whereby ASC will deploy advanced sensor-based sorting technology to upgrade lower-grade coal from the mines.
Under the agreement, ASC will provide a fully funded turnkey crushing, screening and sensor-based sorting solution centred around an advanced dual-energy X-ray transmission (XRT) unit to process run of mine (RoM) coal. As part of a unique partnership with ASC, the plant will be designed, constructed, commissioned, operated and maintained by IMS Engineering.
XRT technology has already proved its worth in the recycling, food processing and diamond recovery industries where it is considered the preferred beneficiation technology. ASC believes that sensor-based sorting has a significant role to play in minerals beneficiation due to its strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) benefits.
A positive impact on ESG requirements
ASC’s sorting solution offers significant economic benefits as coal resources can now be upgraded to be included as a saleable product which will reposition the mines along the cost curve. “The XRT technology has proven its ability to upgrade RoM coal through rejecting material that has sulphur or ash content that exceeds programmed parameters,” comments Paul Bracher, MD of IMS.
The solution will also have a positive environmental impact as no water is used during beneficiation, and the carbon footprint is reduced through the optimisation of transportation and materials handling.
“This sorting technology solution will enable us to impact on ESG, while creating shareholder value from optimising our coal resources at no capital investment,” adds Wescoal’s executive director , Thivha Tshithavhane.
“We are very happy to have concluded this agreement with Wescoal,” comments Sean Browne, ASC’s chairman and group founder. “Partnering with Wescoal underlines our commitment to driving sustainable innovations that reduce the environmental impact of mining”.
The combination of a reduced environmental footprint, plus a proven opportunity to reposition at a lower point on the cost curve, adds to the appeal of ASC’s funded solutions incorporating sorting technology to the mineral and coal sectors.