TOMRA Sorting Mining has secured a contract to supply a sensor-based sorting system consisting of nine sorters for the Greenfield plant at Umm Wu’al, Saudia Arabia.

The plant is part of the Waad Al Shamal phosphate project, a joint venture between Saudi Arabian Mining Company Ma’aden (which owns 60%), The Mosaic Company (25%) and Saudi petrochemical giant SABIC (15%).

TOMRA Sorting Mining’s contract partner is the Chinese engineering, procurement and construction provider, Huanqiu Contracting & Engineering Corporation (HQCEC).

After extensive test work, Ma’aden came to the conclusion that TOMRA Sorting’s COM series XRT sorters would be the most beneficial solution for its new US$560 million processing plant at Umm Wu’al. The plant is scheduled to be operational at the beginning of 2016 and will be capable of processing 13.5 Mt of raw material per year.

TOMRA Sorting Mining’s COM series machines are general purpose belt sorters covering applications with inhomogeneous feed or critical moisture content. The XRT (X-ray transmission) technology enables materials to be recognised and separated based on their average specific atomic density. This makes it possible to obtain a high purity level in sorted materials irrespectively of size, moisture or contamination.

When installed at Umm Wu’al, the systems will sort more than 70% of the run-of-mine material by removing flint stones from the phosphate in order to reduce the silicon content. By this removal of waste material the downstream process can be significantly downsized.

The advantages gained will include a smaller plant footprint and considerably reduced consumption of energy, water and chemicals per ton of final product. TOMRA Sorting Mining’s COM Series XRT sorter has an operation width of 2.4 m which allows processing of large tonnages with a relatively small number of sorters.

The Umm Wu’al phosphate project is part of the development of a new industrial city in the north of the country. Overall, the project will see $5.6 billion invested in the area.

Tord Svensson, Head of TOMRA Sorting Mining, said: “We are very pleased to be involved with this exciting, high-profile infrastructure project. Our involvement began at the plant design stage which allowed us to strategically place our sensor-based systems to deliver a smaller process design without compromising performance.”

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