Pilansberg Platinum is a new mine situated at Tuschenkomst in the Soulspoortt area. It consists of a Merensky plant that treats harder silicate material and a UG2 plant that treats softer chrome-bearing ore. Both contain PGMs. The UG2 plant was commissioned during March 09.
“The UG2 ore has high chrome content,” Pilansberg Platinum’s metallurgical manager, Colin Campbell, says, “resulting in a high chrome concentrate which the smelters can’t cope with. We reduce the chrome content in the concentrate by adding pre-crushed low chrome Merensky material to the UG2 and feed the resulting mix into the concentrator.” The UG2 plant was not designed for the harder Merensky, so it is reduced in size to assist the process.
Initially, the mine found itself having to hire in crushing and screening machinery. That is when Pilot Crushtec, which supplies crushing, screening and material handling equipment to the mining, quarrying, civil engineering and recycling industries, became involved.
“We persuaded the mine it would be worthwhile to purchase its own modular crushing and screening plant, since it would be able to easily disassemble and relocate it elsewhere at the operation, once its initial purpose had been served,” Nicolan Govender, Pilot Crushtec’s sales manager for South Africa and neighbouring territories says. “The one condition, though, was that we had to deliver within ten days, which we did. As soon as the electricity cables had been connected, our InstalLink team commissioned the plant and had it running within two days.”
The plant, worth R3.4 million, consists of a modular Twister AC210 vertical shaft impact (VSI) crusher, a modular GFH560 grizzly feed hopper, two modular DD3615 double-deck screens, and a number of modular conveyor belts. In its present configuration, the plant will run for about four months, crushing -50 mm Merensky reef material to a product ranging between -8 mm and 0 mm, at about 100 tonnes per hour.
“Once the Merensky plant starts up, the plant will be relocated to a dense media separation (DMS) discard stockpile,” explains Campbell, “where it will be used to crush material which can be used as aggregate.” The Twister AC210 VSI crusher, although not requiring the feature now, is ideal for producing the shaped stones that are required for aggregates. “The screens will be adjusted, probably to allow production of -19 mm and -13.2 mm stone, as well as crusher sand,” Govender says, “and this material will be largely used on the mine for road construction and concrete products.”
“The versatility of this plant proves that our decision to buy rather than rent was the correct one,” Campbell concludes.