Fernando Monteiro, business development director of Multotec Process Equipment, says that in the case of a complex ore body, there are many variables such as viscosity and rheology that can give abnormal operating conditions.
“Test work allows for the various different factors to be included in the simulation model for the selection of equipment and the prediction of the plant performance,” he says.
An example of where this approach proved successful was the supply of equipment by Multotec Process Equipment to the Tiebaghi project in New Caledonia, an island in the South Pacific between Australia and Fiji. The Tiebaghi project has been planned as part of the expansion project of SLN in order to reach a capacity of 75,000 tonnes of nickel per year.
Monteiro says that traditionally Multotec’s experience with a given ore would be applied to the simulation programme and the numerous successful references covering myriad different ores and applications would be drawn on to specify the appropriate equipment.
“For this project however it was considered vital to conduct test work, and this was done at Multotec’s facility in conjunction with a representative from Tec Ingenierie, the project house responsible for the Tiebaghi project,” he says.
Following the first test work, further extensive test work was carried out on site with a similar ore body. This was done to confirm the laboratory test results.
Multotec supplied classification cyclones, wedgewire sieve bends and samplers for Tiebaghi, all of which were locally manufactured and shipped to New Caledonia.
An advantage of the reversible sieve bend is that it can be turned quickly and easily, ensuring that the cutting edge and drainage rates are easily maintained. Samplers were specifically designed and custom made for Tiebaghi to ensure an accurate and representative sample.