Tuning and understanding mining cake filtration by means of X-rays techniques

F. Kaswalder*, D. Collini, Aqseptence Group S.r.l.; N. Masciocchi, A. Guagliardi, Università dell’Insubria, To.Sca.Lab, Italy

The application of filterpresses in mining sector has become more and more popular in recent years, due to the high dewatering performance obtainable and to the development of big sized machines to reach solid throughput increasingly higher.

They are used primarily in concentrate and flotation tailings from various processes such as sulfide metals or iron ore extraction, bauxite residue from alumina production (red mud) and so on, where issues as energy saving and waste treatment and disposal are becoming crucial for the sustainability of the overall extraction operation.

The accurate sizing and tuning of the filterpress, customized on the process requirements, can be optimized and perfected by means of a deep physico-chemical analysis of industrial slurries in the definition of ores, muds and other complex solid mixtures. It is easy to understand that the physical and chemical characteristics of the solid phase of a thick suspension can significantly affect many parameters of the solid-liquid separation process. Apart of the most common physical parameters normally monitored (solid concentration, particle size distribution, cake density and specific resistance) also the chemical composition of the solid phase can play an important role in defying the performances reachable. Aqseptence Group Filtration and Thickening Systems R&D department, thanks to the joint efforts of the University of Insubria and Italian CNR, developed a laboratory equipped with advanced X-ray (fluorescence and diffraction) techniques, widely used in mining sector for the material characterization. Ore materials are complex matrix, often composed by many different phases not always perfectly definable, so the mineralogical analysis can be tricky.

In the present work some correlation and single case studies, taken from real mining samples, are presented, showing how the mineralogical composition of the solid phase can play a crucial role for some process parameters like cake dryness or solid throughput. ...

Session: L10 - Short Oral + Poster Presentations
Day: 12 October 2016
Time: 14:45 - 16:45 h

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