Capital Equipment News

Mineral processing specialist MBE Minerals SA is upgrading its investment in separation technology at Mintek, the Johannesburg-based, globally renowned research and development institution it has partnered with since 1986.

MBE InvestsAccording to Gregory Niekerk, business development manager at MBE Minerals, one of the factors behind the investment has been the recent growth in smaller minerals and metals projects that relate to the energy, food security, base metals and dump reclamation minerals sectors.

“MBE Minerals’ suite of physical separation equipment, such as the Jones wet high intensity magnetic separator (WHIMS), the Pneuflot pneumatic flotation system and Palla vibrating mills, is ideally geared to medium-sized projects that prioritise energy efficiency, enhanced metallurgical performance and lowest quartile capital intensity,” says Niekerk.

The scope of the investment by MBE Minerals is substantial, with the Jones WHIMS procured by Mintek in 1986 being refurbished by the company at its own cost.

Feed material to the WHIMS JONES P40 can be of different kind of ores, pulp densities and particle sizes. Solid content should be in the range of 55 wt.-% to 25 wt.-% and the particle size should be assumed to be 100% less than -1 mm, depending on grooved plate settings. However, different feed conditions are also applicable.

The maximal capacity of one WHIMS JONES P 40 magnetic separator, depending on the feed material, is around 400 kg/h, using two feeding points and material less than 1 mm at a 2,5 mm gap setting. However, higher capacities are also applicable.

“MBE Minerals will, at a later stage, consider upgrading the magnetic pack of the P40 laboratory machine. This development will allow operations an energy saving of 50% for any given gauss setting or more than 25% at the top end, compared to competing technologies,” he says.

This will allow Mintek to extend its business into areas outside iron ore, such as the removal of iron from SiO2 for solar panels and other applications.

MBE Minerals’ Pneuflot® laboratory unit has been stationed at Mintek for over three years. It is steadily gathering acceptance among researchers; with industry players and engineering houses as far afield as Australia starting to test a variety of industrial minerals and precious metals tails with Pneuflot.

“The collaborative environment allows MBE Minerals to conduct testing on behalf of customers and at the same time to upskill Mintek’s staff in the use of this technology,” says Niekerk.

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