Celebrate Earth Day 2023 with Gravity Concentration
Written By: Team Sepro | Date: 21.04.23
This Saturday, April 22nd, marks the annual Earth Day celebration which raises awareness of the need to protect our natural resources for future generations. According to official site for Earth Day, the theme for 2023 is to “invest in our planet” in order to preserve our resources for years to come.
At Sepro, we invest heavily in R&D to not only improve plant site performance but also improve the efficiency of our mining technologies to reduce wasted resources and energy alike. To this end, we won the national Crush It! competition in Canada, receiving a $5 million prize towards the development of our microwave technology that provides over 35% energy savings compared to standard comminution processes.
Mining for the Future
Within the mining industry, water management and conservation are now considered a smart business practice.
As part of their Towards Sustainable Mining initiative, the Mining Association of Canada created a Water Stewardship Protocol, a set of performance indicators for companies to use in measuring water governance, operational water management, watershed-level planning and water performance and reporting at the mine-site level.
Falcon gravity concentrators take an important role in mining efficiently with minimal waste and efficient water usage. By using a closed-circuit system, less water is required overall, and the water that is used is continuously reused. Additionally, the ability to process smaller and finer ore means that more of the ore can be processed, reducing waste, and increasing efficiency.
What is the Falcon Semi-Batch Concentrator?
Semi-batch gravity concentrators are designed to recover precious metals, such as gold, silver and platinum that occur in the free, metallic state.
The Falcon Semi-Batch concentrator is a piece of equipment that is used to separate minerals from ore. It uses a combination of centrifugal force, gravity, and differential settling to separate particles based on their size and density. This process results in a concentrate that contains a higher percentage of the desired minerals, while the waste material is discarded.
This system can reduce water usage compared to traditional methods by using a closed-circuit system that recirculates process water, which is contained and treated before it is reused. Not only does this prevent contamination of the water supply, but also reduces overall water usage.
The average water consumption of a Falcon SB5200B is 25-35 m3/h, while a similar competitor’s model consumes 52-76 m3/h. Though this difference may seem small to the eye, the approximate operating hours of a semi-batch concentrator is 8000 hrs/year, resulting in a savings of over 200,000 m3 of water annually, which is a huge win for the environment!
In addition to the Falcon Semi-Batch concentrator, Sepro has also developed the Falcon UF and Falcon C machines which use no fluidization water, which is unique in gravity concentration devices.
How Does it Work?
The semi-batch gravity concentrator relies on an enhanced centrifugal gravity field and fluidization to accomplish its separation.
As the bowl ramps up to speed, water is injected through the fluidization holes in the upper portion of the bowl. Slurry is then introduced through a central feed well in the top of the machine. This slurry is accelerated by an impeller where it begins traveling up the bowl wall, or stratification zone, where physics takes over. With up to 200 G’s of force being applied the heavier valuable minerals push themselves against the bowl wall, displacing the lighter gangue material.
As the slurry continues to move up and into the fluidisation zone the heavy minerals are retained within the riffles of the basket, creating a concentrating bed of high specific gravity particles while the lighter materials are carried over the top, resulting in separation.
As we celebrate Earth Day, it is essential to remember the role that innovation and technology can play in protecting our planet.
Gravity concentration does not use chemicals or reagents, allowing for minimal environmental impact. Due to the small footprint, low power and water consumption, gravity concentration also has the lowest installation and operating costs compared with other beneficiation technologies.
By lowering the overall feed grade to downstream processes, such as leaching circuits, gravity concentration can reduce the requirement for cyanide and other reagents by as much as 70%.
We believe in our ability to make efficient machines that positively impact the bottom line while minimizing the environmental impact of mine sites around the globe. If you’re interested in working or connecting with us, please contact Sepro today.