New Order Boosting plant reliability

Glencore’s purchase of FLSmidth’s new 23-foot grinding mill for the Katanga Mining operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) speaks well of the reputation of this technology. Having been used at other mining operations in the region, the FLSmidth grinding mill has proven a successful choice for many customers.

Katanga Mining Limited operates a large-scale copper/cobalt project with substantial high-grade mineral reserves and integrated metallurgical operations. The commissioning will most likely happen in the third quarter of 2014 at the mine’s copper KCC (Kamoto Copper Company) concentrator plant.

The new equipment will be commissioned into an existing milling plant at the Katanga concentrator, in which multiple AG and ball mills already operate. Terence Osborn, minerals capital sales and marketing manager at FLSmidth, reports that the new grinding mill will boost plant reliability and enable production throughput predictability.

“It has been well proven to be high quality and reliable equipment, and we have a growing relationship with this client,” Osborn said.

Katanga Mining will also implement FLSmidth’s proprietary Process Expert™ system (PXP) advanced process control mill optimization package. This high-level process control solution is a proven method to simultaneously reduce costs and improve product quality.

“The mill is running in closed circuit with hydrocyclones, and we’ve developed software that takes the milling plant operation into account holistically,” Osborn said. “Having expert knowledge of mill circuits, we’re in an ideal position to ensure that the whole system runs in a well-balanced and optimal manner, harnessing PXP to achieve a consistent throughput.

“Achieving consistency is particularly important at this operation, since test work data indicates that the ore from this project will be variable from a hardness perspective and this always makes mill circuit control more challenging. The best way to maximize plant productivity is to maximize stability. By running the plant as consistently as possible, the mine will achieve a better quality downstream product.”

FLSmidth will provide expert supervision during installation and commissioning and is currently discussing the appropriate spares requirement.

CONTACT: Terence Osborn