Every month, we put out a Fine Grind article in Mining Engineering to keep members in touch with the latest happenings, technical updates and other interesting news from the MPD division. These are the May and June Fine Grinds. We invite you to comment, discuss or ask questions!
Amy Jacobsen, Secretary Treasurer
2017-2018 Mineral & Metallurgical Processing Division Executive Committee
May 2017 Fine Grind
Congratulations to 2017 MPD Poster Contest Winners!
by Ren Bryce, Vice Chair, MPD Student Poster Contest Committee
The eighth annual Mineral & Metallurgical Processing Division (MPD) student poster contest was held in February at the SME Annual Conference & Expo in Denver, CO, where 33 students presented their work. The competition started in January when the students submitted a one-page abstract for judging. Then, at the conference in February, they prepared and presented a poster that explained their research. A panel of judges listened to each student give a five minute talk explaining his or her research.
The students worked hard at their research and then set aside time to complete all the necessary steps to enter the competition. The MPD recognizes the effort required to enter the contest and provides monetary rewards to all participants. The first-place winner receives $1,000; second place, $500; third place, $250; and fourth through seventh places receive $200. All remaining students receive $100. All the students receive a complimentary ticket to the MPD luncheon. The 2017 winners will have their abstracts published in a future issue of the Minerals & Metallurgical Processing journal. As in past years, there are separate levels of competition for undergraduates and graduates.
Graduate poster contest winners
Kaustubh Shrimali won first place for researching “The Influence of Starch in Amine Adsorption by Quartz in the Reverse Flotation of Iron Ore.” Venkata Atluri received second place for studying “The Effect of Polysaccharides on Bubble Attachment at Talc Surfaces.” Jennifer Galvin placed third for investigating “A Novel Approach to Alkali Pug Bake for the Extraction of Rare Earth Elements from Monazite Concentrate.” Fourth through seventh place recipients were Amy Richins, Sumedh Gostu, Brett Carlson and Chris Vass.
Undergraduate poster contest winners
Nestor Santa earned first place for exploring “Copper Recovery from Waste Printed Circuit Boards.” Cassidy O’Connell received second place for conducting “Performance Analysis of CMC in High Talc Copper Sulfide Flotation Systems.” Catalina Vanegas won third place for examining “Cyanidation Tests and Pretreatments to Recover Gold from a Refractory Ore in Colombia.” Kylie Boyce, Michael Archambo and Pritam Sinha received fourth through sixth place.
Everyone can benefit from attending the student poster competition. The students are able to display their work to future employers, and industry professionals can talk to the up-and-coming engineers. Next year, there will be another competition with more posters and more networking. Come and enjoy the poster presentations.
The division wishes to thank
• The students for participating.
• John Uhrie and Ren Bryce for chairing the session.
• The judges, Lei Pan, Mohammad Rezaee, Nick Gow and Ren Bryce, for evaluating the abstracts
• The MPD luncheon sponsors —Moly-Cop, Praxair Inc. and CAID Industries.
• The Scotch Nightcap sponsors — Weir Minerals and UPG.
• The MPD Calendar sponsors — BASF, Bechtel, Black & Veatch, Derrick Corp., FLSmidth, Kappes, Cassiday & Associates, Outotec, Terra Nova Technologies, thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions, Weir Minerals, WesTech Engineering and Woodgrove Technologies, who also sponsored the competition. This contest is only successful with the help of all groups.
June 2017 Fine Grind
SME Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy Handbook Coming in 2018
by Scott Shuey, Second Regional Vice Chair, MPD Executive Committee
Many of the MPD Membership may be aware that SME is assembling a new edition of the Mineral Processing Handbook. Under the auspices of Rob Dunne, Courtney Young and S. Komar Kawatra, experts and industry leaders from around the globe are being amassed to produce an update to the cornerstone of every process engineer's library. With the volumes slated for publication in 2018, snippets of various chapters will be periodically presented here in the Fine Grind as a hint of what is to come.
PRESSURE LEACHING and PRESSURE OXIDATION
Rudi Frischmuth, Tom Krumins, Murray Pearson, Kevin Fraser
Pressure leaching and pressure oxidation are hydrometallurgical processes applied to the extraction of many metals. The processes occur above atmospheric boiling temperature and pressure, require a sealed reactor vessel, and often operate in highly corrosive and oxidizing environments. Pressure leaching and pressure oxidation have been applied to multiple processes with a wide range of conditions, but include similar aspects such as:
- Slurry Feed: chemical conditioning, preheat, high-pressure pumps.
- Reactor Vessel: digester, leach or oxidation autoclave.
- Pressure Letdown: flash vessel.
- Off-gas Handling: atmospheric condenser and scrubber.
- Ancillary Systems: acid, oxygen, air, steam, water injection systems, agitator seal system.
Pressure leaching is primarily applied when the goal is to solubilize desirable elements, recover the solution fraction, and reject the residual solids. The process can operate under alkaline or acidic conditions and may include the use of oxygen gas (or an alternative oxidant such as hydrogen peroxide) to oxidize and leach base metal sulfide minerals. The most common alkaline pressure leach processes are applied in the extraction of alumina (e.g., Bayer process), tungsten, uranium, rare earth elements (REEs), as well as nickel, cobalt and copper sulfide minerals. The most common acidic processes are applied in the extraction of platinum group metals (PGMs), nickel-cobalt laterites and uranium, as well as copper, nickel, cobalt, molybdenum and zinc sulfides. Acidic pressure leaching of iron from an ilmenite slag to produce synthetic rutile is a pressure leaching process where the solid fraction contains the product and the solution is rejected (recycled).
Pressure oxidation is applied when the objective is to decompose sulfide minerals for the recovery of desirable elements from the solids fraction, and rejection of the solution fraction. Pressure oxidation is mostly applied to refractory gold-bearing ore or concentrates where the gold is locked in the sulfide minerals and recovery using a conventional cyanide leaching is not effective. The process is mostly operated under acidic conditions; however, alkaline pressure oxidation is also practiced.
This chapter provides a review of pressure leaching and pressure oxidation unit process systems, including discussion on the key process design aspects, metallurgical test work, key economic drivers for operating and capital costs, and typical practices for equipment selection and design.