FLSmidth’s nextSTEP Flotation Technology


Peñoles, the world’s top silver producer, and its subsidiary Fresnillo PLC, one of Mexico’s largest gold producers, plan to install FLSmidth’s nextSTEP flotation technology at operations throughout Mexico. The companies have purchased 43 flotation cells of various sizes featuring the new rotor/stator low-energy technology.
The sites to receive the NextSTEP technology include Fresnillo, one of the world’s oldest continuously operating mines; Peñoles’ Velardeña mine, the second largest zinc producer in the country; and Sabinas, a Peñoles-owned polymetallic operation in north-central México. Some of the new flotation machines will be used at a new pyrite plant currently under construction in the Fresnillo district that will increase gold and silver recoveries by processing existing and current tailings generated at the Fresnillo and Saucito mines. This $155 million project is expected to contribute to the annual output of approximately 3.5 million ounces (oz) of silver and 13,000 oz of gold after the plant starts up in the first half of 2018 and reaches its full capacity. FLSmidth said the nextSTEP technology is drawing industry interest after tests proved a reduction in energy consumption between 15%-40%, while maintaining or improving recovery.
“The nextSTEP rotor/stator technology provides a step change in flotation, metallurgical performance and energy efficiency,” said Steve Ware, director of flotation and dewatering at FLSmidth. He explained that the new rotor is designed to produce ideal flow streams: “The jet exiting the rotor is distributed across a larger surface area than in traditional machines and this causes an even flow distribution that produces fine bubbles increasing the probability of particle/bubble attachment resulting in improved metallurgical recovery. Another major benefit is that the improved distribution pattern decreases wear of the mechanism, thus, reducing downtime for repairs. On top of the even wear patterns, the rotor can also be run in a reverse direction to further increase the life cycle of the mechanism.” Results after one year in operation indicate that nextSTEP wear life will exceed the industry benchmark of two years.

Categories: Flotation Equipment | 2017-12-13 | FLSmidth | United States | Views 150