The team at Glencore’s Ernest Henry Mining has reconfigured the regrind milling circuit by installing a new Vertimill cyclone pack to replace an ageing cyclone pack at the plant.
The installation was completed over three days in November, with the project including raising the underflow launder, installing a working platform and access stairs.
Ernest Henry Mining concentrator manager Shane Morrissey said the project had made the area safer to work in and take samples from, while also improving copper recoveries.
“This project saw significant contributions from the maintenance, engineering, metallurgy and operational teams who collaborated to improve operational efficiencies and most importantly safety,” he said.
“The Vertimill cyclone pack is an important part of our processing plant and helps to improve copper recovery, therefore having a positive impact on the profitability of the operation. It is also energy efficient and requires minimal maintenance.”
Ernest Henry Mining processing plant puts mined ore through a semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) mill, a ball mill, primary hydrocyclones and then into roughers.
The roughers are large flotation cells that help separate copper minerals from the waste rock.
Once it reaches this stage, anything that floats in the roughers needs to be re-ground in order to produce a concentrate of high enough grade for smelting at the Mount Isa Mines Copper Smelter.
The cyclone pack acts as a separator – sending product that is fine enough on to further processing, while sending material that is too coarse to the Vertimill for further grinding.
Glencore said most of the steel work for the project had been pre-fabricated.
Laser advanced data scan referencing ensured the steel work fitted with minimal modification, reducing plant downtime.