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Supplier offers enhanced standards in wet processing

CDE Australia, working with a world-class engineering team, has delivered complete bespoke plant solutions across Australia for the best part of a decade, with more than 30 reference sites in Australia since it installed its first plant in 2013.

These are but a fraction of the more than 1000 wet processing installations designed, manufactured and commissioned worldwide since 1992.

CDE’s materials wet processing technology can match demands from the extractive industry (eg quarries, mines, mineral sands and recycling operations) for maximum yield of in-specification stockpiled material with efficient, economical and sustainable water and energy consumption. More recently, CDE has also developed its footprint in the Australian mining sector, with prestigious projects in iron ore with SIMEC Mining and recently won projects in phosphate mining with Centrex Metals.


CDE’s latest Australian project has become one of the company’s flagship solutions on a global scale.

Through a process of co-creation with the customer, CDE has designed, manufactured and installed a full 950-tonne-per-hour iron ore waste beneficiation system for SIMEC across two mining sites in the Middleback Ranges, South Australia.

Commissioned in late 2017, the two CDE processing plants have been designed to convert about 17 million tonnes of low grade iron ore, currently stockpiled in waste dumps, into a saleable product.

These bespoke plants were delivered in just 18 months from the receipt of order.

“We are extremely proud of the achievement of the CDE team who worked in collaboration with SIMEC to deliver these complex and multidisciplinary wet processing facilities,” said Adam Holland, the head of CDE Meta, CDE’s sectoral division dedicated to mining.

“In 2017 these were the largest projects that CDE had undertaken to date, proving our capability to operate on an EPC [energy performance certificate] basis to deliver turnkey bespoke solutions in mining.”

The first plant is at SIMEC’s Iron Knob mining location, processing the stockpiles of low grade iron ore accumulated over the life of mining of the Iron Monarch (since 1899) and Iron Princess deposits.

The second plant is at the Iron Baron mining site, and like the Iron Knob pit it processes low grade iron ore stockpiled over the history of mining, since 1930, to then progress into the Iron Empress and Iron Baroness scree ore deposits in the region.

The plants wash, separate and gravity beneficiate a waste overburden low grade ore to a 60 per cent to 63 per cent high value commodity that delivers an exceptional return on investment.

The SIMEC processing solution includes a range of equipment from the CDE mine and quarry product portfolio: the M-Series modular washing plant; the AggMax modular logwasher; the EvoWash fine washing plant; dry screening Infinity fines screens; and the AquaCycle thickener.

“The provision of a tried and tested water management system was a critical element of this project,” Holland said. “It was essential to guarantee the recycling of large volumes of process water, as access to fresh water supplies is limited.

“Water management is a key challenge in mining, not just in Australia but globally, and with the combination of CDE’s AquaCycle thickener, filter presses and stockpile underflow vacuum systems, up to 98 per cent water recovery and recycling is possible.”

The projects also incorporated components from key partners, including spirals and jigs for gravity separation. These enable CDE to operate as an EPC company to deliver wider scope mining projects that include equipment offerings outside of the core CDE design and manufacturing portfolio.


Darwin River Quarries

CDE’s “New World of Resource” ethos runs through every strand of its business, embedding a commitment to increase efficiencies and reduce waste, to turn every ounce of viable natural or crushed material into value. Not only do CDE’s patented technologies allow for clean and energy-saving materials washing operations, they are designed to perform across a wide range of applications, due to modularity and a stringent focus on energy saving and efficiency.

The CDE wet processing solution at Darwin River Quarries in the Northern Territory presents a typical example of how a company can obtain maximum yield while controlling the grades produced to meet market demand and therefore capitalise on production.

Darwin River Quarries opted for a full CDE solution to get the most out of its raw 2.36, 1.18, 0.600, 0.300, 0.150 grades containing 10 per cent of clay and fine sediment. The brief was to develop a washing solution that would allow for the production of 120 tonnes per hour of washed sands, with the flexibility to make different grades as required.

The company opted for a CDE turnkey wet processing plant comprising an M2500 sand washing plant, attrition cells, an AquaCycle thickener and two EvoWash sand washing plants, including one with counter-flow classification unit (CFCU) technology for the optimal removal of lightweights and quality of feed stock.

A coarse screen and a fine screen, as well as a 16-metre radial conveyor and three product conveyors, complete the installation. The plant solution is producing five sand fractions from the raw feed.

“In collaboration with our client, we aimed to simultaneously produce five high quality types of sand in consistent quantities that would also be dry enough to be ready for market straight from the belt,” CDE Australasia’s regional manager Dan Webber said.

“The complete CDE solution has met all the goals identified by Darwin River Quarries at the beginning of the project, providing a complete tailor-made and high efficiency washing solution that enables the company to produce five grades of construction and filter sands in the required tonnages.”

Water savings

A CDE AquaCycle thickener is an integral part of the company’s materials wet processing solution and ensures optimal fresh water savings. Typically, after the raw material has been washed and classified, process water containing fine material is sent to the thickener.

In the AquaCycle thickener a small amount of polyelectrolyte flocculent is added to the water from the automatic dosing station, which forces fine particles to settle on the bottom of the thickener tank. The clean water on the top overflows the weir and is stored in the AquaStore water tank before being recirculated to the washing plant, helping to reduce the amount of fresh water required for top-up to 10 per cent or less.

The waste slime from the AquaCycle thickener is discharged to either a slime pond or, to eliminate slime ponds, into a buffer tank where the slime can be processed by means of a centrifuge or plate filter press.

“This CDE water efficiency technology is user-friendly and requires minimum civils and the smallest equipment footprint,” Webber said. “It is also designed for safe access and efficient maintenance to guarantee operators’ protection.

“Adding a CDE AquaCycle thickener to a wet processing plant to recycle up to 90 per cent of process water straight back into the system adds a significant edge to an operation, as it allows for significant water and energy savings on projects from low to high processing tonnages.

“The combination of maximum efficiency and minimum loss of fines to ponds boosts an already fast return on investment. CDE’s water management systems also aid businesses to show compliance when reapplying for water licences and slime pond expansions.”

With growing opportunities in the Australian sand and aggregates sector, operators require wet processing options that meet market demand in terms of quality, quantity and the range of available material gradings.

“Historically, sand screw and bucket wheel systems have been valuable to the industry, but are now being replaced by hydrocyclone technology that is offering next generation efficiency for significant increase in materials production, reduced maintenance, reduced manpower, reduced slimes management and continuous operation with water control,” Webber said.

“CDE’s modular sand washing systems have been tried and tested in Australia, where they are praised for the low amount of civils required and the quality and wide range of grades produced. Fast return on investment, further boosted by energy and water savings, is also a key CDE offering.”


Modular approach

The SIMEC iron ore mine and Darwin River Quarries are two projects in the CDE Australasia portfolio, which has been consistently expanding in the past 16 years.

The modular approach is fast becoming the preferred option over the static model in a fast-paced global materials industry that requires flexibility in gradings, according to market trends and the option to move a plant to a new site when required.

The benefits seen in the mining sector from CDE’s modular approach are numerous and include a reduction in the steel structural element more commonly used in a stick-build approach.

On larger throughput plants, a parallel multi-line plant offers advantages for routine maintenance, allowing one line to be stopped and maintained while the other is worked upon. The modular layout allows flexibility to make future changes and additions to the plant without lengthy shutdown periods. This is a distinct advantage when it comes to ore bodies that may frequently change throughout the mine life.

In addition, the ability to pre-commission, pre-wire and test in the controlled conditions of the CDE factory leads to shorter and safer installation and commissioning on-site. All the above abilities allow for maximum plant availability and have been proven to require a lesser up-front capital investment, which ultimately leads to a superior return on investment for miners.

A case in point is the Texas-based Metroplex Sand & Gravel company. Metroplex recently enjoyed the benefits of the CDE modular approach to wet processing equipment, when it exercised the option to move its sand washing plant to a new site at Resolve Aggregates in Ravenna, Texas, once it satisfied all its production goals at its initial Fort Worth site after 16 months.

The full CDE Fort Worth installation was disassembled, containerised, relocated and installed by Metroplex employees in just 11 working days, to then be recommissioned by CDE at the newly acquired sand deposit in Ravenna.

“The modular, adaptable nature of our equipment has a number of benefits,” Webber said. “Installation and commissioning are completed in record time, transfer point efficiency is improved, and the overall environmental impact of the project is reduced.

“The plant can also be accommodated in much less space than is the case when the stick-build approach is used. CAPEX and OPEX are significantly reduced as a result.”

Portable solution

In 2019 CDE Global will increase its offering to the Australian market, notably with the compact, high efficiency Combo “all-in-one” wet processing and water management system, which can process up to 250 tonnes per hour of natural or crushed rock to produce high quality in-specification sands.

As a digital add-on, CDE will also introduce its connected plant technology, which will bring pre-emptive maintenance and support, operational efficiencies and simplicity to its customers, providing absolute control for producers in the operation of their plant through a one-touch console management hub.

“CDE’s expansion potential in Australia is exciting, with plans in 2019 to develop a technical and project management resource in country, as well as expanding our pre- and after-sales CustomCare team in multiple locations to include Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia,” Webber said.

“With more than 25 years of experience in supplying wet processing solutions that fully meet customers’ production expectations while actively saving energy and water, CDE has carved a reputation of excellence internationally and in Australia. Our Australian customers have regularly become repeat clients as their production – and therefore business – grows, thanks to their CDE installation.

“As the Australian materials industry demands resource-saving wet processing systems that meet the challenges of increasing demand for construction sand combined with a zero waste aspiration, the future of CDE is bright in Australia.”

CDE Global’s Australian division is based in Ormeau, Queensland.

Source: CDE Global

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