Process equipment manufacturer MC Process has completed a 15-m thickener and flocculant plant for coal-mining company Anglo Coal’s Navigation West plant, in Witbank.
The order was placed by mineral processing company Ingwenya Minerals, which has bought a number of the thickener and flocculant plant units for a variety of coal plants, which it has built and operates for its clients.
MC Process director Mark Craddock, who won the South African Coal Processing Society’s Coal Man of the Year award, custom-designed the equipment for the order.
An important function of this tailings thickener is the ability to recycle good-quality water for use in the plant.
The scope of supply and commissioning included the turnkey thickener with the civil construction completed, local electrical controls, underflow pumps, piping and a flocculant plant.
The company uses very specific static settling information to design and achieve favourable results in the thickening processes, with all mechanical designs based on specific requirements. MC Process MD Rogan Roulstone says: “MC Process has the capabilities to develop specific devices to solve unique, individual process dilemmas.”
MC Process has found a niche market in supplying equipment smaller than 30 m in diameter. The major advantage of small, fast-settling, compact machines is that they are more cost effec- tive to operate, maintain and install. The smaller-size equipment ensures quick and rapid delivery and installation time. Savings on the capital costs of large conventional tanks outweigh the cost of the volume of flocculant needed to achieve the same, if not better, results.
“In such a competitive industry, success is dependent on your ability to offer your client something unique, something that distinguishes your company from the rest,” adds Craddock.
Thickeners are widely used in the coal industry but, owing to incorrect sizing and/or design, these units have created certain problems for many operators such as ‘black’ water and bottlenecks at plants.
MC Process has also sup- plied two 21-m-diameter thickeners, complete with automatic rake lifts and controls, to separate plants owned by a local black economic-empower-ment mining company. These units will be used to process coal tailings. The order also included a fully automated flocculant plant.
MC Process offers advanced technology and mineral processing solutions, which deliver favourable grade efficiency throughput. The company’s core focus equipment supply includes solvent extraction plants, thickeners, flocculant plants and attrition scrubbers.