A G08 Pilot plant on a Chilean mine site

28 April 2020

It is well known that Maelgwyn Mineral Services Ltd (MMS) patented Imhoflot G-Cells are more efficient than conventional cells for the recovery of fine particles (i.e. -20 µm). The Imhoflot external reactor generates very fine bubbles in a high shear environment and the centrifugal motion generated by the G-Cell on the froth in the separator enhances the recovery of these fine particles. It was therefore not surprising that MMS was then asked to participate in a new new EU funded project called FineFuture which explores innovative technologies and concepts to improve the flotation recovery of ultrafine particles. The three-year project collaboration consisting of 16 partners from 11 countries has received over € 6.2 million in funding from the EU.

The FineFuture project website (www.finefuture-h2020.eu/) provides the following detailed background;

Froth flotation is arguably the most important mineral separation technique. By making use of differences in surface properties between minerals, valuable particles are concentrated in large tanks by attaching to bubbles, which form a froth phase that overflows as a mineral-rich concentrate. However, current flotation technologies do not work adequately for fine particles, below 20 µm in size. This is a serious challenge at present, limiting the exploitation of deposits and proper recycling of end of life products containing Critical Raw Materials (CRM).”

It is intended that the FineFuture project will advance  fundamental understanding and provide solutions to  reduce the fine particles lost to tailings making the EU mining industry more competitive

In order to support the project MMS has recruited another flotation expert to join its team, Dr Duong Hoang who will be dedicated to the project for its duration.

As part of its contribution MMS will be focusing on further understanding and testing of its pneumatic cells for fine particles.Planned activities include the design and construction of a novel perspex laboratory cell to facilitate the study of the various fine particle interactions. This will then be followed up by pilot plant validation at one of the participant mining companies sites.

MMS General Manager Steve Flatman commented that “As one of the leaders in froth flotation MMS are excited to participate in this project and support the project objectives. It is a privilige to be working with so many experts through the partnering companies”.