Authors: Berger, A; Muhor, J; Adkins, S

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Berger, A, Muhor, J & Adkins, S 2013, 'BASF novel flocculant technology – benefits for counter current decantation circuits based on pilot-scale trials', in R Jewell, AB Fourie, J Caldwell & J Pimenta (eds), Paste 2013: Proceedings of the 16th International Seminar on Paste and Thickened Tailings, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 161-174,

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With more stringent environmental regulations, reduction in availability of high quality ore and tighter capital expenditure, the mining industry seeks new approaches and solutions for improved mineral processing. Particularly on the solid-liquid separation field, a high demand for enhanced flocculation and thickening performance in terms of separation efficiency, overflow clarity, underflow properties (density and viscosity) and throughput exists. In this regard, BASF is developing a novel technology that combines the conventional flocculation and thickening operation practices with a novel technique of directing the rheological properties (viscosity/yield stress) of the flocculated material to lower levels and at the same time increasing its associated density. This novel flocculant technology allows operators to increase throughput whilst maintaining and/or enhancing thickening efficiency (e.g. valuable or water recovery), minimising additional capital (e.g. new unit in a counter current decantation (CCD) circuit) and operation expenditure (e.g. lower energy requirement for pumping and raking). This paper will present application data through onsite pilot-scale dynamic testing with ‘live slurry’ and modelling/calculations based on a CCD washing tool to demonstrate the benefits that BASF Novel Flocculant Treatment (NFT) offers to a thickener operation compared to the current conventional flocculant treatment.

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