Authors: Chaponnel, J

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Chaponnel, J 2024, 'Innovative product optimisation with the AFP2500 filter: a breakthrough in dewatered tailings solutions by FLSmidth', in AB Fourie & D Reid (eds), Paste 2024: Proceedings of the 26th International Conference on Paste, Thickened and Filtered Tailings, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 39-50,

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The mineral’s processing industry is undergoing a pivotal shift towards safer and more sustainable tailings management. In response to this evolving landscape, FLSmidth (FLS), a leader in minerals processing equipment, has placed a strong emphasis on comprehensive full flow sheet solutions for dewatered tailings, aligning with industry demands for reduced environmental impact and heightened operational efficiency. Dewatered tailings, more specifically dry stacking, hinge upon the effective utilisation and advancements in filtration technologies. Many of these filtration methods have stood the test of time for over a century, providing a material suitable for environmentally responsible tailings disposal. However, as the mining sector trends towards larger filters to handle the staggering tonnages of tailings generated globally, FLS has undertaken a focused exploration of how to efficiently dewater these tailings at the lowest cost per tonne. To achieve this objective, the FLS filtration team embarked on a comprehensive product optimisation project. This initiative encompassed a holistic review of our filter press portfolio, addressing critical aspects such as equipment weight, feed pumping efficiency, air consumption, media washing, filter maintenance, and manufacturing efficiencies. The overall goal was to improve the technology while dramatically decreasing the total cost of ownership. The outcome of this extensive review has not only reshaped our design philosophy but also spurred the creation of innovative sensors and autonomous control devices, revolutionising the filtration process. The crowning achievement of this endeavour is the introduction of the AFP2500 filter to FLS's portfolio. This cutting-edge addition to our product range has already garnered global recognition, with seven units sold and currently in various stages of manufacturing. The AFP2500 filter, embodying the pinnacle of our advancements, offers unprecedented reliability, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness in dewatering tailings, affirming FLS's dedication to pioneering sustainable solutions in the minerals processing industry and achieving our goals of MissionZero mining. This technical paper presents a comprehensive account of the product optimisation project, the development of the AFP2500 filter, and its potential to reshape the landscape of dewatered tailings solutions in mining.

Keywords: dewatered tailings, product optimisation, AFP2500 filter, sustainable mining, minerals processing, filtration technology

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