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Massive platinum project features 50 pumps

IN August 2020, the modular process plant supplier ProProcess was awarded an engineering, procurement, and construction contract for Anglo American Platinum’s new Modular Fines Flotation Pilot Plant. As a preferred Anglo American vendor, Verder supplied peristaltic pumps to ProProcess on the project.

This test facility for platinum concentrate flowsheet optimisation had to be designed with maximum road transportability in mind, as it is earmarked to be moved around various concentrator sites owned by Anglo. To this end, the entire plant was fitted onto 16 road transportable ISO frame skids conforming to 40 foot marine container dimensions. The plant consists of more than 40 flotation cells (including a high intensity flotation cell), a mill, approximately 30 tanks (some agitated), approximately 50 pumps (including centrifugal slurry, peristaltic, and vertical spindle), blowers, compressors, and other items.

The pumps selected on this project included the Verderflex VF65, Dura 25, Dura 35 and Dura 45.

“Pilot plants have much less stringent equipment requirements than production plants and these needs to be taken into consideration to avoid over designing the plant, thus unnecessarily escalating the capital outlay. This required a lot of out of the box thinking and many new ideas and concepts were explored to ensure a built-for-purpose plant,” says Stefan van Dyk, project manager at ProProcess.

According to Kean Southern, mechanical lead at ProProcess, the firm applied its specialised modular approach to the design of this plant for simplified site installation and ease of transport.

“All equipment is pre-mounted, piped up, and tested at our workshop before shipment to site. Once testing is complete, all that is required is for flexible, interconnecting piping between the frames to be disconnected – which is made easy with the use of flanges and claw couplings. Given the numerous pipe sections run between frames, each connection of flexible hose needed to be tagged to ensure the correct hoses were reconnected during assembly. Since the plant arrives on site already partially assembled, site installation is a breeze,” says Southern.

To avoid the construction of complex concrete bunded areas at each test site location, ProProcess also designed structural bunds in ISO frame format. These bunds, complete with removable sump pumps, are transported separately, and essentially form the ‘foundation’ for the plant structure when placed on a flat surface. Since they are supported at the four corners of the ISO frames, the bund ‘foundation’ can tolerate a certain amount of unevenness, which is compensated for by shimming the corners to ensure a level final base for the ISO frames making up the balance of the plant.

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