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Hastings Technology Metals Second Pilot Plant Study Exceeds Recovery Performance

Mining News - Published on Thu, 14 Feb 2019

Image Source: ABN Newswire
Hastings Technology Metals Limited has successfully taken another step in the process to develop the Yangibana Nd-Pr Rare Earths Project, with the successful completion of a second beneficiation pilot plant at ALS Metallurgy's laboratory facility in Balcatta, Western Australia. The Yangibana Nd-Pr Rare Earths Project is located in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia. The Company plans to construct a processing plant to produce a Mixed Rare Earths Carbonate product, through the process of mining, beneficiation and hydrometallurgy. The beneficiation and hydrometallurgical circuits have previously been successfully tested at pilot scale. This second beneficiation pilot plant has further validated the beneficiation circuit as well as providing information and samples for detailed engineering design.

The simple and effective flowsheet developed in the laboratory test work program has translated into a 100kg/hr pilot processing circuit, operating 24 hours per day continuously over 8 days at ALS Metallurgy in Balcatta, Western Australia. ALS, with a specialist team dedicated to pilot plant operations, is a global leader in metallurgical testing and consulting services for minerals process flowsheet development and optimisation.

The flowsheet consisted of milling, rougher flotation, regrind and cleaner flotation stages. The flotation circuit selectively concentrates the rare earths-bearing mineral monazite into a final product whilst discarding 95% of the original rock waste mass.

Flotation process design was reconfirmed, as the performance output of the pilot plant improved over the course of the 8 days. A waste-diluted feed grade to the pilot plant of 1.02% TREO, simulated real mining effects of drilling and blasting, in the process testing the robustness of the process flow sheet equipment under less than ideal conditions.

Over 700kg of REO concentrate was produced of which 400kg of concentrate contained 8.6% Nd2O3+Pr6O11 upgraded from 0.43% by 20 times. This concentrate will be used to validate the design of the acid concentrate mixer and selection of other critical equipment in the detailed design.

Results of 12-hour shift composites gave 80.1% TREO recovery at 19% TREO, including 7.8% Nd2O3+Pr6O11. Maximum concentrate grades of 25.9% TREO, including 10.6% Nd2O3+Pr6O11 were achieved during the operation. The maiden pilot plant test achieved a maximum recovery of 70.8% at a concentrate grade of 23% TREO, including 9.8% Nd2O3+Pr6O11.

Key areas of the engineering design were tested during the pilot plant campaign, with lead engineers involved in the front-end engineering design phase visiting the operation. Vital data was obtained, including updated findings for slurry pulp, solid liquid separation steps and concentrate properties, all of which can be applied for engineering design optimisation.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Thu, 14 Feb 2019
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