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Floticor FA 7015 Filter Aid Case Study

The Bottom Line

Whether used in conjunction with ceramic or disc filters, Clariant’s Floticor FA 7015 filter aid lowers concentrate moisture to…

  • Improve final product quality
  • Increase the sales price of lead and zinc products
  • Decrease concentrate filter time
  • Increase product throughput
  • Reduce transportation costs

Objectives

Producing and shipping lead and zinc concentrate minerals proved to be a challenge for one large ploymetallic mining operation in Peru. High humidity levels reduced concentrate throughput.

Representatives with the Peruvian mine worked with Clariant engineers to develop a filtering aid to lower concentrate humidity below 10% for its lead and zinc products, while reducing filtration time. Without the use of a filter aid, neither disc nor ceramic filters could achieve target concentrate water levels.

Concentrate humidity levels below 10% offered several significant benefits, including:

  • higher selling price for all its concentrates
  • higher filter throughput levels
  • lower concentrate transportation costs
  • reduction in fine material losses in the circuit

Background

A large operation in Peru targets a monthly production of 8,500 MT of zinc, 1,100 MT of lead and 600 MT of copper with its flotation circuit. Prior to filtration, pulp moisture content averages 40%. Disc and ceramic filters fail to achieve target water levels of less than 10% and require extended time to filter the concentrate, limiting production.

Prior to incorporating the filtering aid, disc filters lowered zinc and lead concentrate humidity levels to approximately 12%. Moisture levels above 10% resulted in product loss and accounted for $20 per-ton additional freight charges. For every percentage point above 8% humidity, the product sales price was lowered by $2 per-ton.

Ceramic filters improved the filtration process by reducing energy consumption and product loss during concentrate production. They also lowered zinc and lead humidity closer to the target of less than 10%, but an additional step was necessary to drop levels below 10%.

Through the development of a proprietary filter aid, Clariant offered the mine a solution to lower concentrate moisture content, increase the mine’s concentrate sales price and reduce transport costs.

Actions

Working with samples provided by the mine, Clariant engineers conducted in-lab experiments with different filter aids to reduce concentrate humidity to less than 10%. With Clariant’s vast experience, technicians immediately began working with sulphonics to reduce particle surface tension and improve water migration. After carefully analyzing dozens of different formulation experiments, Floticor FA 7015 proved to be the best filter aid to achieve humidity reduction in this application.

Trials moved to the mine’s lab facilities, where mine engineers tested Clariant’s Floticor FA 7015 in conjunction with ceramic filters. Since these filters reduced moisture content to just above 10%, the mine experimented with a dosage that would reduce concentrate humidity level by 2%.

Consumption of the dewatering filter aid ranged from 130 to 150 grams/tonne to effectively lower humidity to target levels, which represented a $3,500 per month filter aid investment. However, Floticor FA 7015 delivered a shorter pulp processing time in the ceramic filters, lower concentrate transportation costs and 3 to 5% sales revenue increase for all concentrates, resulting in a substantially higher return on this investment.

Floticor FA 7015 was injected into the process at one of two points: a) the concentrate storage tank before the filter; b) or at the filter tub. Only a small pump was required to provide precise automatic flow control of the filtering aid.

Results

Field proven in multiple applications, Clariant’s Floticor FA 7015 filter aid reduces concentrate surface tension to allow easier migration of water held between the particles and achieves lower humidity levels than with mechanical filtering alone.

Applied to the filter feed as a concentrate or diluted with water, Floticor FA 7015 enhances the hydrophobicity of the particle surface, reducing the surface tension to…

  • Significantly reduce humidity of concentrate
  • Deliver enhanced results with both ceramic and disc filters
  • Improve concentrate quality
  • Increase sales revenue by 3 to 5% for all concentrates in this application
  • Improve filter throughput of concentrate
  • Reduce filter cloth obstruction to increase cloth service life
  • Control foam to reduce product loss
  • Lower the water weight to substantially reduce transportation costs

This information corresponds to the present state of our knowledge and is intended as a general description of our products and their possible applications. Clariant makes no warranties, express or implied, as to the information’s accuracy, adequacy, sufficiency or freedom from defect and assumes no liability in connection with any use of this information. Any user of this product is responsible for determining the suitability of Clariant's products for its particular application.*Nothing included in this information waives any of Clariant’s General Terms and Conditions of Sale, which control unless it agrees otherwise in writing. Any existing intellectual/industrial property rights must be observed. Due to possible changes in our products and applicable national and international regulations and laws, the status of our products could change. Material Safety Data Sheets providing safety precautions, that should be observed when handling or storing Clariant products, are available upon request and are provided in compliance with applicable law. You should obtain and review the applicable Material Safety Data Sheet information before handling any of these products. For additional information, please contact Clariant.

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