In August 2020 ProProcess was awarded the Engineering, Procurement and Construction Contract for the Fines Flotation Mobile Pilot Plant for Anglo American. This world class test facility for platinum concentrate flowsheet optimisation had to be designed with maximum road transportability in mind, as this pilot plant is earmarked to be moved around various concentrator sites owned by Anglo. To this end the entire plant consisting of 40+ flotation cells (including a high intensity flotation cell), a mill, ~30 tanks (some agitated), ~50 pumps (including centrifugal slurry, peristaltic, vertical spindle), blowers, compressors, etc were fitted onto 16 road transportable ISO frame skids conforming to 40ft marine container dimensions.
We asked the leads in each discipline what design challenges they faced on this project, this is what they had to say:
Stefan Van Dyk (Project Management): The aim of this project was to produce a modular, transportable, cost effective and built for purpose pilot plant. Pilot plants have much less stringent equipment requirements than production plants and this needs to be kept in 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.
Anglo American has very high safety, maintainability and operation requirements and standards for their production plants. As the pilot plant would be placed into a production environment it was crucial to determine which standards to adhere to and where concessions could be obtained.