Washing Technology Reducing Water and Energy Consumption

Author / Editor: Metodi Zlatev / Marcel Dröttboom

An advanced washing technology is helping a gold producer looking to expand its operation in eastern Russia, increase production, reduce water consumption and minimize wear.

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The Haver & Boecker Hydr-Clean Washing Technology at a Gold Operation.
The Haver & Boecker Hydr-Clean Washing Technology at a Gold Operation.
(Picture: Haver & Boecker)

The Haver Screening Group’s Hydro-Clean washing technology is helping a gold producer looking to expand its operation in eastern Russia increase production, reduce water consumption and minimize wear. The producer currently uses a test washing drum and two bearing screen to separate the sand and clay from its mined gold ore. This method provides inadequate washing results, causes excessive equipment wear and consumes high volumes of water and energy.

Working closely with the customer, the HSG (Haver Screening Group) set up the Hydro-Clean 700 unit and rinse screen as a separate test operation to prove it could successfully wash the operation’s three distinct products better than the current test equipment. Each product has varying degrees of impurities, ranging from easy-to-wash to sticky material that is nearly impossible to clean with the current washing system.

Since installing this combination, the operation has increased production from 5 to 25 tonnes per hour, reduced its water consumption by up to 70 per cent and saved up to 30 per cent energy for every tonne of material. In preparation for a large mine upgrade project, these positive results have led the operation to put the Hydro-Clean in its plans for all future mineral washing.

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The Russian gold producer, who asked to remain unnamed due to the competitive advantage this equipment provides, first contacted the HSG about the Hydro-Clean in 2009 after seeing the positive results at a different gold operation using HSG equipment. The Hydro-Clean appealed to the producer because its current washing system, a traditional washing drum, was not removing enough sand and clay content to produce the required 2 to 120 millimetre gold product with clay content less than 2 per cent.

Ideal for use in clay-heavy material deposits, the system employs high-pressure nozzles, rotating at 90 rpm, to spray up to 90 per cent recycled water on the material with pressures up to 200 bars (2,900 psi) to remove silt and clay particles as small as 63 microns from mineral mixtures. While the high-pressure nozzles mounted at the top rotate and spray the material with water, the turbulence in the drum creates additional scrubbing and abrasive forces that enhance the cleaning process to break up agglomerates and clean the particles of stubborn material.

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