Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy]]> vol. 109 num. 12 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>The processing of eWaste. Part 1: The preparation and characterization of a metallic alloy derived from the smelting of printed circuit boards</b>]]> SYNOPSIS A brief overview is given of the issues regarding the processing of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). The printed circuit board component of WEEE is an exceptionally complex feed to possible recycling processes. Scrap printed circuit boards were selectively smelted at 1 200°C to produce a metallic alloy. Iron and aluminium were found not to be part of the alloy. The alloy was characterized by SEM-EDS, and three phases were identified: alpha and delta bronzes, and a leadrich phase. Calculations show that about 56 mass per cent of the alloy is the alpha phase, 35 per cent delta phase and 9 per cent lead phase. A simplified approach using appropriate binary phase diagrams was used to derive a phase composition for the alloy. This was further backed by FactSage calculations, which showed that the simplified approach was appropriate for this alloy. The experimental findings and theory were found to agree well. <![CDATA[<b>The processing of eWaste. Part 2: The electrochemical leaching behaviour of a metallic alloy derived from waste printed circuit boards</b>]]> Scrap printed circuit boards were selectively smelted at 1 200°C to produce a metallic alloy having three phases. These phases were identified as a lead-rich phase, a low tin content alpha bronze phase, and a high tin delta phase. Electrochemical leaching studies on this alloy were done in 1 mol/dm3 sulfuric acid or in 2 mol/dm3 hydrochloric acid (adjusted to an ionic strength of 3 mol/dm3). The lead rich phase was more strongly passivated in sulfate media, and in this medium the high tin content delta bronze was more resistant to corrosion than the lower tin alpha bronze phase. In chloride medium the lead phase and both bronze phases corroded readily, but with current densities about an order of magnitude lower than in sulfate medium (static conditions) for the bronze phases. The high tin delta bronze phase was found to form a passivating layer in sulfate media. A similar layer was not seen in chloride medium. The leaching studies in sulfate medium also showed the existence of an alpha bronze phase of lower tin content in the centres of the alpha phase grains. This phase was quite resistant to leaching in sulfate medium. <![CDATA[<b>Comparison between bond crushing energy and fracture energy of rocks in a jaw crusher using numerical simulation</b>]]> For predicting the energy consumption during the size-reduction process, the Bond approach is often used. In this work, the PFC3D discrete element method (DEM) software was employed to model the crushing behaviour of some rocks with different mechanical properties in a laboratory jaw crusher. FLAC3D software was adopted to analyze the stress distribution in the rocks. The rocks studied were modelled as granular assemblies in the shape of a sphere and/or a cube located between two jaws, and the work done by the jaws in the crusher was determined. Nine different types of rocks were studied and the energies consumed by the crusher were compared to those of the Bond comminution energy estimated from the Bond index. There is considerable difference between Bond crushing energy and work done by the jaw crusher for rocks. It appears that the Bond approach is not a suitable method for predicting single particle fracture energy done by the crusher. To verify the results obtained from DEM models, the fracture behavior of the crushed rocks was examined and was compared to the PFC3D results. The tensile mode of fracturing is favourably modelled by the PFC3D software while the delamination mode cannot be well modelled by PFC3D software. <![CDATA[<b>Age hardening of the aluminium alloy EN 4017</b>]]> Hulamin Rolled Products (Ltd) developed a high Mn and Si containing alloy, EN 4017 as a scrap consuming alloy from the waste generated in producing their range of clad products for brazing of inter alia automotive heat exchangers. The multifaceted composition of this alloy (Al -1.2 wt% Si -1.1 wt% Mn -0.2 wt% Mg -0.26 wt% Cu) suggested that it might display some degree of strengthening via precipitate formation of the Mg2Si-types. The aging isotherms constructed showed that EN 4017 with 0.19% Mg reached a lower peak strength (YS~210 MPa and UTS~260 MPa) compared to the EN 4017 material with 0.43% Mg (YS~270 MPa and UTS~325 MPa). The higher Mg variant of EN 4017 was comparable with the age-hardenable reference alloy EN 6061. Selected area electron diffraction (SAED) studies proved that the microstructure of age hardened EN 4017 contained a combination of B" and U2 phase after being aged at 175ºC for 65 h. The general microstructure contained precipitate free zones as well as grain boundary Si films, although these did not lead to significant embrittlement. The role of Mn dispersoids in the fracture mechanism of 4017 is also discussed. The article will compare the behaviour of EN 4017 with that EN 6061. <![CDATA[<b>An expert system for hydraulic excavator and truck selection in surface mining</b>]]> The purpose of this paper is to develop an expert system for hydraulic excavator and truck selection in surface mining. Hydraulic excavators and trucks are finding increasing applications in mining operations. Hydraulic excavators are extensively used especially when bringing electricity to rural areas is difficult and for small-scale mining. This paper describes an expert system, which selects the optimum hydraulic excavator truck configuration such that unit production cost is minimized and technical constraints such as geological, geotechnical and mining constraints are satisfied. The system has four modules: user interface, rules and an methods, databases and output module. The expert system in this study is developed within KappaPC shell. It supports object-orientated technology for the MS Windows environment. The software provides a very useful tool to practitioners, saving time and cost. Equipment selection is a recurring and expensive problem of mine planning and often involves interdisciplinary experts from different fields. It is very difficult and expensive to bring together all these experts. The capabilities of the expert system developed are illustrated in the paper. The software overcomes the difficulties of selecting the proper equipment for surface mining operations, which is very important, and results in substantial savings. Equipment databases for hydraulic excavators with 15-59 yd3 capacities and trucks with 35-360 tons are constructed and these databases are used to select the proper configuration. A case study is carried out for Soma Surface Coal mines in Turkey. <![CDATA[<b>Experimental 3-D modelling of surface subsidence affected by underground mining activities</b>]]> This paper describes the method of modelling rock mechanical problems on experimental models. Based on an actual experiment used as an example, assessment of the surface deformation due to undermining, the extensive possibilities of using a 3-D physical model and application results in practice are demonstrated. A special method of modelling the underground mine progress by using paraffin melting is presented. <![CDATA[<b><i>In situ</i></b><b> measurements of Merensky pillar behaviour at Impala Platinum</b>]]> The Bushveld platinum group metal deposits in South Africa are the largest in the world. These deposits occur as two distinct stratiform tabular ore bodies and strike for many hundreds of kilometres. Mining is extensive, with depths ranging from close-to-surface to 2300 m. The mining method is a variation of planar open stoping. Crush pillars are widely used to support the open stopes. These pillars are designed to fail and the residual strength provides the required support resistance to stabilize the stoping excavations. This paper describes the in situ measurement, of stress within a Merensky pillar from Impala Platinum. These measurements were used to derive a stress-strain curve that includes pre and post failure behaviour. 2D FLAC modelling, with strain softening, was done to investigate how damage expands into the hanging- and/or footwall. Although the so-called 'squat' effect is always present, the modelling suggests that it does not dominate the pillar system behaviour at larger width to height ratios. Punching of the pillar into the hanging- and/or footwall increasingly controls the pillar system behaviour with larger width to height ratios. The paper investigates the behaviour of a system that incorporates the immediate hanging- and footwall, as well as the pillar itself. <![CDATA[<b>A semi-empirical kinetic model for the atmospheric leaching of a Ni-Cu converter matte in copper sulphate-sulphuric acid solution</b>]]> A semi-empirical kinetic model was developed for the atmospheric leaching of a Ni-Cu matte in copper sulphate-sulphuric acid solution. Kinetics of the leaching process was studied as a function of initial copper ion concentration, initial acid concentration, temperature, stirring rate and particle size distribution. The kinetic model was developed on the basis of the leaching mechanism and chemical reactions of the leaching system investigated, and was evaluated by comparing the model predictions to experimental data. The model was found to satisfactorily fit the trends in the leaching of the metals, namely copper, nickel, cobalt and iron.