Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy]]> vol. 112 num. 10 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>After Marikana - The challenge and opportunity</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Defining a representative overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) measurement for underground bord and pillar coal mining</b>]]> The purpose of this article is to show how a representative overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) measurement can be calculated for an underground coal mining bord and pillar batch process. The calculation method, the typical losses (which include planned and unplanned availability losses, coal quality losses, and process rate losses) and the underlying logic are presented and discussed. It is argued that the current traditional underground bord and pillar mining process can currently provide a maximum theoretical OEE of only 49 per cent, while a realistic benchmark target should be in the order of 37 per cent, which relates to an average of 2400 t per shift or 1.2 Mt/a. In addition, it is argued that the current bord and pillar process is the current bottleneck to further improvement past the 2400 t per shift benchmark, and that fundamental process changes will be required to eliminate this bottleneck. <![CDATA[<b>Singular value decomposition as an equation solver in co-kriging matrices</b>]]> One of the most significant elements in solving the co-kriging equations is the matrix solver. In this paper, the singular value decomposition (SVD) as an equation solver is proposed to solve the co-kriging matrices. Given that other equation solvers have various drawbacks, the SVD presents an alternative for solving the co-kriging matrices. The SVD is briefly discussed, and its performance is compared with the banded Gaussian elimination that is most frequently used in co-kriging matrices by means of case studies. In spite of the increase in the memory requirement, the SVD yields better results. <![CDATA[<b>Liquid-liquid extraction of copper (II) from chloride media by Cyanex 923 in kerosene</b>]]> The extraction of Cu(II) from HCl media using Cyanex 923 in kerosene was investigated. The effect of shaking time, aqueous phase acid concentration, extractant concentration, chloride ion concentration, various metal ions (Mn²+, Mg²+, Fe²+, and Ni²+), and temperature on the extraction were studied. Using 0.1 M Cyanex 923 the extraction of Cu(II) was 6.7 per cent from 3 M HCl, which increased up to 78.5 per cent with 6.5 M HCl and then decreased due to acid extraction by the extractant. The maximum extraction (97.5 per cent) was obtained with 1 M Cyanex 923 from 5 M HCl solution. A mathematical model has been developed to describe solvent extraction equllibria over wide ranges of concentration of extractant, acid, and chloride ions. The composition of the extracted species has been predicted on the basis of slope analysis results and extraction equilibrium modelling. The negative values of enthalpy change and entropy change confirm the exothermic formation of the extracted complex. <![CDATA[<b>Noise-induced hearing loss milestones</b>: <b>past and future</b>]]> A retrospective study was conducted on the Rand Mutual Assurance (RMA) noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) compensation claims from 1998 to 2008 to determine if the 2008 milestone agreed at the 2003 Mine Health and Safety Summit was achieved. The number and costs of NIHL compensation claims in different commodity sectors and workplaces were collated. A secondary analysis of the ages of employees compensated after 2008 was conducted. A complementary retrospective analysis of audiogram data investigated the percentage loss of hearing (PLH) shift in different homogeneously exposed groups and occupations at two gold mines. The compensation claims analysis indicated a significant decrease in NIHL claims from 1998 to 2008, but the milestone was not achieved. The reason may be either that claims have not been submitted timeously as required by Instruction 171 and that the current submissions are a result of pre-2003 noise exposure, or that employees who were baselined are still developing NIHL owing to ineffective hearing conservation programmes in place in the mining industry. On the basis of best practice for hearing conservation, recommendations are made for leading indicators in hearing conservation programmes and for reducing the risks of NIHL in order to achieve the 2013 milestone. <![CDATA[<b>Determination of drawpoint spacing in panel caving</b>: <b>a case study at the El Teniente Mine</b>]]> Currently, in several caving operations, the spacing between the drawpoints is determined by consulting Laubscher's design guide (Laubscher 1994, 2000), a methodology based on the gravity flow characteristics of the caved rock. Laubscher's methodology is based upon the height of interaction between adjacent flow zones, but does not allow calculation of primary recovery for a given layout. In this paper the authors present a technical and economic methodology based on the flow that occurs near the drawpoint and the associated development costs to estimate the optimal spacing. The flow model at the drawpoint was validated at the El Teniente mine, which extracts coarse caved rock. To validate the flow model, small-scale simulations using drawpoint clusters were conducted and results compared to extracted grades, marker recovery, and drill holes to determine ore remnants that are part of the production control programme at the mine. The results indicate that primary recovery depends on the height of interaction, which varies with the friction angle of the caved rock and the spacing between adjacent drawpoints. Primary recovery estimations indicate values from 85 per cent to 97 per cent depending on the drawpoint spacing used. Extrapolations were then conducted to estimate the primary recovery for different drawpoint configurations planned to be used in the New Mine Level of the mine. The results indicate that the optimal drawpoint spacing is 32 m x 20 m with a through length of 18 m. The methodology developed may be used to estimate optimal drawpoint spacing for block caving mines under different metal prices and mine cost conditions. <![CDATA[<b>Calcination characteristics of laterite ores from the central region of Anatolia</b>]]> Drying, calcination, prereduction, and smelting are the main steps in conventional crude ferronickel production. Industrially, these steps are conducted using the rotary kiln-electric arc furnace (RKEF) process. In this paper, calcination characteristics of Sivrihisar laterite ores from the Central Anatolia region are investigated. The extent of elimination of chemically bound water and other volatiles was studied by experiments conducted at various temperatures in the 250-800°C range. Phase changes were examined using X-ray diffractometry. For the particle size used in the study, 300°C was determined to be almost sufficient for complete transformation of goethite to haematite, and 700°C was required for effective elimination of all volatiles in the ore. <![CDATA[<b>Electrochemical properties of pyrite, pyrrhotite, and steel</b>: <b>effects on grinding and flotation processes</b>]]> Metal sulphides are usually semiconductor and their electrical conductivity is low; therefore they are sources of electrons and promote electrochemical reactions. This phenomenon is of significant importance in sulphide flotation. The formation of a hydrophobic surface on the sulphide minerals is the result of various electrochemical reactions. Potential difference in the mineral-liquid interface plays an important role in the kinetics of the reactions, and consequently, on the flotation behaviour of sulphides. The value of the potential difference is influenced by different oxidation-reduction reactions at the interface area, and is measured by a two-electrode system in which an electrode is applied as reference electrode. In this study,we attempted to measure open-circuit potentials of pyrite, pyrrhotite, and steel electrodes with respect to the reference electrode. To verify the results, two reference electrodes, saturated calomel and gold, were used. Timepotential relations with respect to both reference electrodes show that the potential of both pyrite and pyrrhotite increases with time; however, this trend decreases for steel except when at pH 12. The results show a potential drop by an increase in pH value, except for steel, for which the opposite holds. This paper discusses galvanic interactions between minerals and grinding media in the grinding circuits, as well as among other minerals in the flotation processes. <![CDATA[<b>Removal of unburned carbon from fly ash using a cyclonic-static microbubble flotation column</b>]]> The purpose of this study was to investigate the flotation behaviour of unburned carbon in a cyclonic-static microbubble flotation column (FCSMC). The ash sample, collected from a power station in Guangdong province of China, was characterized by size analysis, X-ray diffraction, contact angle measurements, and X-ray fluorescence. The effect of the column flotation operating variables on the removal of unburned carbon from the fly ash was systematically studied. The feasibility of separating unburned carbon and ash was determined from the removal rate of unburned carbon (RUC) and loss on ignition (LOI). Within the range studied, the optimum diesel oil dosage was 1200 g/t, abies oil dosage was 600 g/t, pulp density was 20 per cent, superficial gas velocity was 1.4 cm/s, and circulating pressure was 0.20 MPa. The results indicate that the FCSMC technique is effective in removing the unburned carbon from the fly ash, which can be attributed to the generation of microbubbles and the continuous cyclonic circulation method. Under the optimized conditions, a cleaning ash with 2.13 per cent LOI and 94.21 per cent RUC was obtained. <![CDATA[<b>Feasibility study on underground coal gasification of No. 15 seam in Fenghuangshan Mine</b>]]> To recover the coal resources of high-sulphur anthracite in Jincheng Mining Area, underground coal gasification (UCG) of No.15 seam in Fenghuangshan Coal Mine was proposed. The feasibility of the project was confirmed by investigations of occurrence conditions, coal properties, and roof conditions, as well as experimental studies and theoretical analysis. It was found that UCG technology is appropriate to be adopted in the mining of the No. 15 seam, due to the stable rock conditions, simple geological structure and hydrogeology, the high carbon content of the coal, non-cohesiveness, medium-thermal stability, high ash fusion temperature, and weak reactivity with CO2. Further factors are the characteristics of the immediate roof, which consists of 9.11 m of limestone and mudstone with a compact structure and low permeability, and 4.27 m of dominantly mudstone with low permeability. <![CDATA[<b>Microstructure characterization of laser-deposited titanium carbide and zirconium-based titanium metal matrix composites</b>]]> Laser metal deposition (LMD) is an additive manufacturing technique whereby a stream of metal powder is consolidated by a focused laser beam on the surface of a substrate or engineering component. The interaction zone between the laser beam and powder particles is scanned superficially, generating tracks of deposited material. The tracks are overlapped in a deposition strategy in accordance with slices of a CAD model. Successive layers of material are built up to fabricate a near net shape part. In this work, the technique is used to fabricate metal matrix composites (MMCs) by using an elementally blended feedstock combining metal and ceramic powders in the melt pool, which melt and solidify to create the required morphology. Ti6Al4V + TiC MMCs were produced with 10, 20, and 30 vol.% reinforcing ceramic, and Zr + TiC MMCs were fabricated with 10, 20, and 30 vol.% TiC. The deposited thin walls were analysed using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), and indentation testing. In both systems, the analysis revealed the presence of partially melted TiC particles embedded in the metal matrix along with fine dendrites of re-solidified ceramic. The dendritic structures in the Ti-based composites were confirmed as TiC, whereas in the Zr-based composite the Zr metal reacts with the TiC to form ZrC, leaving Ti in solid solution. Both the MMCs show an increase in microhardness with increasing ceramic (carbide) content, reaching a peak HV01 value of 500 in the Zr- based MMC and HV01 of 550 in the Ti based MMC.