Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Sishen Iron Ore Mine previously used only A-grade material (>60% Fe in situ value) from the pit for beneficiating in the DMS plant to a final product grade of 66% Fe in lump and 65% Fe fine ore. The B-grade (between 50% and 60% Fe) and C-grade material (between 35% and 50% Fe) were stockpiled separately, owing to the inability of the existing DMS plant to beneficiate material at densities higher than 3600 kg/m3. The ability to beneficiate the B-grade material at densities higher than 3600 kg/m3 was evaluated, and air-pulsed jigs were found to be techno-economically feasible and value maximizing. The beneficiation of B-grade material would add to the existing DMS production of 28 Mt/a, with no additional mining cost and only limited costs for the handling of waste and B-material. The objective of the Sishen Expansion Project (SEP), i.e. the jig plant, was to produce 10 Mt/a of saleable product with six modules to the set physical and chemical specifications by 2009. During the start of construction, it was decided to add another two jig modules to the plant to increase production to 13 Mt/a. During commissioning and ramp-up the shortcomings and advantages of the jigs were fully experienced and understood, resulting in many changes to optimize jigging performance.
Keywords : jigging; jig efficiency; jig control; physical separation; process optimization.