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Proceedings of the First CSRP Conference

Sustainable Mineral Processing and Metal Production

21-22 November 2007 Clayton, Victoria

Organised and co-sponsored by the Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing and CSIRO Minerals

Organising Committee
Tony Rickards Stevan Green Sharif Jahanshahi Bruce Kelly Jim Avraamides (Conference Chair) CSRP CSRP CSIRO Minerals Rio Tinto Murdoch University

Event Coordination & Publication

Trina Dearricott Marina Johnson Clare Walton CSIRO Minerals CSIRO Minerals CSRP

On behalf of the Organising Committee we take pleasure in welcoming all delegates attending this inaugural CSRP conference. The Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing (CSRP) came to formal existence in October 2003 with the aim of finding technical solutions for progressively eliminating waste and emissions in the minerals cycle, while enhancing business performance and meeting community expectations. The key R&D themes in the CSRP have been; effective resource utilisation, minimising energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, reducing process waste and enhancing co-product values, reducing water consumption, and controlling minor elements and their dispersion.

With much progress having been made over the past years, this conference provides a unique and timely opportunity to bring together the research and technology providers and industry participants in the Centre to share ideas and develop plans for the Centres future directions. We have an excellent set of presentations in this conference, with strong themes in reducing waste, energy and greenhouse gas emissions by the mineral industry. We also have a number of presentations on sustainable development and regional synergies. These collectively demonstrate achievement of a significant milestone by the CSRP and its participants in its first four years of operation. The Organising Committee would like to thank the authors and presenters for providing some valuable information in their camera ready manuscripts. Next year we will be hosting the second CSRP conference in conjunction with the fourth Green Processing conference in Hobart, Tasmania. Judging by the number and quality of papers submitted to this conference, CSRPs contribution to the next International Green Processing Conference should be very strong and cover a broad range of sustainability related R&D activities taking place across the country. We look forward to your continuing support in staging this important conference. We would like to acknowledge the work and commitment of the other members of the Organising Committee: Mr Stevan Green from CSRP, Dr Bruce Kelly from Rio Tinto and Dr Jim Avraamides from Murdoch University. Thanks also to Ms Clare Walton of CSRP, Ms Trina Dearricott and Ms Marina Johnson of CSIRO Minerals for their contributions to organising this event and producing these proceedings. We look forward to a fruitful and enjoyable conference. We hope it will stimulate considerable discussion among our stakeholders and provides an ideal occasion to direct an even stronger program of work for CSRP2 and beyond. Sharif Jahanshahi and Tony Rickards November 2007

Session 3 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Title Sustainable Development & Regional Synergies Sustainability Assessment Tool for CSRP Project Outcomes Toolkit Application for Regional Synergy Opportunities Technology Assessment for Water Synergy Opportunities Energy Efficient Mineral Liberation Using HPGR Technology Collaborative Industry Research to Develop Regional Synergies in Kwinana: Update and Lessons Learnt Australian CO2 Breakthrough Recarburisation of Molten Steel Using Charcoal The Cost of Utilising Waste Biomass in Metallurgical Processes Utilisation of Slag Waste Heat in Steel Plants Heat Recovery from Slag Through Dry Granulation Energy Resources The Importance of Comminution Energy and Energy Efficiency for the Development of Sustainable Mineral Processing A Simulation Methodology for Eco-Efficient Comminution Circuit Design Zero Waste and Minor Elements The Treatment of Sulfide Tailings to Recover Useful By-Products as a Driver Towards Sustainable Waste Management Arsenic Separation in Copper Circuits Using Flotation Selective Removal of Arsenic from a Copper Concentrate Arsenic Remediation Using Geopolymers Geopolymer Program Geopolymers Current and Future Prospects Geopolymers in Mine Fills Geopolymer Sewer Pipe Development of Geopolymer Materials at ANSTO Bauxite Residue Program By-Product Utilisation, The Bauxite Residue Program ReSand: The Big Picture Assessment of the Sustainability Benefits of ReSand ReSand: Pilot Plant Classification of ReSand and Leach Testing of Alkaloam and Red Lime CSRP Participants Forum Student Poster Session Dramatically Improving the Efficiency of Fine Grinding with the IsaMill A Dimensional Analysis Approach to the Scale-up and Modelling of Industrial Screens Page No 1 3 5 7 9 13

4 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 5 5.1 5.2 6 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 7 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 8 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 9 10 10.1 10.2

15 17 21 25 29 31 33 35 39 41 43 45 47 49 51 55 59 61 63 65 67 69 71 73 75 77 79 81

First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

SESSION 3 Sustainable Development and Regional Synergies

D Brereton and G Corder
Wednesday, 21 November 2007

First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Sustainability Assessment Tool for CSRP Project Outcomes

B.C. McLellan and G.D. Corder Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072 Introduction, Background and Objectives CSRP research projects are nominally aimed at improving the sustainability of the minerals industry, but there is a need to identify and determine the sustainable development (SD) benefits of project outcomes - both as an initial test of project aims, and a final or ongoing assessment of progress. A methodology for the assessment of CSRP projects was developed (project #70), and is being tested and refined further as a potential tool for project leaders (current CSRP SD Program). Objectives of the project include: Identification of appropriate sustainability categories for minerals industry research Development of a methodology for quantifying the potential benefits of individual projects on the whole industry Encourage broader-picture SD thinking in early-stage technical research
Step IV

enablers, were then combined in a one-page summary.

CRC for Sustainable Resource Processing Projects

Step I


What aspects of sustainability does the project impact on?

Step II


What are the measurements of the impacts? How would wider implementation affect industry sustainable development performance? What is the value of the benefits in monetary and non-monetary terms?

Step III



Figure 1: CSRP sustainable development contribution assessment methodology Each step of the process was accompanied by a set of prompt questions to encourage and assist project leaders in the identification and quantification of SD outcomes. Key Results/Findings The initial methodology was developed and tested on five case study projects. From this process, it was identified that data availability at all stages of the process was one of the greatest challenges. Likewise, some of the categories involved in the initial assessment were seen to require revisiting notably, biodiversity (relevance of the category) and by-product (definition). Furthermore, the issues of allocation of benefits to a certain industry caused particular difficulty in projects that created by-product that crossed the boundary of a single industry for example, the use of dry granulated slag as cement substitute. A critical review and development of the methodology is currently underway to identify and overcome current issues. The results of the initial five case studies are shown in Table 1.

Methodology The development of the initial methodology was based on a literature review, which determined that no existing SD assessment methodology or framework was suited to the specific application of minerals industry research projects. A fourstep process was developed, as shown in Figure 1. The characterisation step identifies the particular aspects of sustainability that the research project addresses. These aspects are then quantified in step II to determine the benefit per tonne of product, in comparison with a standard, benchmark process. These benefits are extrapolated to the relevant level of the Australian minerals industry in step III, then finally the improvement in monetary terms and in percentage improvement in industry impacts is determined in step IV. The results of each step, as well as identified qualitative impacts, barriers and

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Table 1: Results summary for initial case studies.


Methodology developed and under review for the SD assessment of CSRP project outcomes Project leaders will be able to identify the SD benefits of the outcomes of their projects Provides information in a useful manner for a broad audience

Acknowledgements This work was carried out under the auspice of the Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing, which is established and supported under the Australian Governments Cooperative Research Centres Program. Particular thanks goes to the project leaders who assisted with data, information and time. References
1. B. McLellan, G D Corder, and D Brereton Assessment and Valuation of Sustainability Benefits of CSRP Research Projects, CSRP Report, May 2007

Conclusions & Future Direction The ongoing SD program of work within the CSRP will involve, as one task, the development of the current methodology and integration into a spreadsheet so that it can be utilised by project leaders at the outset of projects, and as an ongoing indicator of progress. The development of this SD assessment tool parallels the development of a database of relevant life cycle inventory and other industry data, which will assist in expediting the assessment process.

First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Toolkit Application for Regional Synergy Opportunities

Albena Bossilkov Centre of Excellence in Cleaner Production, Curtin University of Technology Introduction and Background Industrial symbiosis (also called regional synergies) concerns the capture, recovery and reuse of previously discarded by-products (including materials, energy and water) from one industrial operation by other, traditionallyseparate industries operating in close geographic proximity. The realisation of such synergies aims to improve the economic and environmental performance of companies and industrial regions through collaborative exchanges to reduce natural resource consumption and reduce pollution, as well as providing some social benefits. A recent baseline study featuring eighteen international heavy industrial regions (Bossilkov et al. 2005b) has revealed the majority of synergies within the studied regions were comparatively straightforward exchanges of process waste, between two companies, with minimal, if any, processing involved. Moreover, synergy opportunities have so far developed opportunistically, with industrial symbiosis activity levelling or declining after realisation of a few quick win opportunities. One conclusion of the study is that effect this may be attributable to the lack of appropriate engineering tools for synergy option generation. Successful symbiotic relationships in industrial networks require an in-depth understanding of material and energy flows. The analysis of such inter-industry and inter-sector flows often poses significant challenges in terms of complexity compared to process optimisation within one operation. A review of the existing tools and methodologies (Bossilkov et al. 2005b) concluded that the majority of the heavy industrial areas reviewed have employed quite similar approaches to developing synergy opportunities. The approaches feature a workshop based facilitation methodology, feasibility studies and business planning. There appear to have been very limited use of specific tools for synergy option generation. The available tools for synergy option generation appear to be either too generic or resource specific and fail to provide the structured systematic approach needed for the development of more adequate and comprehensive set of potential synergy projects. The Toolbox The Regional Synergy Development Toolbox has been developed to enhance and facilitate the identification and development of synergy opportunities. It aims to provide a less-intensive way to identify and evaluate synergy opportunities. The toolbox is divided in three stages(Bossilkov et al. 2005a), i.e.: 1. Preliminary Assessment Tool (PAT) aims to provide an overview of the potential synergy opportunities within an industrial area and to establish the business case for further data collection and identification of prospective synergy projects. 2. Inventory Tools (Input/Output Inventory stage) aims to deliver listings of potential synergy opportunities in three main groups: water, energy and materials/by-products. 3. Screening Tool - aims to asses the potential contribution to sustainable development for synergy opportunities identified at the previous stage. The tool is designed to provide guidance in the process of assessing the potential contribution to sustainability for each synergy opportunity as well as assessing the ease of its implementation. The Application A comparison study have been carried out between the Toolbox application outcomes and the results from CSRP projects 3B1& 3C1 for the Kwinana and Gladstone industrial areas (Bossilkov 2006). Data for the materials/ByProducts tool was supplied through the above CSRP projects. For the Kwinana Industrial Area 7 out of 42 by-product synergies were not captured, mainly ones suggested by the companies themselves. However 10 more synergy options were generated, featuring collective initiatives in purchasing and recycling as well as streams that are not focus areas for project 3B1, such as recyclables, plastics and metals. The Water Tool application has replicated the results for one-to-

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one synergies but has not provided any results for collective synergies, due to tools limitations. The Energy Tool was not applied in full due to lack of specific data. The same approach was adopted for the Gladstone Industrial Area, where data was supplied only on material/by-products only. Only one out of 26 synergies was not captured by the tool and 4 more were suggested. The Screening Tool was applied both for Kwinana and Gladstone Area (van Beers et al. 2006). The ranked synergy opportunities were made available to the Kwinana Industries Council for further consideration. The PAT was applied in Geelong region, Victoria (Bossilkov et al. 2006) to assess the potential for future regional synergy development. Among the various opportunities identified were a large number of wastewater exchanges, alternative feeds and fuels for cement production, inorganic by-products for road construction applications, organic waste for agriculture application, sulphur for fertiliser manufacturing and others. The latest application of the Toolbox was carried out for the proposed BP and Rio Tinto JV Integrated Coal Gasification Combined Cycle plant in Kwinana (Higgins et al. Forthcoming). The Toolbox has provided an exceptional starting point in the process of comprehensive synergies investigation by identifying some 80% of the total number of suggested synergies. Some important synergies identified were potential water sources required plus alternative fuel to coal supplementation and opportunities for the around boiler slag, sulphur, steam and carbon dioxide. Highlights/Benefits In summary the Toolbox provides the needed systematic and rigorous method for investigating potential synergy opportunities. It features rapid and streamlined assessment of synergy opportunities with the following characteristics: Simplicity does not require training as a prerequisite and contains an intuitive flowchart for guidance. Suit data availability is designed to accommodate data that could be provided from an industrial operation with minimal effort. Reduction of time/resource intensity is deigned to efficiently analyse and identify potential synergy opportunities.

Provide quick and targeted results is aimed to provide the user with a comprehensive list of prioritised potential synergy opportunities for further consideration and feasibility evaluation.

Conclusions & Future Direction The Toolbox streamlines and enhances the identification and evaluation of synergy opportunities by providing the user with guidance and support for the tracking of the material, energy and water flows. Generally the method proved to replicate, to a certain extent, the results achieved by the extensive and time-consuming work carried out as part of the Kwinana and Gladstone Synergy Projects (CSRP projects 3B1 and 3C1). The Toolbox is set to be use in other industrial areas in Australia and overseas. Acknowledgements The CSRP is established and supported under the Australian Commonwealth Cooperative Research Centres Program, and it funds the regional synergies research on the Toolbox for advancing industrial symbiosis presented here. References
1. Bossilkov, A. and R. van Berkel (2005a). Prototype of Regional Eco-Efficiency Opportunity Assessment Methodology, Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing, Perth, WA, Australia. 2. Bossilkov, A., R. van Berkel and G. Corder (2005b). Regional Synergies for Sustainable Resource Processing: a Status Report, Centre for Sustainable Resource processing, Perth, Western Australia. 2005. 3. Bossilkov, A. (2006). Regional Eco-Efficiency Opportunity Assessment Methodology - Trial Application for Kwinana and Gladstone, Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing, Perth, WA, Australia. 4. Bossilkov, A. and G. Corder (2006). Report on Potential Synergy Opportunities for the Geelong Region, Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing, Perth, WA, Australia. 5. Higgins, M., C. Lund, D. v. Beers and A. Bossilkov (Forthcoming). Hydrogen Energy Industrial Synergy Opportunity Investigation (confidential), Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing, Perth, WA, Australia. 6. van Beers, D. and A. Bossilkov (2006). Comprehensive Assessment of Regional Synergy Opportunities in the Kwinana Industrial Area (confidential). Perth, Western Australia, Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing.

First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Technology Assessment for Water Synergy Opportunities

Tuazon, D.1; Corder, G.1

Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, The University of Queensland, QLD The practical implementation of each of the adapted frameworks gives rise to the second stage of Task 3 of project 3A1, which is the development of a set of tools which can perform enabling technologies assessments. Introduction to Water Synergies Technology Assessment Virtually any water can be treated for reuse but the overriding factor for water synergies is the cost of treatment (capital and operating costs) versus the relatively cheap cost of supply water from local authorities (Harris et. al. 2006). In addition, it is necessary to consider transportation costs (i.e. pipelines and pumping) as well as storage costs (Harris et. al. 2006) when thinking about the feasibility of synergy opportunities. The objective of this study is to produce a practical tool that can assess the potential feasibility of water synergy opportunities in accordance to the assessment framework as shown in Harris et. al. (2006). More precisely, given: A by-product (or waste) stream of water from a given industry (producer), and A water requirement from an industry within proximity of the aforementioned one (reuser),

Introduction to 3A1 Project to Present The notion of regional resource synergies concerns the capture, recovery and reuse of previously discarded by-products (including materials, energy and water) from one industrial operation by other, traditionally-separate, industries operating in its close geographical proximity (Bossilkov et. al. 2005). The foundation project on Enabling Tools and Technologies for Capturing Regional Synergies is aimed at encouraging and facilitating the greater utilisation of regional synergy opportunities to improve the overall Eco-Efficiency of minerals-processing intensive regions (Bossilkov et. al. 2005). The project was divided up into three principal research tasks (Bossilkov et. al. 2005): 1. Review, development and promotion of best practices in regional synergy development. 2. Development and trial of a regional EcoEfficiency opportunity assessment method. 3. Technology assessment for enabling synergy technologies. Technology plays an important role in not only the realisation of synergies, but also in crucial stages of a by-products utilisation (Harris et. al. 2006). Often, however, the required technologies to enable a synergy will be outside the core business of a company (who seldom has time or resources to investigate such technologies) (Harris et. al. 2006). The first stage of Task 3 of the 3A1 project resulted in the development of an analytical framework that can be used to assess enabling technologies. The framework can be adapted to each of the three headline synergy areas (energy, water and materials) in order to determine: The necessary technologies required to enable a synergy (given a particular by-product stream and a potential end-user of that stream), and The feasibility of implementing the synergy via the suggested technologies.

the tool will assess the potential feasibility of implementing a water synergy between the producer and the reuser. This will be done by: Identifying the necessary treatment technology (or several technologies) that will be required to change the quality of the producers output in order to match the requirements in the reusers process, and Performing a financial comparative analysis on such technology combinations against that of sourcing virgin water from local supply.

Methodology While there are several water treatment technology processes available (of which many are well-established), the selection of appropriate

First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

technologies for enabling water synergies is not straightforward since in many cases: Treatment of water must involve at least one technology; typically either two (primary and secondary treatments) or three (primary, secondary and tertiary treatments) treatment technologies are not uncommon. There is a considerable array of candidate technologies for a given application. Technologies may be used more than once (albeit in different configurations) in the same chain (viz. series) of treatment technologies. The particular ordering of technologies in a treatment chain can affect the output quality.

Table 1: Selection of Technologies in Water Assessment Tool (abridged from Harris et. al. (2006))

Primary Treatments Dissolved Air Flotation Filtration Flotation Gravity Separation Neutralisation Sedimentation

Secondary Treatments Aeration Aerobic Digestion Anaerobic Digestion Biological Nutrient Removal Chlorination Oxidation Pond

Tertiary Treatments Activated Carbon Activated Sludge Evaporation Ion Exchange Membrane Filtration Reverse Osmosis

Key Results/Findings It was recognised that the tool should have the following features: It must be able to give indicative answers based only a reasonably limited set of data (i.e. it would not be suitable to design a tool that could only report after feeding extensive sets of data). Since there are numerous water quality parameters, it must be able to account for major parameters only and contend with any lack of specification thereof. The tool should account for the changing costs of technologies as well as the possibility of emerging technologies. Conclusions & Future Direction Since this part of the project has only started in July 2007, there are no firm conclusions at the time this paper was written. However, it is anticipated that the development of the tool will be completed by November 2007, and further to its completion will be the integration of the tool with other tools developed in the 3A1 project in order to produce a toolkit that can rigorously and systematically identify and evaluate potential synergy initiatives. Acknowledgements This work was carried out under the auspice of the Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing, which is established and supported under the Australian Governments Cooperative Research Centres Program. References

Due to the likely complexity of the tool, it was decided that the tool will be developed using the Java programming language. Java is commonplace today for both online (internet) and offline applications and it was decided that the complex analytical algorithms could be better designed in Java (compared with Microsoft Access) while still allowing for extensibility. Some of the water treatment technologies that could form part of the results output by the tool are shown in Table 1, but the tool will allow for profiles for new and emerging technologies to be created and added to the system for inclusion in new evaluations.

1. Bossilkov, A., van Berkel, R., Corder, G. (2005)

Regional Synergies for Sustainable Resource Processing: a Status Report, Project 3A1 [CSRP Report], CSRP, Australia.

2. Harris, S., Corder, G., van Beers, D., van Berkel,

R. (2006) Technology Needs Review for Regional Synergies (Task 3, Deliverable 1), Project 3A1 [CSRP Report], CSRP, Australia.

First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Energy Efficient Mineral Liberation Using HPGR Technology

Mike Daniel JKMRC, University of Queensland Introduction, Background and Objectives The P9N HPGR project entitled Energy efficient mineral liberation using HPGR technology is now complete, and this paper summarises the outcomes of the four year project. The main chapters that detail the work have been reported elsewhere in confidential six monthly P9N project reports. The project evaluated the effect of using high pressure grinding rolls (HPGR) in new comminution circuit designs in comparison to conventional comminution devices such as SAG and ball mills, in terms of energy efficiency. The total energy to achieve similar product sizes was measured directly in the process by using a new digital energy meter (Figure 1). The difference between the measured energy as a percentage of the conventional ball mill energy constituted the energy efficiency or energy saving of the circuit configuration. Bonds third theory and work index values (Figure 3), and a newly developed methodology of direct energy measurement (Figure 5).

Figure 2: compares a ball mill and a hybrid HPGR/ball mill circuit comprising three HPGRs in series in open circuit followed by a ball mill in closed circuit. The circuit is designed to produce identical products at different grind sizes.

Figure 1: shows the newly refurbished laboratory scale HPGR at the JKMRC installed with a new digital energy meter. The analysis is based on laboratory data that compares the performance of hybrid HPGR/ball mill circuits against that of conventional grinding mill circuits (Figure 2). The circuits are evaluated in terms of the total comminution energy and resultant mineral liberation. Three different ore types were studied, viz. a lead/zinc ore, a bauxite/aluminium ore and a platinum/chrome ore. Total circuit energy is compared using both

Figure 3: shows how the Bond third theory equation energy is linked to a 60 J/rev net energy consumption in the Bond locked cycle test. In order to validate the results of the digital energy meter, measured energy results made in the Bond ball mill were compared to several other energy evaluation techniques that included mill power models, DEM and Bond energy backcalculation methods. Comparable results have confirmed that the digital energy meter can measure specific comminution energy directly.

First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Bonds empirical method is also critically reviewed. The Bond method which uses an empirical equation and the well known Bond work index to predict comminution energy requirements appears to be based on 60 J/rev (Bond, 1952a 1952 b). This so-called mill energy defines an equivalent net energy in the Bond ball mill test to realise the same for a 2.4 meter wet grinding mill. Bonds empirical equation results can thus be reproduced using 60J/rev and the mill test data (Figure 3). Bonds original paper published in 1949 stated that the net energy input to the laboratory scale ball mill is 93 J/rev (Bond, 1949). This is comparable to the digital energy meter measurement of 91.4 J/rev. Bonds empirical relationship thus suggests that there is a built in scale factor of 0.645 which accounts for the differences between dry laboratory milling tests and a full scale (2.4m) wet grinding mill and is the reason for the stated 60 J/rev. The digital energy meter was subsequently used to measure the energy consumption in the ball mill and compare this with the energy required to produce the same product size distribution (Figure 4) in several hybrid HPGR/ball mill circuits. It was observed that on average a measured energy saving of 25-40% (Figure 5) was achieved through the hybrid HPGR/ ball milling circuit when compared with the conventional ball mill circuit.

When Bonds method is used, a method frequently used in research, negative energy savings sometimes result. The Bond third theory and work index should not be used under these circumstances.

Figure 5: shows the measured energy size relationship for three different ores that were subjected to a conventional milling circuit and a hybrid HPGR grinding circuit, and that show the fitted functions to the data. The characteristics of the liberated mineral products were measured using the JKMRC mineral liberation analyser (MLA). For each of the experimental circuit products, liberation characteristics concluded that the enhancement of liberated mineral through the use of HPGR technology was not founded. However, extensive particle micro-cracking was visible in the HPGR produces that were visible in the MLA backscatter images (Figure 6). This was not observed in the conventionally crushed products. The HPGR micro cracks are believed to be responsible for particle weakening and the resultant reduced milling energy requirements of ball mill processes that follow with the total circuit energy requirements significantly reduced.

Figure 4: shows the summarised results of the lead/zinc ore, and includes the feed size distributions to both circuits, with the intermediate product of the triple pass HPGR circuit making up the feed to the ball mill in the hybrid HPGR-ball mill circuit. Results obtained from measuring energy directly are compared with results obtained by using Bonds work index and third theory equation.

Figure 6: shows multiple particles of the Mt Isa Lead zinc ore particles within the -425+300 m size fraction and represent products of the triple pass HPGR . Valuable unliberated binary mineral particles appear to be selectively chosen for micro-cracking.


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Conclusions & Future Direction HPGR is more energy efficient than ball milling and may reduce overall grinding energy between 20-40% depending on the target grind size. HPGR readily promotes particle micro-cracks, which is potentially suitable for heap leaching ores, and reduces downstream mill energy requirements. Micro cracks could affect flotation response and reagent consumption but are destroyed in downstream ball milling.

Acknowledgements This work was carried out under the AMIRA P9N project, which had linkages into the CSRP 2B1 project. The CSRP is gratefully acknowledged for a top-up scholarship that the author received during the completion of his PhD. References
1. M.J Daniel, 2007, Energy efficient mineral liberation using HPGR technology, PhD thesis, JKMRC, University of Queensland.

HPGR products are more easily milled downstream due to particle weakening and observed microcracks. Preferential liberation not easily quantified. The outcomes of the research has resulted in the CSRPs triple pass HPGR project which was approved this year, and commenced in April 2007.


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Collaborative Industry Research to Develop Regional Synergies in Kwinana: Update and Lessons Learnt
Dick van Beers Centre of Excellence in Cleaner Production, Curtin University of Technology potential synergy opportunities have been identified through four activities: the database of company inputs and outputs; review of earlier reports; industry discussions; and focused opportunity identification workshops. From a set of prioritised synergy opportunities, KIC selected a number of synergies for feasibility assessments. Current efforts focus on the development of these synergies and foundation research on collective KIA strategies for the recovery and reuse of inorganic by-products, water, and energy.
Planning and organisation
Project team and company involvement

Introduction Regional resource synergies concern the capture, recovery, and reuse of previously discarded resources (materials, energy, water) from one industrial operation by other, traditionally separate industries in close proximity [1]. These can extend into utility synergies (shared use of utility infrastructure) and supply chain synergies. Regional synergies are well established within the Kwinana Industrial Area (KIA). The KIA is located approximately 40 kilometres south of Perth, and was established in the 1950s to accommodate the development of heavy industries in Western Australia. There is a coexistence of diverse and non-competing industries in Kwinana. Recognising the sustainability benefits that industries can achieve through synergies, the Kwinana Synergies Project was launched to provide practical support to the industries for further development of regional synergies. This project is commissioned by the Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing (CSRP), with strong support from the Kwinana Industries Council (KIC) and its members. The paper gives a status quo on the latest synergy developments in Kwinana, shares some of the lessons learnt by the researchers and industry partners so far, and provides insights into future directions for the collaborative industry research. Methodology Figure 1 shows the approach applied by the Kwinana Synergies Project to develop and evaluate new regional synergy opportunities. This approach was compiled by merging common elements of synergy project development into an overall framework generally used for the implementation of cleaner production in companies. The principal flows in the KIA have been well documented, after 36 companies provided their baseline data with regard to the consumption of materials, energy and water and generation of byproducts, wastes and emissions. More than ninety

Preliminary assessment

Input/Output database and register of opportunities

Short-list of opportunities with good business case

Feasibility studies
Feasible synergy projects

Implementation & continuation

Figure 1: Applied Regional Synergies. Results




Feasibility studies for fifteen short-listed synergies are currently being conducted with regard to the reuse of water (e.g. dust suppression water, oily wastewater, treated effluent) and byproducts (e.g. ammonium sulphate, organic waste, catalysts). The type and level of research assistance depends entirely on the specific research needs of the involved industries. Various projects are in the pipeline and significant progress has been made towards the development of these synergies [2]. The Kwinana Synergies Project also contributes to the development of collective reuse strategies for inorganic by-products, water, and energy. These efforts have a more long-term and strategic focus, and include most major industries and the KIC. In developing these strategies detailed assessments


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of industry data and experiences on inorganic byproducts (e.g. bauxite residue, gypsum), water (e.g. treated effluents), and energy (e.g. flue gases) have been conducted and consolidated in opportunity identification workshops. Efforts focus now on progressing the workshops recommendations. Highlights/Benefits In summary, the CSRP Kwinana Synergies Project has so far achieved: Recruitment of 36 companies to participate in the project, including collection of their baseline input and output data and mapping of existing regional synergies in Kwinana. Identification and prioritisation of over 90 synergy opportunities for the Kwinana Industrial Area. Significant progress on the development of a diverse mix (fifteen) of synergy opportunities. Up to ten have medium to high chances to be implemented by industry. Synergies with promising prospects for implementation include the treatment of oily wastewater from the Kwinana Nickel Refinery by the BP Refinery (short-term option), and the supply of treated effluent from CSBP to the Kwinana Nickel Refinery (long-term option). Completion of the foundation research on the recovery and reuse of inorganic by-products, water, and energy. This research provides the basis for current and future spin-offs projects with the KIC and the Kwinana industries. Delivery of three journal papers, ten conference papers and twelve industry reports on regional synergy development in the KIA.

The existing synergies provide a range of economic, environmental, and social benefits for the industries involved and KIA as a whole. Landfill diversion, increased resource security and efficiency, and lower operational costs are some illustrative benefits from existing synergies in Kwinana [4]. These examples show that the benefits are not just commercial but also strategic, leading to reduced exposure to risk and better reputation with key stakeholders. Significant progress has been made so far to further develop promising new synergies. It is believed that all low hanging fruit have been captured when it comes to the realisation of regional synergy opportunities. It is now the challenge for all involved parties to further develop the more difficult synergy opportunities. These synergies will only come to fruition through dedicated research and hands-on support to the industries to meet their research needs. Strong commitment from industry, KIC, and the CSRP will assist in achieving this goal. Acknowledgements This work was carried out under the auspice of the Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing, which is established and supported under the Australian Governments Cooperative Research Centres Program. The authors wish to acknowledge the commitment and support from the Kwinana Industries Council (KIC) and its members to the research presented here. References 1. Chertow, M., Industrial Symbiosis: Literature and
Taxonomy. Annual Review of Energy and Environment, 2000. 25: p. 313-337. 2. van Beers, D., Status Report on Regional Synergies in the Kwinana Industrial Area. 2007, Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing (CSRP): Perth, Western Australia. p. 100. Bossilkov, A., R. van Berkel, and G. Corder, Regional Synergies for Sustainable Resource Processing: a Status Report. 2005, Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing (CSRP): Perth, Western Australia. Corder, G., et al. Benefits and Success Factors of Regional Resource Synergies in Gladstone and Kwinana. in Green Processing Conference, 5 - 6 June 2006. 2006. Newcastle, NSW, Australia: The Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

Conclusions & Future Direction The research has confirmed the close collaboration and integration that already exists in the KIA, which has initially developed in response to perceived business opportunities and environmental and resource efficiency considerations. There are already 47 regional synergies in place in the KIA [2]. 32 of these are by-product synergies and 15 involve shared use of utility infrastructure. These existing synergies greatly exceed business-as-usual, and are more diverse and significant than reported for other heavy industrial areas [3]. This positions Kwinana among the international leading edge examples of regional synergy development.




First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

SESSION 4 Australian CO2 Breakthrough

S Jahanshahi and J G Mathieson
Wednesday, 21 November 2007


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Recarburisation of Molten Steel Using Charcoal

D E Langberg*, M A Somerville*, B M Washington*, J.G. Mathieson and P. Ridgeway

CSIRO Minerals, Clayton, BlueScope Steel, OneSteel the tests. This material is their most commonly produced grade of steel (41 % of production). Table 1 shows the materials used in the recarburising testwork while Table 2 shows their proximate and ultimate analysis.
Table 1. Description of recarburisers.
Test No 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Recarburiser Code Size range Electrode Graphite EG 0.15 0.5 mm Mallee Leaf/Twig Charcoal MLTC1 0.15 0.5 mm Boral Sawdust Charcoal BSC 0.15 0.5 mm Boral Chip Charcoal BCC 1-5 mm Electrode Graphite EG 1-5 mm Mallee Leaf/Twig Charcoal MLTC1 1-5 mm Red Gum Charcoal RGC 1-5 mm Steel recarburiser 1 SSMR as received Steel recarburiser 2 BR as received Steel recarburiser 3 WR as received Mallee Leaf/Twig Charcoal 2 MLTC2 1-5 mm Torrified Wood TW 1-5 mm

Introduction, Background and Objectives The steel industry is a major consumer of carbon and emitter of greenhouse gases. As such, it is likely to face increasing social and regulatory pressures to reduce the specific carbon consumption in the production of steel. This objective can be accomplished through improved energy and carbon utilisation efficiencies in unit operations and/or by replacing fossil carbon by renewable carbon derived from biomass. Carbon from biomass is considered renewable because the CO2 released into the atmosphere through its combustion is reused in the growth of next generation of the trees. The project Biomass in the Iron and Steel was initiated by OneSteel, BlueScope Steel and CSIRO through CSRP in 2006 and is part of the International Iron and Steel Institutes CO2 Breakthrough Program. The project aims to identifying opportunities for replacing fossil carbon with renewable carbon in iron and steel making operations through evaluation of the opportunities followed by demonstration of concept through plant trials. One of the opportunities identified is use of biochars for recarburisation of liquid steel. This is done through a secondary steelmaking operation, where the carbon content of liquid steel is adjusted to the required level for medium and high carbon steel casting. It is usually carried out in the ladle or Ladle Metallurgy Furnace (LMF) following tapping of the refined steel from the Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) or Electric Arc Furnace (EAF). Recarburising agents or recarburisers should contain high fixed carbon and low ash levels, and rapidly dissolve in molten steel1. Recarburisers based on non-renewable carbon sources such as calcined anthracite or petroleum coke are typically used for this application, however the use of biomass derived recarburising should be also be possible. The present study investigated a range of charcoals as potential recarburising agents for liquid steel. Methodology / Experimental Technique A quantity of grade ES41 steel was supplied by OneSteels Sydney Mini Mill (SSM) to carry out

Table 2. Proximate and ultimate analyses of recarburisers.

Recarb. Moisture Proximate (% ar) analysis (% db) ash Vol. FC EG 0.1 1.2 <0.1 98.8 BR <0.1 0.7 0.3 99.0 WR 0.1 0.4 <0.1 99.6 SSMR 0.2 4.7 0.4 94.9 RGC 7.4 1.2 12.7 86.1 BCC 2.3 1.6 11.5 86.9 BSC 24.6 2.4 27.3 70.3 MLTC1 3.9 15.9 14.2 69.9 MLTC2 3.9 10.6 11.8 77.7 TW 0.7 2.3 33.1 64.6 Ultimate analysis (% db) C S H N 98.0 0.03 <0.1 0.14 97.0 0.45 0.1 1.69 97.0 0.53 <0.1 1.37 94.6 0.2 0.1 0.46 88.1 0.03 1.8 0.29 88.7 0.02 2.3 0.31 80.4 0.01 2.3 0.14 75.1 0.04 0.1 0.86 80.7 0.05 1.7 1.39 74.7 0.01 4.1 0.27

The tests were performed using a 40 kW RF induction furnace to heat the 6.5 kg steel charge. The following procedure was used in the experiments: The crucible and contents were heated to about 1600 C over 4 hours. When the crucible contents had melted, argon was introduced into the melt through the lance. An initial steel sample was collected by suction into a silica tube. The recarburiser was then added to the crucible either as batch additions (2x70g) in the Top Addition experiments or injected into


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

the melt (10 g/min) in the Injection experiments. Samples of molten steel were collected at regular intervals by suction into silica tubes immersed in the melt. During the experiments coarse dust was collected in a cyclone and fume in a bag filter. The site vacuum was connected to the outlet of the bag filter. Steel samples were assayed for carbon and sulphur using a Leco CS600 analyser, and for oxygen and nitrogen using a Leco TCH600 O/N/H analyser. Samples of fume were analysed for carbon and sulphur using the Leco CS600, and for sodium, potassium, phosphorus and calcium by ICP-OES after digestion in Br/HNO3/HClO4/HF solutions. Hydrogen analyses of the steel samples were measured using a Bousers Exhalograph at the BlueScope Central Laboratory, Port Kembla. Key Results/Findings The charcoal dissolved rapidly into molten steel at a rate, which is likely to be limited by mass transfer in the liquid steel. Figure 1 shows the results obtained for Test 4, where the carbon content of steel as measured and as expected from the batch charcoal additions are plotted against reaction time. The carbon content of the steel reaches a plateau soon after (less than 2 minutes) a charcoal addition. The distance between the actual measurements and expected carbon content of steel is a measure of the carbon recovery at any time.
140 120 100 Carbon (g) 80 60 40

hydrogen contents. Figure 2 shows carbon recovery to steel plotted against the recarburiser volatile content for all the recarburising tests. Despite the scatter in the results, the carbon recovery decreases with increasing volatile content of recarburiser. In order to improve the carbon recovery, charring of the wood at temperatures higher than the 400-550C range typically used in charcoal manufacture may be required for charcoal-based steel recarburisers to reduce the charcoal volatile content.
110 100 Carbon recovery (%) 90 80 70 60 50 40 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Recarburiser volatile content (daf)

Figure 2: Carbon recovery plotted against recarburiser volatile content.

20 0 0 2 4 6 8






Time (minutes)

The Na2O and K2O in the charcoal ash are reducible under recarburising conditions, and the volatile alkali metals released reported to the fume. Hydrogen from high volatile charcoals can also dissolve to a limited extent in the molten steel during recarburisation. Practical considerations in the use of charcoals as recarburisers include: increased manual handling due to the lower bulk density of charcoals compared to standard recarburisers, increased release of hydrogen and carbon monoxide into the ladle or ladle furnace, and increased alkali fume generation. Recommendations It is recommended that sufficient quantities of one or two of the charcoals studied in this work be generated to carry out a plant trial, possibly at OneSteels Sydney Steel Mill to further demonstrate the feasibility of recarburisation with charcoal.

Figure 1. Top Addition of Boral Chip Charcoal (Test 4)

The carbon recovery in the steel was found to be determined by the volatile matter content of the recarburiser, which is reflected by its oxygen and


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Acknowledgements The authors acknowledge the assistance of Mr J Palinkas of BlueScope Steel who carried out the hydrogen analyses, and the Analytical Services Group at CSIRO Minerals. Financial support for the project was provided by OneSteel, BlueScope Steel and the CSRP.


1. R.B. Coates (1979); Types, selection and applications of recarburisers in the U.K. foundry industry, Br. Foundryman, 72, (4), 178-196.


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

The Cost of Utilising Waste Biomass in Metallurgical Processes

Michael Somerville and Rene Van Berkel CSIRO Minerals Introduction, Background and Objectives The mid north region of South Australia has been selected for a model project on the collection and, transformation of waste biomass and subsequent use of charcoal in metallurgical processes. The advantages of the mid north region for this project include: A small but sustainable forestry and saw milling industry, diversified agricultural and grain handling industries and other farming and livestock industries. All these activities generate waste biomass which could potentially be utilised in the Zinifex (Nyrstar) smelters at Port Pirie, rather than being decomposed and emitting greenhouse gases. Waste biomasses can provide a low cost source of fuel and reductant for metallurgical industries. In recent times the cost of metallurgical coal and coke has increased sharply. This cost increase is putting financial pressures on many metallurgical industries. Alternative sources of fuels and reductants could provide a welcome cost relief to these industries. Moreover, biomass typically has a lower net greenhouse gas intensity than the fossil carbons they replace. Many waste biomass products are disposed of in landfill, burnt or left to decompose in-situ. This is an environmentally sensitive activity which cannot be sustained in the future. In this project a preliminary estimate has been made of the cost of collecting, transforming and transporting a range of waste biomass materials to the smelters at Port Pirie where they can be substituted for coal in zinc fuming operations. Methodology / Experimental Technique The amount of waste biomass available in the mid north region of South Australia was estimated from discussions with forestry industry representatives, officers from the state department of primary industry, local industry representatives, and local carting contractors. Five basic types of biomass were considered in this study. They include: Forest residue. This material is generated in the Wirrabara and Bundalear forests which are located about 50 km from Port Pirie. These are small pine forests, which are harvested sustainably by Forestry SA. Residue is generated during thinning and harvesting operations. About 7,000 green tonnes of forest residue is available per year. Saw mill wastes. Most of the logs harvested in Wirrabara forest are sold to a saw mill in Jamestown about 80 km from Port Pirie. About 15,000 green tonnes of saw mill waste is available per year. Poultry litter is generated from farms at Port Wakefield about 100 km from Port Pirie. At present the industry generates about 70,000 tonnes per year, which is expected to grow in the near future. Grape marc is generated in the Clare valley about 100 km from Port Pirie. In 2006 the regional grape crush was 35,000 tonnes. About 10 % of the crush reports as marc (3,500 t). Straw is produced from grain crops after harvesting. The regional straw make is about 2-4 t/ha. With about 150,000 ha under cultivation in the district this represents a potential straw production of about 300,000 tonnes. This straw is subject to competing use so say about 50,000 tonnes might be available for alternative uses. The straw can be purchased from a local straw merchant in Laura, about 40 km from Port Pirie. The transformation of the raw biomass into a form which can be utilised by industry is called pyrolysis. This involves heating the biomass to moderate temperatures (300-500 C) in a sealed container without oxygen. The heat causes the biomass to decompose into a solid char and vapour fractions. The heavier vapour fractions can be condensed to produce a liquid bio-oil leaving a flammable non condensable gas. Hence the pyrolysis process produces three fractions; solid char, bio-oil and non-condensable gas. The bio-oil can be used as a substitute fuel in particular in stationary applications. Hence the bio-oil does have some intrinsic value which has not been considered in this exercise. The gas fraction would typically be used for meeting the energy requirements of the pyrolysis process. Table 1 shows the proximate analysis of the dried biomass and Table 2 shows the yields of the three


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

pyrolysis products for the dried biomass materials considered in this study. The Port Pirie smelter uses two types of reactive coal and coke. The first is in the slag fumer where blast furnace slag is reduced to recover zinc metal as a fume, the second is in the rotary furnace where softner slag is reduced to make antimonial alloys. The slag fumer operations use 40,000 tonnes per year of a high ranked coal called jig coal which is supplied from the Illawarra region of NSW. This operation is being targeted in the present study.
Table 1:The proximate analysis of raw biomass products Proximate (%db) Biomass Moisture (%) Volatiles Ash Fixed Carbon Forest residue 18.5 76.6 1.0 22.4 Sawmill wastes 44.8 80.3 0.5 19.2 Grape marc 31.6 65 7.1 27.9 Poultry litter 31.2 69 15 16.0 Straw/hay 11.5 71 9.5 19.5 Table 2: The yield of pyrolysis products (%). Biomass Forest residue Sawmill wastes Grape marc Poultry litter Straw/hay Char 30.8 27.4 39.6 34.4 35.4 Bio-oil 36.0 37.9 27.8 30.3 24.4 Gas 33.2 34.7 32.6 35.3 40.2

Key Results/Findings The following assumptions were used to calculate the cost of producing charcoal from the five types of raw biomass: The transport costs are $0.045/km/tonne1 Pyrolysis costs are $130/tonne2 Raw biomass contains 50 % moisture which is removed using readily available waste heat. The cost of grape marc and poultry litter is assumed to be $10/green tonne. There is no market for these materials and the cost is based on estimates provided by local merchants. The pyrolysis plant is located adjacent to the smelter. All raw biomass is transported to the pyrolysis plant from where charcoal is generated. Table 3 shows the calculated purchase, transport and transformation costs of the five different types of biomass.

The cost of metallurgical coal is assumed to be about $150/tonne3. This is similar to the type used at Port Pirie in the zinc fumer. Highlights/Benefits There is a great variation among the different biomass types in the calculated cost of producing a tonne of charcoal. The most expensive charcoal would be produced from straw due to the high straw price of $150/tonne. This inflated cost is due to the present drought and associated high cost of agricultural feed. The charcoal made from forest residue is also fairly expensive due to the costs of extracting and chipping the wood residue from the forest prior to transport. In comparison saw mill wastes are relatively cheap due to low purchase costs. The value of the byproduct bio-oil has not been considered in the calculations of the char production cost. The rate of carbon tax required to increase the cost of coal to the same as charcoal varies from $14/t of CO2, $20/t CO2 and $24/t CO2 for the saw mill waste, the grape marc and the poultry litter respectively, to $45/t CO2 for the forest residue and $231/t CO2 for the straw. The low range of these figures matches the recommended rate of carbon tax of the WA government energy taskforce ($25/t CO2)7. The data shown in Table 3 suggests that further work on pyrolysis technology to reduce the pyrolysis costs will have a large bearing on the feasibility of biomass utilisation.
Table 3: Costs associated with production of charcoal from waste biomass. Costs $/t charcoal Material Transport Pyrolysis Purchase Forest residue 29 130 1624 Sawmill wastes 52 130 215 Grape marc 45 130 50 Poultry litter 52 130 58 Straw/hay 20 130 8506 Total 321 203 225 240 1000

Acknowledgements The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance given to the project by Dr Joe Herbertson from the Crucible Group, and from Forestry SA, ABB and Ed Morgan for useful discussions and the provision of data. This project was established by and has received financial support from the CSRP and CSIRO Minerals.


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

References 1. Transport costs are based on private conversations with D. Morgan of Morgans Saw Mills Jamestown SA. 2. Pyrolysis costs were obtained from analysis of data in the SERDF report Sustainable Steelmaking Using Renewable Forest Energy 3. Cost of metallurgical coal obtained from www/dme/

Forest residue purchasing costs based on private conservations held with foresters at Wirrabara Forest, August 2006. 5. Sawmill waste costs based on private conservations with D. Morgan of Morgans Saw Mills Jamestown SA. 6. Straw costs obtained from 7. Carbon tax rate ABC PM transcript 5 February 2007, (


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Utilisation of Slag Waste Heat in Steel Plants

T Norgate1, D Xie1, S Jahanshahi1 and M Russell2

CSIRO Minerals, Clayton / 2Hatch Ltd. very few progressing to pilot or plant trials. There has been renewed interest recently due to increasing pressure on industries to reduce GHG emissions. A recent report commissioned by the US Department of Energy identified slag heat recovery as a major R&D opportunity for the steel industry to reduce GHG emissions. The review also highlighted the importance of high efficiency heat recovery in the successful utilisation of slag waste heat. Site visits were made to the OneSteel and BlueScope Steel steel plants at Whyalla and Port Kembla respectively, to collect data on slag handling and discuss with plant personnel opportunities for utilising the waste heat on site. A number of potential applications were identified, which were then assessed and ranked based on the following criteria: technical difficulty; difficulty of integrating into existing plant; limitation on usage of available waste heat; approximate capital cost; estimated economic savings.

Introduction Molten slags are a high volume waste from pyrometallurgical industries. In ironmaking, for each tonne of hot metal produced, about 300 kg of slags are produced. Molten slags contain a large amount of high grade waste heat. For example, in the steel industry, some 1.8 GJ of heat is lost for every tonne of molten slag cooled from a discharge temperature of 1500C to 25C. Two major Australian steel companies, BlueScope Steel and OneSteel, produce more than 2 million tonnes of slags each year and the total amount of heat available is in the order of 4 PJ, which is potentially recoverable as high grade heat for use in the steel plants. Depending on the source of energy being replaced, the successful recovery and utilisation of this waste heat could result in a greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction of up to 0.3 million tonnes of CO2e each year (Figure 1).
0.5 0.4 0.3

GHG CO 2e (Mt)


0.2 0.1 0 0 1 2 3 4 5

OneSteel Natural gas

Figure 1: Potential reduction in GHG emissions. Energy (PJ) A one-year CSRP project was initiated and commenced in 2006, with the aims of investigating the current status and availability of technology for recovering slag waste heat and to identify and assess opportunities for utilising this waste heat in steel plants. Methodology A literature review on heat recovery from molten slags was first conducted. This review found that most of the previous studies were carried out in the 1980s, predominantly in Japan. However, most of these studies were proposals only, with

Of the initial 11 potential applications identified, 3 were excluded based on a preliminary assessment that did not include economic savings, while the remaining 8 were then subjected to further evaluation using these criteria. This latter evaluation initially required the potential energy savings for each application to be estimated, followed by the economic savings generated by using this energy to replace existing energy sources (eg. coal, natural gas). In the case of desalination, the economic benefit was an additional water supply that has the potential to replace demineralised water at OneSteels plant. The analysis was based on the assumption that the slag waste heat would be recovered as hot air at 600C (at 80% efficiency) using dry granulationbased heat recovery (Xie et al, 2007). Key Results / Findings The estimated economic savings for the various applications are compared in Table 1. It is worth noting that these savings do not include the


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

potential saving through the carbon trading scheme. Table 1:. Comparison of economic savings.
Application A$M/y OneSteel BlueScope Steel

lime kiln. A number of applications were then ranked next, including preheating stove combustion air, preheating the steel ladle and desalination (OneSteel). Highlights/Benefits Appreciable economic savings can potentially be realised by utilising waste heat recovered from slag in steel plants.
A B C D E Total

Preheat stove combustion air

2.58 1 2.16

10.32 1 8.65 2 14.74 14.74 6.75 3 9.19 4 7.53 12.90 5.81 4.91

Table 3: Ranking of waste heat applications.


Preheat steel ladle Preheat lime kiln combustion air Preheat steel scrap

3.69 3.69 1.62 3 2.21 4

Steam (existing system) Preheat lime kiln combustion air Preheat stove combustion air Preheat steel ladle Desalination OneSteel Desalination Bluescope Steel Power generation (from steam) Preheat steel scrap Coal drying

1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 3

1 2 2 2 1 1 1 2 3

1 2 2 3 1 1 1 2 1

2 1 2 1 2 3 3 2 2

2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3

7 8 9 9 9 10 10 11 12

Coal drying Steam generation (existing system) Power generation (from steam) Desalination (MED) 1 = Natural gas replaced 3 = Oxygen & flux only

1.88 3.23 1.45 2.46 2 = Coal replaced

4 = Oxygen, flux & productivity

The applications were ranked using the rating values given in Table 2. The totals for each application are given in Table 3, with the lowest total being the most favourable option. In the case of scrap preheating, the estimated savings with and without improved productivity savings are shown. Other operational improvements can be expected from scrap preheating (eg. yield and availability), but quantifying these benefits requires more detailed analysis beyond the scope of this study. Table 2: Rating values used for applications.
1 A B C D E Proven & established Easy High or unlimited by process >$3/t steel <$1 m 2 Proven but not well established Awkward Medium or limited by process $1.5-3/t steel $1-10 m 3 Unproven or innovative Very difficult Small or limited by process <$1.5/t steel >$10 m

Steam generation and feedback into the existing steam system was identified as the most favourable option due to significant economic benefit, easy integration into the existing system and flexible management of matching heat availability and demand.

Conclusions & Future Direction Options for slag waste heat utilisation at steel plants have been investigated through site visits, discussions with plant personnel and subsequent technical and economic assessment. Potential applications were ranked according to a set of criteria including technical feasibility, integration, heat usage, capital cost and economic benefit. Given the importance of good heat recovery in the successful utilisation of slag waste heat, future work will focus on heat recovery before more detailed evaluation of the short-listed applications.

A = Technical difficulty B = Integration difficulty C = Limitation on heat usage D = Economic savings E = Approximate capital cost

Based on the total rankings in Table 3, the preferred waste heat utilisation option is the generation of steam for the existing system, followed by the heating of combustion air for the


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Acknowledgements This work was carried out under the auspice of the Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing, which is established and supported under the Australian Governments Cooperative Research Centres Program with support from OneSteel, BlueScope Steel, CSIRO and Hatch.

Xie, D, Pan, Y, Flann, R, Washington, B, Sanetsis, S, Donnelly, J, Norgate, T and Jahanshahi, S. Heat Recovery from Slag through Dry Granulation. CSRP Conference, 21-22 November, Melbourne.


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Heat Recovery from Slag through Dry Granulation D Xie, Y Pan, R Flann, B Washington, S Sanetsis, J Donnelley, T. Norgate, S Jahanshahi CSIRO Minerals, Clayton
Introduction The Australian steel industry produces more than 2 million tonnes of slags each year, which contain about 4 PJ of sensible heat on cooling from 1500C to 25C. Currently these slags are either air cooled (Figure 1) or water granulated and the large amount of waste heat is not recovered. granulation via air blast,1 rotary drum,2 or spinning disc,3-7 followed by heat recovery via fluidised bed or heat exchanger to generate hot air or steam. Some of these methods have been tested at pilot or plant scale1,2,5,6, but none have been successfully commercialised. In comparison with alternative approaches, spinning disc dry granulation has considerable advantages in terms of process efficiency and control. The method was first proposed in 1980s in Japan3 and UK4 and has since been tested at a number of steel plants by Siemens VAI5,6 (formerly VAI-UK) with limited success. Recent work by CSIRO8-9 on dry slag granulation (Figure 2) has made major progress in disc and process design, resolving some of difficulties experienced previously. The present CSRP project is to extend the CSIROs work in dry granulation further, incorporating heat recovery.

Figure 1: Molten slag is poured into an air cooled slag pit at BlueScope Steel Pt Kembla Recovery and utilisation of this waste heat could reduce energy consumption and hence GHG (green house gas CO2) emission by up to 0.3 million tonne a year. Water granulation can produce glassy slags for cement manufacture with significant GHG benefit in respect of conventional cement production from limestone (reducing one tonne of CO2 emission for each tonne of slag used in cement). But water granulation has considerable environmental disadvantages, including high water consumption, formation of acid mist during quenching, and the slag granules need to be dried. To meet the industry demand, a four-year CSRP project was initiated and commenced in 2006, with the aim of developing a new integrated dry granulation/heat recovery process. The new process will enable us to recover waste heat from molten slags and to produce glassy blast furnace slags for cement manufacture with less environmental impact. Methodology / Experimental Technique An extensive literature review has been carried out on technologies available for recovering waste heat from molten slags. A number of processes have been previously proposed, based on dry treatment of molten slags. They involved dry slag

Figure 2: Dry slag granulation at a spinning disc Key Results/Findings A conceptual flowsheet has been developed in the 1st year (by June 2007) of the project based on process modelling and focused experimental work. Process modelling provides in-depth understanding of the entire process, from slag atomisation at a spinning disc to form fine droplets under centrifugal forces, droplet quenching and solidification, to subsequent heat recovery from solid granules. Slag atomisation at the disc involves fluid mechanics and heat transfer, which has been modelled using CFD. Cooling of slag droplets or granules in air is analysed (Figure 3) and the optimal conditions for efficient heat transfer have been established.


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

900 rpm, 2 mm drop, 1400 C 1400 1300 Temp, C
o o

100 80 60 Solid %

Dry glassy BF slags could be produced and used for cement manufacture with minimum adverse environmental impact.


1200 1100 1000 900 0 1 Time, s 2 3

Average Solid % Surface

Conclusions & Future Direction A conceptual integrated dry granulation/heat recovery process has been developed. A prototype pilot rig was designed and built to demonstrate the concept. This would be followed by further scale up and plant trials in 2008-2010. Acknowledgements This work was carried out under the auspice of the Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing, which is established and supported under the Australian Governments Cooperative Research Centres Program with support from CSIRO, OneSteel, BlueScope Steel, and HATCH. References
1. 2. 3. "Blast Granulation System of BOF Slag and Its Products," Overseas No38, Nippon Kokan Technical Report, 1983. Editor: "Heat Recovery by Dry Granulation of Blast Furnace Slag," Steel Times, 1980, July, 469. Yoshinaga, M , K Fujii, T Shigematsu, and T Nakata: "Dry Granulation and Solidification of Molten Blast Furnace Slag," Tran ISIJ, 1982, 22, 823-29. Pikering, S J, N Hay, T F Roylance, and G H Thomas: "New Process for Dry Granulation and Heating Recovery From Molten Blast Furnace Slag," Ironmaking and Steelmaking, 1985, 12(1), 14-21. Macauley, D: "Slag Treatment - Time for an Improvement," Steel Times International, 1996, Sep, S15-16. Featherstone, W B: "Slag Treatment Improvement by Dry Granulation," Iron and Steel Engineer, 1998, July, 42. Mizuochi, T, E Kasai, J Yagi, T Shimada, and T Akiyama: "Granulation of Molten Slag for Heat Recovery," IECEC 2002, 2002, Paper # 20056. Xie, D, B Washington, T Norgate and S Jahanshahi, Dry Granulation of Slags Turning Waste into Valuable Products?, CAMP-ISIJ, Vol. 18, 2005, pp. 1088-1091. Xie, D, B Washington, and S Sanetsis: "Progress in Dry Slag Granulation," DMR 3052, Confidential Report, CSIRO Minerals, 2006.

40 20 0

Figure 3: Cooling of a 2 mm diameter slag droplet in air (assumed to be 350C) and temperature distribution in the droplet A series of dry granulation experiments were conducted and recorded with a high speed video camera to provide crucial information for process development and model validation. These covered the effects of the droplet collision with an enclosure wall and the extent of cooling and minimum temperature required to avoid agglomeration of hot granules. A conceptual process based on a two-step dry granulation/heat recovery operation has been developed, shown schematically in Figure 4. In this process, the molten slag is first atomised in a dry granulator to produce fine slag droplets, which are fast cooled and solidified to produce glassy granules. The hot granules at about 900C are then moved to a packed-bed heat exchanger to extract all the remaining heat contained in the slag.
Slag 1500C


5. 6. 7. 8.

Dry granulation
(Spinning disc)

Hot air >600C Drying Preheating Steam

Air 25C

Solid 900C

Power Desalination

Heat exchanger
(Packed bed)

Hot air >600C

Air 25C Granules <50C

Figure 4: Conceptual process flowsheet for the new integrated slag treatment process Highlights/Benefits The new process could recover about 80% waste heat as high grade heat (above 600C hot air or steam) which could be utilised in steel plants for drying, preheating etc.


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

SECTION 5 Energy Resources

M Powell
Wednesday, 21 November 2007


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

The Importance of Comminution Energy and Energy Efficiency for the Development of Sustainable Mineral Processing
M.J Daniel Senior research officer JKMRC - The University of Queensland Introduction The paper presentation reviews the current global status of comminution energy in respect to sustainable minerals processing. This is highlighted against the backdrop of emerging global phenomena such as climate change, energy resources, peak oil and environmental degradation. This paper provides an insight to the areas in which HPGR technology could be used and implemented into the minerals industry, and to identify which of the mineral commodities should be targeted or best suited to HPGR technology. An energy balance on existing comminution practices has revealed that the embodied energy of producing the grinding media in the first place is very high. Reducing or eliminating their use in processes that consume large quantities of grinding media are not eco-efficient and these processes should consider HPGR as an alternative sustainably attractive technology. An account of global comminution energy, global grinding media consumption and global mineral grades and their relation to crushing and grinding processes within the mining and minerals industry is reviewed here. The stand-alone results as presented are impressive. However, the impact that HPGR has on the minerals beneficiation industry in general is not yet realised. Future sustainable development Energy efficient mineral liberation costs and dollar costs are utilised in comminution processes. Then evaluating how the valuable mineral components are liberated from the host ore using alternative technologies and circuit designs. When scientists speak of the future, what do they mean, next year, one or two decades hence, the end of the twenty-first century, the end of the third millennium or forever? When the future is examined within the context of sustainable development, generally the idea is aimed at trying to understand how lifestyles will have to change to meet the challenges posed by emerging global events such as climate change, peak-oil, limited non-renewable energy resources and continued environmental and ecological degradation. Fragments of sustainable development concepts have emerged in the form of labels such as sustainable society, sustainable energy and economic sustainability to mention a few. General consensus is that economics principles and business always has and always will remain central to the transformation process of change and development. The authors view is that the boundaries of the roles and responsibilities of business in society have shifted. Is business fulfilling its part of its contract with society and the environment, and what exactly should the role of business be? The current understanding of mineral processing is based on the following: Mining and plant performance is measured on tonnage throughput and quantity of metal produced which by default is economically viable. Throughput in the plant is managed through various size reduction processes which indirectly result in mineral liberation. The material size reduction process is managed through the operation of various

Comminution processes in minerals processing account for between 50-70% of the electrical energy used in mining (DOE, 2001; National Research Council, 1981) and sometimes a substantial portion of the direct operational costs. The potential of significant increases in energy costs, capital costs and possible reduced revenue (as a result of lower grades and not necessarily commodity prices) are factors that could possibly unbalance the profitability of many mining operations in the future. This unbalancing could be counteracted by researching how energy


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

stages of crushers, classifying cyclones.




The overall plant performance defines recovery factors which may affect the mine plan and definition of the ore reserve. Unless optimised (usually in economic terms), the process will result in sub-optimal exploitation of the mineral resource. The traditional perception of indiscriminate size reduction, as applied by most conventional comminution processes over the past 100 years often result in excessive generation of ultra-fine particles (both mineral and gangue material at the expense of large amounts of energy), which are sometimes either difficult to recover or store in downstream processes.

savings and the impact on the environment should be targeted. Reducing grinding media consumption is attractive from a sustainable viewpoint because the high energy requirements to produce the steel are eliminated. These aspects are reviewed and it is shown that 0.56% (87 TWh) of the global net electrical energy consumption of 15,500 TWh per annum is used to crush and grind non-ferrous ores, and of this 33% and 53% of the energy is required to process gold and copper ores respectively. This suggests that the HPGR should be targeted at gold and copper mining operations in the future to be effective in reducing carbon emissions. As such new eco-efficient flowsheets that use multiple HPGRs in series could be considered. HPGR would be employed as primary comminution devices followed by small ball mills. The step change improvement in the overall ecocomminution process efficiency offers a real potential of playing an important role in reducing the rate of current energy resource consumption and depletion, whilst new renewable energy resources are exploited and developed. This could be achieved through a renewed approach to comminution, through improved energy efficiency, improved mineral liberation, and through overall energy conservation. The study has the potential to reduce environmental impact by reduced water consumption and also by changing the properties (particle size) of the waste products produced in the mining and minerals processing industry, but these aspects are beyond the scope of this work. References DOE, 2001. Mining- Industry of the future. Office of industrial technologies (OIT), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, USA, doe/GO-102001-1157,(February 2001): 2. National Research Council, 1981. Committee on Comminution and Energy Consumption., United States. Bureau of Mines.,

Focusing on effective resource consumption, reduction of waste and eco-efficiency harnesses the business concept of creating value and links it to the environment. Conclusions & Future Direction Mines in the future may be required to produce products within a new framework of sustainable and eco-efficient development that include aspects of global energy and environmental restriction policies. These formidable changes and the ever increasing cost of energy (particularly if generated from non-renewable energy resources), global warming and climate change, will eventually force the mining industry to seek alternative sources of electrical energy coupled with greatly improved energy and eco-efficient comminution strategies Greater eco-efficiency can be realised in the reduced wear of mill liners and grinding media. Though the dollar cost of comminution is accounted for as a cost consumable in the process, it is rarely considered for its energy cost or the embodied energy of having to manufacture the steel in the first place. Eco-efficient and sustainable development initiatives are not always required to be linked to dollar cost savings. Rather the direct and indirect energy cost


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

A Simulation Methodology for Eco-Efficient Comminution Circuit Design

Zeljka Pokrajcic PhD Candidate, JKMRC, University of Queensland Introduction, Background and Objectives There has been much discussion about the energy intensive nature of comminution processes. It has been quoted several times that comminution processes account for 3%-4% of the global electrical energy consumption. However, the comminution process remains inherently inefficient. It is understood that 85% of the energy used comminution is dissipated as heat, 12% is attributed to mechanical losses and only 1% of the total energy input is used in size reduction of feed material (Alvarado et al. 1998). Another aspect of comminution which contributes significantly to the energy intensity of the process is the consumption of media and mill liners. The quantity of energy necessary for the fabrication of the media and/or liners from extraction, to transport, to manufacture and assembly is considered part of the total energy utilisation of the comminution process. This is also quite an energy intensive process and opportunities to minimise steel consumption in comminution circuits should be realised. Also, as world consumption of minerals is increasing and large reserves of high grade deposits are depleting, the need to mine and process low grade, finely disseminated ores at much higher throughputs and finer product sizes will continue. It is not unrealistic to consider a SAG mill of 15MW to 32MW followed by one ore two ball mills of 15MW each handling as much as 145,000 tonnes or ore per day. When power is at $0.07/kWh this does not seem such a difficult feat although if the price of energy increases the situation could change dramatically. This is the prospect facing all comminution design and operating engineers. Hence, there is an increasing need for more efficient grinding systems and innovative comminution technologies that not only increase the efficiency of the comminution process but also act to minimise the consumption of steel media and liners. This summary outlines the changes made to an actual comminution circuit with the aim of improving its eco-efficiency. The changes were made using simulation software, called JKSimMet. The aim of the eco-efficient modifications was to decrease both the amount of energy consumed in size reduction and as well as the amount of energy consumed in the manufacture of comminution consumables such as steel grinding media and mill liners. Methodology / Experimental Technique All of the modifications made to the configuration of the existing comminution circuit were undertaken using the modelling and simulation package JKSimMet. It is a valuable tool in predicting the performance of a comminution circuit, in terms of equipment power draw, product size distributions, classification efficiency, etc. The aim of the eco-efficient modifications was to: Reduce the direct energy usage. That is, decrease the grinding power used in the size reduction process. Reduce the indirect energy usage. That is, decrease the consumption of comminution consumables such as steel media and mill liners.

The strategy used to achieve these aims involves better utilisation of the comminution energy. This can be achieved by purposely targeting the comminution energy at specific problematic size fractions such as the critical size material in the primary mill and the very fine fraction in the secondary mill. Through the use of more efficient comminution devices such as HPGR (high pressure grinding rolls) and Tower Mill (fine grinding device) a product size distribution that is narrower in size range can be generated. This size distribution contains less material in the coarse fraction to aid overall mineral liberation and less material in the fine fraction to minimise the effects of slimes. The strategy also exploits opportunities to minimise load in grinding mills and in some cases employ autogenous grinding techniques to decrease indirect energy consumption.


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Key Results/Findings Eco-efficient modifications were made to the existing SABC (SAG mill with recycle crushing and a single stage ball mill) according to the following: A pre-crush stage using a HPGR was included to minimise the generation of critical size material in the SAG mill. The aim was to reduce a portion of the feed material below critical size and generate more fines to decrease the load in the SAG mill. Not all of the feed material was pre-crushed to allow for sufficient abrasion breakage in the SAG mill. A third stage of grinding, using a Tower Mill to treat the fine material from the ball mill was added. The Tower Mill is more efficient at size reduction of -300m material than the ball mill. Existing mill sizes were reduced

Throughput SAG Mill SAG Mill Load Scats Crusher HPGR Ball Mill Ball Mill Load Tower Mill Circuit F80 Circuit P80 TOTAL POWER tph kW % kW kW kW % kW mm mm

Current 689 6079 23.6 292

689 3051 25.4 1138



6832 30.2 63.8 0.143

4935 30 3137 63.8 0.124





(HPGR Power = 2.5kWh/t x 455tph, from HPGR lab data Tower Mill Power = 3.6kWh/t x 682tph, from CSIRO Tower Mill lab data)

Figure 2: Comparison of Direct Energy Usage for the original circuit and eco-efficient circuit A 5% power saving is considered significant by operators of mineral processing plants. Comparison of indirect energy consumption for the two circuits is shown in Figure 3.
Throughput Power to Gen Media SAG
Ball Load Diameter Length Media Consumption Liner Consumption Indirect Power tph kWh/kg steel % m m kg/t kg/t kW % m m kg/t kg/t kW kW

Current 689 6 9.5 9.6 4.3 0.23 0.11 1426 30 6.6 8.5 0.38 0.19 2356

SABC-HPGR-TM Difference
689 6 5.0 8.3 3.4 0.12 0.06 716 30 6.6 6.0 0.27 0.14 1702 -28% -36% -50%

This had the following effect on circuit performance and eco-efficiency of the circuit. The eco-efficient circuit produced a steeper product size distribution, see Figure 1.
100 90 80 70 Cum. % Passing 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0.001 SABC Base Case SABC-HPGR-TM at TPH

Ball Mill
Ball Load Diameter Length Media Consumption Liner Consumption Indirect Power Total Indirect Power



Figure 3: Comparison of Indirect Energy Usage for the original circuit and eco-efficient circuit A decrease of 36% in indirect energy consumption is shown for the eco-efficient circuit. Indirect energy consumption is defined in terms of steel media consumption as well as mill liner wear and replacement. Ball mill and SAG Mill steel media consumption were provided by the site. The ratio between media and liner consumption was assumed to be half to obtain the liner wear rate for the two mills. Media consumption was linearly adjusted according to the change in power draw for the mills in the two circuits. The grinding media used in the Tower Mill is typically either a ceramic or sand media and therefore will not contribute to the indirect energy comparisons for the purposes of this report.

0.010 Particle Size (m m )



Figure 1: Product size distributions for the original and eco-efficient comminution circuits

Direct energy comparisons shown in the Figure 2, indicates an eco-efficient circuit featuring the HGPR as a pre-crusher and a Tower Mill for fine grinding, at the same throughput rate, can offer about a 7% power saving on the current SABC circuit, while producing a finer product size and a narrower product size distribution.


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Highlights/Benefits When indirect and direct energy savings are added the results indicate that the eco-efficient circuit can decrease the total power consumption by about 2.3MW. This is a 14% reduction on the original SABC circuit.
kW kW kW

Acknowledgements This work could not have taken place without the assistance from site personnel during the survey and the undertaking of the post survey sample analysis. Thank you to the Newcrest comminution personnel at the Cadia Ridgeway Mine. References
Alvarado, S., Alguerno, J., Auracher, H., and Casali, A. (1998). "Energy-exergy optimization of comminution." Energy (Oxford), 23(2), 153-158. Hart, S., Griffin, P., Cesnik, F., Gordon, D., Clements, B., (2003) Design and commissioning of the Ridgeway concentrator. Eight Mill Operators Conference, pg 63-72 Jankovic, A., and Sinclair, S. (2006). "The shape of product size distributions in stirred mills." Minerals Engineering, 19(15), pg 1528-1536. JKMRC. (2003). "AMIRA P9M Project - Final Report Comminution." AMIRA International, Brisbane Morrell, S., Johnson, G., Revy, T., (1991). A comparison through observation and simulation of the power utilisation and performance of two dissimilar comminution plants. Fourth Mill Operators Conference, pg 157-160.

12260 2418 14678

Difference -7% -36% -14% -1365 -2307


13203 3783 16985

Figure 4: Comparison of Total Energy Usage for the original circuit and eco-efficient circuit. Conclusions & Future Direction Eco-efficient modifications to the original SABC circuit proved to have a favourable impact on ecoefficiency. Modifications included the addition of a HPGR as partial pre-crush to target critical size material generated in the SAG mill and a Tower Mill as a third grinding stage to target the finer material (100-300m) in the ball mill product. This produced a considerably steeper product size distribution with less fine material in the product. The grinding power (direct energy) was reduced by 7% and the indirect energy savings are also estimated at 36% mainly due to the reduction SAG Mill power draw. The overall total energy saving for the eco-efficient circuit was calculated at 2.3MW or 14%.


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

SESSION 6 Zero Waste and Minor Elements

W J Bruckard
Wednesday, 21 November 2007


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

The Treatment of Sulfide Tailings to Recover Useful By-Products as a Driver Towards Sustainable Waste Management
DA McCallum & WJ Bruckard CSIRO Minerals Introduction, Background and Objectives This work was conducted as part of the Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing foundation project Towards Zero Waste. The concept behind this project was that value recovery from semi-processed by-products would provide an economic incentive for further processing of the waste. With depth, many ores become sulfidic with minerals such as pyrite, pyrrhotite and arsenopyrite becoming prevalent. These minerals are generally not captured in mineral processing operations (and, in fact, are often actively rejected) and end up in the tailings. Acid mine drainage (AMD) can then become an issue. One approach to the control of AMD is desulfurisation whereby the sulfide minerals are removed prior to disposal. CSIRO Minerals has conducted preliminary research into desulfurisation of sulfide tailings to determine potential by-products that may give value towards the processing of these wastes. Methodology / Experimental Technique Four sulfide flotation tailings were chosen representing different ore types and different gold and base metal operations. These were: Copper tailing typical of magnetite-rich sulfide tailings. Nickel tailing similar to gold ores that have pyrite and pyrrhotite content. Copper-gold tailing typical of monzonite porphyry silicate/aluminosilicate-rich tailings. Silver-lead-zinc tailing typical of complex lead-zinc concentrator tailings.
Pre- Float concentrate Flotation (Type of float based on characterisation)

It is essential to have this data before deciding on processing techniques. In this laboratory study, four separate simple mineral processing options were examined: these were screening, gravity concentration, magnetic separation and flotation. These are represented schematically in Figure 1.
Heavies Lights

Gravity Concentration (on closely sized fractions)

Magnetic Separation (on closely sized fractions) Choice of Physical Separation method (based on characterisation data)



Fines Screening


Bulk Sulphide concentrate Bulk Oxide concentrate Tailings

Figure 1: Mineral processing techniques evaluated. The limitations of these tests were that they were preliminary one-off tests only with no further grinding and no optimisation of conditions. Key Results/Findings Simple screening is a useful method for concentrating silicates into coarse, low-sulfide sand fractions at reasonable recoveries. The sand products range in quality from pure quartz to a mix of quartz and aluminosilicates.

First step was to fully characterise the sulfide tailing by:

Chemical analysis Sizing analysis Mineral phase analysis

Mineral liberation analysis


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

For sulfides with finer size distributions, desliming was shown to be a useful technique for concentrating bulk sulfides. Gravity concentration generates high-silicate, lowsulfide products as well as bulk iron sulfide products rich in pyrite and pyrrhotite. Using magnetic separation, high-iron low-silicate magnetic fractions can be made rich in either magnetite or pyrrhotite, depending on the particular mineral suite in the tailings. High-grade silicate sand products which are low in sulfides can also be produced in non-magnetic fractions. Froth flotation is effective in separating sulfides from non-sulfides. Relative to fresh feed up to 79% of the sulfides can be recovered in lowvolume streams, leaving relatively benign flotation tailings fractions Highlights/Benefits A range of potential by-products were identified. These included (with some possible applications): Magnetite o intermediate in iron/steel making o dense media in coal processing o cement additive. Benign coarse sand o mine backfill o smelter flux o civil engineering applications. Benign aluminosilicate product o fluxing applications o geo-polymer feedstock. Concentrated bulk sulfide o feedstock for sulfuric acid or elemental sulfur production.

A multi-year AMIRA project is being established to set up a generic industrial ecology model that will encourage and promote sulfide tailings as a resource rather than as a waste. Acknowledgements Financial support from the Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing (CSRP), established under the Australian Governments Cooperative Research Centres Program, is acknowledged. The work was performed at the CSIRO Minerals node of the CSRP. The authors thank Mr Jason Donnelly, Ms Carmen Calle, and Mr Justen Bremmell for preparing samples, Ms Nicki Agron-Olshina for performing the XRD analysis, and the analytical group of CSIRO Minerals for conducting the bulk of the chemical analysis. Professor Steve Hall of the University of Ballarat is thanked for undertaking the gravity concentration test work, and Mr Bruce Fraser of AMIRA International is thanked for organising the supply of sulphide tailings samples and for useful discussions during project meetings. References
1. Cohen, B., 2004. Application of the Decision Support Framework to Waste Prioritisation in CSRP Project 4A1; 2004. University of Sydney, Limited Circulation Report. 2. DEH, 1997. Managing sulphidic wastes and acid drainage. Australian Government Department of Environment and Heritage (booklet) Case Study 2. 3. Lyman GJ, Johnson NW, Guerney PJ, 2000. Processing refinement to minimise AMD production. Proceedings of the Fourth Australian AMD Workshop (Australian Centre for Minerals Extension and Research). 4. Jahanshahi, S., Bruckard, W.J., and Somerville, M., In press. Towards zero waste and sustainable resource processing. Paper in preparation for Processing & Disposal of Mineral Industry Wastes 07. 5. Somerville, M., Bruckard, W.J., Hall, T., Jahanshahi, S., Quan, C., and Ford, M., 2006. Processing Opportunities for Selected Australian Metallurgical Waste and Residue Materials based on Characterisation Results Summary Report, CSIRO Minerals, Limited Circulation Report.

Conclusions & Future Direction A simple diagnostic separation methodology has been developed to assess sulfide tailings. The procedure involves detailed characterisation followed by sequential set of testing regimes based on simple mineral processing separation processes A range of possible by-products has been identified and the quality of these products will now be assessed.


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Arsenic Separation in Copper Circuits Using Flotation

W J Bruckard and K J Davey CSIRO Minerals, Bayview Avenue, Clayton, Victoria Introduction, Background and Objectives Processing of future copper ores is likely to involve dealing with more complex, finer-grained mineralisation containing increased levels of toxic/minor elements. In addition the penalties charged by smelters for minor elements in copper concentrates, such as arsenic, are increasing because the copper smelters are forced to manage the removal and disposal of the penalty elements, which is difficult and costly. If an economically viable early removal option for arsenic (and other penalty elements) can be developed the impact of the above considerations would be diminished. Elements such as arsenic could be removed and concentrated at the mine site/concentrator, stabilised, and put back into the ground in an environmentally safe way. In copper circuits, common arsenic minerals are enargite (Cu3AsS4), tennantite (3Cu2S.As2S3), tetrahedrite-freibergite ( (Ag,Cu,Fe)12(Sb,As)4S13 ) as well as arsenopyrite (FeAsS) and cobaltite (CoAsS). The separation of many arsenic-bearing minerals from valuable non-arsenic minerals can be difficult in conventional flotation circuits. Many are strongly floatable with the conventional thiol-type collectors used in sulphide flotation circuits and they can be hard to selectively depress with standard depressants (such as lime, cyanide, sulphide and permanganate), resulting in poor flotation selectivity. Recently CSIRO has made advances in the selective separation of arsenic-bearing minerals, from other valuable minerals by flotation. The most prospective approach involves the exploitation of pulp potential effects to promote separation. Fig. 1 shows the influence of pulp potential on chalcopyrite and enargite in single mineral flotation tests. This illustrates how controlling the pulp potential offers a means of separating enargite from chalcopyrite. The CSIRO controlled potential flotation separation techniques have recently been extended to include several arsenic-bearing minerals (Senior, Guy and Bruckard, 2006).

Figure 1: Mineral recovery as a function of pulp potential for enargite and chalcopyrite at pH 8 (Senior et al., 2006).

Where the arsenic-bearing minerals themselves contain copper it is unlikely to be economical to simply reject this material and the associated valuable copper component. The arsenic minerals could be separated by flotation to produce a low arsenic copper concentrate (suitable for direct feed to a smelter) and a high arsenic copper concentrate that is further treated by roasting to remove the arsenic. Then the arsenic rich residue could be stabilised and safely deposited back into the ground. The CSRP project Early Removal & Safe Disposal of Arsenic and Other Minor Elements was set up to investigate the technical feasibility of the approach outlined above. This paper reports on the results from the flotation phase of the CSRP project. Methodology / Experimental Technique The methodology/experimental technique was as follows: Select a copper ore sample with a relatively high arsenic level to increase the amount of material available for roasting test work. Characterize the copper mineralogy using XRD and MLA. Characterize the ore behaviour under conventional copper flotation conditions.


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Determine a suitable pulp potential to make a separation by flotation. Carry out laboratory batch floats to produce a high arsenic copper concentrate for the roasting phase of the project.

Key Results/Findings The copper ore sample selected for this work contained 1.25 %Cu and 1200 ppm As. XRD analysis indicated that the major copper minerals present were bornite (Cu5FeS4), chalcopyrite (CuFeS2) and tennantite ((Cu,Fe)12As4S13). Typical laboratory batch results using conventional copper flotation are given in Table 1.
Table 1: Typical laboratory flotation results for the copper ore sample using conventional flotation. Recovery (%) Stage Rougher Cleaner Recleaner Feed *NTCu is non-tennantite copper Cu 90.3 88.7 87.7

Typical results from the application of the CSIRO controlled potential technique are given in Table 2. The high arsenic concentrate assayed 3.3 %As, while the low arsenic copper concentrate was 0.76 %As. In previous work (Smith and Bruckard, 2007) it was possible to make a low arsenic copper concentrate containing only 0.26 %As but this could not be reproduced here possibly because of oxidation of the ore sample. The high arsenic concentrate product was considered acceptable for subsequent testing of the effect of roasting on arsenic removal.
Table 2: Typical laboratory flotation results for the copper ore sample using the controlled potential flotation technique. Recovery (%) Stage Cu 41.9 46.1 88.0 NTCu 30.0 56.2 86.2 As 81.5 12.4 93.9 HighAs Low-As
Comb Con

Grade (%) Cu 18.3 30.4 23.1 1.26 NTCu 10.0 28.5 17.4 0.97 As 3.30 0.76 2.29 0.12

Grade (%) As 92.2 91.4 90.7 Cu 11.8 20.5 22.8 1.25


As 1.1 2.0 2.2 0.12

89.7 88.0 86.9

9.2 16.0 17.7 0.98


Successive cleaning stages using conventional copper flotation conditions result in an increase in the arsenic content of the concentrate (up to 2.2 %As).

Conclusions & Future Direction The high arsenic copper concentrates produced were considered acceptable for roasting test work. Future work will involve the application of this separation to a range of ores containing various toxic elements. Acknowledgements This work was carried out under the auspice of the Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing, which is established and supported under the Australian Governments Cooperative Research Centres Program. The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Ms L Smith and Mr J Donnelly.

Figure 2: Liberation characteristics of the tennantite in a conventional laboratory cleaner concentrate.

1. G.D. Senior, P.J. Guy and W.J. Bruckard, The selective flotation of enargite from other copper minerals a single mineral study in relation to beneficiation of the Tampakan deposit in the Philippines. Int. J. Miner. Process. 81 (2006) 15-26 L.K. Smith and W.J Bruckard, The rejection of arsenic from Northparkes copper-gold ore using controlled-potential flotation. Int. J. Miner. Process. 84 (2007) 15-24

MLA results for arsenic-bearing minerals in the conventional rougher copper concentrate are shown in Fig. 2. Approximately 45% of the tennantite was contained in liberated particles (90100% class). Of the remaining tennantite approximately 30% was in mixed copper sulphides and 25% composite with non-sulphide minerals.



First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Selective Removal of Arsenic from a Copper Concentrate

F.R.A. Jorgensen, T.P. Hall and S. Sanetsis CSIRO Minerals, Bayview Ave., Clayton, Victoria Introduction, Background and Objectives The clean ores have been mined first and are now becoming depleted. The ore bodies of the future will contain increasing amounts of impurity and toxic elements such as arsenic. If arsenic is not removed early, then it will be potentially carried through to the final stages of processing and may be present at unacceptable levels in the final product. High levels of arsenic during processing may also pose environmental and safety problems. If the arsenic can be removed prior to smelting, preferably at the mine site, there may be fewer environmental problems in disposal of the arsenic in a safe manner and there would be less health concerns associated with downstream processing. Roasting has previously been used to remove arsenic from ores and concentrates. Elemental arsenic and its sulphides, chlorides and oxides are volatile at the temperatures associated with roasting and a number of different oxidising, reducing and chloridising treatments have been developed. Thus Holmstrom [1] summarised a large body of work pertaining to the roasting of gold ores and the treatment of gold, silver and copper ores by chloridising roasting. Cusik and Nadkarni [2] considered a range of non-oxidative roasts for the removal of arsenic from copper concentrates. Australian Patent No. 491430 [3] discloses a process which uses an atmosphere of sulphur to aid the volatilisation of arsenic. Multiple hearth roasters, rotary kilns and fluid beds can be used in the treatments. This paper reports progress made in the treatment of the high arsenic copper concentrate produced by differential flotation of an arsenic-containing copper concentrate. Methodology / Experimental Technique The methodology was as follows: Characterise the concentrate and identify the arsenic-containing mineral. Obtain a pure hand specimen of the arsenic mineral and experimentally determine its decomposition temperature. Investigate volatilisation treatments using chemical, XRD and SEM analysis to characterise the bed and fume products. Thermal analysis (40mg scale) was used to determine the decomposition temperature while related larger scale (10g) experiments in a tube furnace were used to produce material for phase identification.

There is a need to develop processes that remove arsenic to a concentration below the final product specification limits, and which will reduce the environmental and health concerns during processing. These processes should produce copper concentrates containing less than 2000 ppm arsenic to minimize problems in downstream processing. Concentrates containing higher levels of arsenic may be treated provided clean concentrates containing lower levels of arsenic are available for blending. An additional constraint is that the concentrate may be required to be treated in a flash smelter, the pre-treatment should not increase the particle size and should result in only a small loss of sulphur from the concentrate.
The CSRP project Early Removal & Safe Disposal of Arsenic and Other Minor Elements addresses the above problem as applied to a copper concentrate where the mineralogy of the ore allows separation by flotation into high and low arsenic streams. The high arsenic fraction requires further treatment to produce a material suitable for blending with the low arsenic fraction for sale.

The experimental techniques were:


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

The volatilisation treatments were investigated using a small (30g scale) vibrated fluid bed. The high arsenic copper concentrate contained 2.30%As, 1.51%Ca and 23.3%Cu. XRD analysis showed the major phases present were quartz (SiO2) and chalcopyrite (CuFeS2) with lesser amounts of bornite (Cu5FeS4), muscovite (KAl2(Si3Al)O10(OH,F)2), pyrite (FeS2), tennantite (Cu12As4S13), molybdenite (MoS2) and dolomite (CaMg(CO3)). It was not possible to obtain a hand specimen of tennantite, the arsenic containing mineral. However a specimen of enargite which decomposes into tennantite when heated was available. Thermal analysis, conducted under a nitrogen atmosphere, showed that tennantite decomposed into chalcocite (Cu2S) type phases, in the vicinity of 700C, according to Cu12As4S13 = 6Cu2S + As4S4(g) +1.5S2(g) (1) This mechanism is in accord with that proposed by Padilla, Fan and Wilkomirsky [4].

collected on a filter paper. Chemical analysis of the fume showed that it consisted of As2O5 and a small amount of entrained bed material. Conclusions & Future Direction Selective roasting has been shown to remove a high proportion of the arsenic from a copper concentrate containing tennantite. Future work will concentrate on optimising the role of additives and extending the work to other toxic elements such as Sb, Hg, Se and Te. Acknowledgements This work was carried out under the auspice of the Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing, which is established and supported under the Australian Governments Cooperative Research Centres Program. The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Analytical Services at Clayton Mrs Nicky Agron-Olshina who performed the XRD, and Dr Mathew Glen who carried out the SEM analysis.
A. Holmstrom, Removal of Antimony, Arsenic and Bismuth from Copper, Silver and Gold Rich Concentrates (Dissertation, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden, 1988). C. L. Cusik and R.M. Nadkarni, Pyrometallurgical Removal of Arsenic from Copper Concentrates, Arsenic Metallurgy Fundamentals and Application, Eds. R.G. Reddy, J.L. Hendrix, and P.B. Queneau ( Warrendale, PA: TMS-AIME, 1988), 337-50. S.A. I. Makipirtti and V.M. Polvi, Australian Patent No. 491430, 1975. R. Padilla, Y. Fan and I Wilkomirsky, Decomposition of Enargite in Nitrogen Atmosphere, Can. Met Qt., 40, 3, 335-342, 2001. F.R.A. Jorgensen, G.W. Jensen and S. Sanetsis, Arsenic Removal from a Nickel Concentrate, in R.G. Reddy and V. Ramachandran (Eds.), Arsenic Metallurgy (TMS Warrendale, Pen., USA,) 171181, 2005.

Key Results/Findings


Experiments in the vibrated bed at 700C showed that it was possible to volatilise 60% of the arsenic from the copper concentrate. Increasing the temperature to 800C marginally increased the volatilisation to 65%. SEM examination showed that the residual arsenic was held in the bed as calcium arsenate, the calcia resulting from the decomposition of the dolomite originally present in the concentrate. Additions of pyrite and calcium chloride (in an air atmosphere) [5] increased the volatilisation of arsenic to 75 and 90% respectively. Under the chosen conditions more than two thirds of the sulphur remained in the calcines and there was no evidence of agglomeration. In the vibrated bed experiments the volatiles were burnt above the bed and the fume


3. 4.



First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Arsenic Remediation Using Geopolymers

D.R.M. Brew, E.R. Vance ANSTO, New Illawara Rd, Menai, NSW, 2234 Introduction, Background and Objectives Arsenic is a carcinogenic substance. Its presence in the biosphere is primarily through metal ore mining although it had limited commercial use between the 19th and 20th centuries [1,2]. Arsenic occurs in soil, surface and subsurface waters as As(III) or As(V) depending on the local redox conditions [3]. The adverse effects of arsenic on humans, flora and fauna have been well documented [4-8]. Therefore environmental remediation of arsenic is critical and has been the subject of numerous investigations involving cement-based wasteforms [9-12]. In the current work, arsenic has been incorporated into wasteforms using a geopolymer synthesis technique that is compared with more traditional cement-based wasteforms. The objectives are three-fold: To synthesise and characterise wasteforms loaded with up to 40% by mass of arsenic (III) oxide To leach selected wasteforms according to a standard protocol and determine the relative leaching characteristics of each. To determine what effect wasteform vitrification has on leaching and arsenic retention. arsenates. These were then encapsulated within a geopolymer matrix. Characterisation was performed by powder X-ray Diffraction (XRD), cold compressive strength (CCS) measurements, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with an energy dispersive analytical tool and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF). TCLP tests were conducted according to a standard procedure. Key Results/Findings In the traditional cement-based wasteforms, the arsenic existed as calcium arsenite by XRD and unreacted As2O3. The compressive strengths of the traditional cement-based wasteforms decreased when arsenic was loaded as the oxide. The SEM data from the Marine cement wasteform showed that the arsenic was associated with an iron phase likely present in the slag. The TCLP tests showed significant arsenic was leached out. The geopolymer-based wasteforms gave good strengths but performed much better in the TCLP tests. XRD showed that sodium arsenate is incorporated into the structure but some As2O3 persists. Arsenic precipitated as arsenates of iron, copper, magnesium and aluminium. Each could be incorporated within a geopolymer wasteform. Thermal treatment resulted in vitrification of the geopolymer wasteforms. These arsenic-containing wasteforms offered superior performance in the TCLP tests over more traditional and non-vitrified wasteforms.

Methodology / Experimental Technique In each case, wasteforms were prepared and loaded with up to 40% As2O3 by mass and subjected to a TCLP standard leaching protocol. Arsenic was loaded either as sodium arsenate solution, solid arsenic(III) oxide or a mixture of both. Sodium arsenate solution was made by dissolving As2O3 in NaOH(aq). The first wasteform was Marine cement - a blend of Ordinary Portland cement (Berrima) and a Blast Furnace Slag with a water/cement ratio of 0.6. The second wasteform consisted of metakaolin and sodium silicate solution to give a product known as a geopolymer. In the third wasteform, sodium arsenate was reacted with Cu(NO3)23H2O(aq), Mg(NO3)26H2O(aq), Al(NO3)3.9H2O(aq) and Fe(NO3)29H2O(aq) to precipitate less soluble metal

Conclusions & Future Direction The safe remediation of arsenic is facilitated by incorporating it within a geopolymer and vitrifying the microstructure. Investigations will also continue with other toxic metals such as selenium, antimony and mercury.


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Acknowledgements This work was carried out under the auspice of the Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing, which is established and supported under the Australian Governments Cooperative Research Centres Program. We thank K. Olufsen for leachate analysis, P.Gadd for XRF analysis and F. Jorgensen, CSIRO, for thermal treatments. References
1. Soner Altundoan, S Altundoan, F Tmen, M Bildik, Arsenic removal from aqueous solutions by adsorption on red mud., Waste Management 20 (2000) 761-767 J T v Elteren, Z lejkovec, I Aron, H-J Glass, An interdisciplinary physical-chemical approach for characterization of arsenic in a calciner residue dump in Cornwall (UK)., Environmental Pollution 139 (2006) 477-488 Vithanage, W Senevirathna, R Chandrajith, R Weerasooriya, Arsenic binding mechanisms on natural red earth: A potential substrate for pollution control, Science of the Total Environment 379 (2007) 244-248 Bhattacharya, A H Welch, K G Stollenwerk, M J McLaughlin, J Bundschuh, G Panaullah, Arsenic in the environment: Biology and Chemistry, Science of the Total Environment 379 (2007) 109120




W Zhang, P Singh, E Pauling, S Delides, Arsenic removal from contaminated water by natural iron ores, Minerals Engineering 17 (2004) 517-524 6. E Voight, S L Brantley, R J-C Hennet, Chemical fixation of arsenic in contaminated soils, Applied Geochemistry, Vol. 111, pp.633-643, 1996 7. Mihajlovic, N Strbac, Z Zivkovic, R Kovacevic, M Stehernik, A potential method for arsenic removal from copper concentrates, Minerals Engineering 20 (2007) 26-33 8. Matera, I Le Hcho, A Laboudigue, P Thomas, S Tellier, M Astruc, A methodological approach for the identification of arsenic bearing phases in polluted soils, Environmental Pollution 126 (2003) 51-64 9. Dutr, C Vandecasteele, S Opdenakker, Oxidation of arsenic bearing fly ash as pretreatment before solidification, Journal of Hazardous Materials B68 (1999) 205-215 10. F Sanchez, C Gervais, A C Garrabrants, R Barna, D S Kosson, Leaching of inorganic contaminants from cement-based waste materials as a result of carbonation during intermittent wetting, Waste Management 22 (2002) 249-260 11. Carter, E R Vance, L P Aldridge, M Zaw G Khoe, Immobilisation of arsenic trioxide in cementitious materials, 6th AusIMM Extractive Metallurgy Conference July, pp 275-280 1994 12. Khoe, M Carter, M Emett, E R Vance, M Zaw, The stability and immobilisation of iron arsenate compounds, 6th AusIMM Extractive Metallurgy Conference July, pp 281-286 1994



First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

SESSION 7 GeoPolymers Program

A van Riessen
Thursday, 22 November 2007


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Geopolymers Current and Future Prospects

Arie van Riessen Program Leader, Geopolymer Program, CSRP & Curtin University Introduction Initially CSRP funded Geopolymer research for just three years. A concerted effort by a dedicated and committed group resulted in most of the milestones being met. In addition, industry started to engage and generate new projects. These positive outcomes have consolidated the program and extended its funding for the remainder of the CSRP. The founding partners in the Geopolymer Program were Curtin, ANSTO, Rocla and TAFE. During the first three years Orica (Xstrata) and Alcoa joined with specific projects and TAFE retired. CSIRO (Materials Science and Engineering) has also joined the program. The current program team has considerable breadth and depth of knowledge in the field of Geopolymers. The Geopolymer group has published 16 refereed journal papers and 73 conference papers. A number of the conference presentations were invited papers. The extensive number of publications was achieved in an environment where much of the work is considered confidential and thus not publishable. Geopolymers For those who are not familiar with geopolymers I will present a brief overview so that the following details are placed in context. Geopolymers can be made by alkali activation of aluminosilicates to form a solid amorphous paste. The aluminosilicate can be clay, fly ash, slag or other dissolvable aluminosilicate compounds. The alkali is typically NaOH or KOH and frequently Na2SiO4 is added to provide an optimum Si:Al ratio. The empirical formula is: Mn [(-SiO2)z-AlO2]nwH2O where Mn is a cation, usually an alkali (Na, K, Ca), n is a degree of polycondensation, w 3 and z is 1, 2 or 3. The alkali dissolves the Si and Al in the aluminosilicate which then polycondenses to form an inorganic polymer (Fig. 1). Overnight curing at <100oC sets the polymer.

Figure 1. Schematic of proposed 3D network of inorganic polymer or Geopolymer. After Barbosa et al 2000. The rigid inorganic polymer, or geopolymer, can be tailored to exhibit a range of properties. Some of the generic properties exhibited by geopolymers include: durability sulphate and acid resistant; fire resistance; ability to bind toxic and radioactive waste. These properties plus impressive physical and mechanical properties make geopolymers ideal as a replacement for ordinary Portland cement (OPC). The properties of geopolymers alone make for a strong argument to use these materials in situations where traditional cement and concrete is used. However, when you consider that waste material or by-products are used the argument is even more compelling. Furthermore, for every tonne of cement replaced there is a saving of approximately 1 tonne of CO2 (Table 1) With this range of benefits why wouldnt geopolymer (GP) be used as a replacement for OPC? Table 1 OPC: 5 8% of world CO2 output In Australia ~1 tonne CO2 per tonne OPC Largest output after fossil fuels


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

CSRP Geopolymers Future The direction of the Geopolymer Program has been clearly mapped with the aim of having several demonstration products available over the next three years (Table 2). Science projects will be structured to underpin the demonstration projects. The number of science projects is too extensive to include in this abstract so a condensed version has been included in Table 3. In addition, a Geopolymer Alliance will be created to promote Geopolymer science and products and leave a legacy beyond CSRP. The objectives of the Geopolymer Alliance are listed in Table 4. Table 2. Proposed GP Demonstration Products Product Organisation Sewer pipes Rocla/CSRP Mine backfill Orica/Xstrata/Curtin Bauxite residue Alcoa/Curtin Readymix Rocla/Curtin/CSIRO High performance GP Rocla/CSIRO eg Railway sleepers Encapsulation of ANSTO radioactive/toxic material Fire resistant GP CSIRO/Curtin/Monash Table 3. Research Themes Raw materials This work aims to identify the reactive components of precursor by-products to be used for production of GP. All other components of GP cement and concrete, such as sand and coarse aggregate is included here Processing This work aims to determine details of the geopolymerisation process and to use this knowledge to tailor GPs for specific applications. This research involves detailed analysis of the micro and nanostructure. Performance The objective of this research theme is to thoroughly characterise, and develop an understanding, of factors influencing the: durability, wear and strength of GP.

Table 4. Objectives of the Geopolymer Alliance To provide a focal point for technical and commercial enquiries, scientific discussion, promotional activities and training To establish a network of participants in the field of geopolymers To act as a technology broker bringing together;waste generators and product manufacturers researchers and industry manufacturers and infrastructure designers and owners inventors and commercialisation companies To act as a facilitator between;waste generators, manufacturers, regulator authorities, consulting engineers, architects, construction companies and structure owners To help with co-operative research planning and funding across a range of research and industry providers, or as stand alone proposals. To lead in the formation of Codes of Practice, Standards, State-of-the-art publications and training courses To provide and facilitate training through workshops, conferences, tertiary curricula and industry training courses Summary More and more queries are being directed to the CSRP regarding the use of Geopolymers or the potential use of by-products to manufacture Geopolymers. This is indicative of a greater awareness of Geopolymers and when added to the higher level of activity of Geopolymer research bodes well for this relative new product. At present it is difficult to make significant inroads into the OPC dominated market place as there is insufficient evidence available of long term durability of GP. Also fledgling operations find that cost of alkali and obtaining by-products with uniform characteristics makes it difficult to produce cost competitive products. Rigorous cost benefit analysis and LCA is essential to confidently promote utilisation of GPs. The prospect of a carbon tax will significantly enhance the prospects of market uptake of GP products. For society to adopt new products and ideas there needs to be a need or incentive. Incentive can be provided by Government by introduction of regulations enforcing the use of by-products in favour of raw products. This is occurring overseas and it is only a matter of time before Australia moves down the same (geopolymer!) path.


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Acknowledgements The Geopolymer team, CSRP, ANSTO, Rocla, Alcoa, Orica, Xstrata (Mt Isa Mines) and TAFE

Barbosa et al, Int J Inorg Mat, 2000, 2(4), 309.


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Geopolymers in Mine Fills

Daniel C Southam and Kate Wright Nanochemistry Research Institute, Department of Applied Chemistry, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia Geoff F Brent Orica Mining Services, Kurri Kurri, New South Wales Chris Carr and Florencio Felipe Strategic Mine Development, Xstrata Copper Mount Isa Mines, Mount Isa, Queensland The significant potential contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the use of geopolymer-based mine backfill across the industry is noted. Conversion of a single mine, such as the Mount Isa Copper Operations, would match the reductions due to the total installed photovoltaic electricity generation capacity of Australia. Background Geopolymers are amorphous inorganic materials formed by the polymerisation of aluminosilicate precursors in an alkali medium. They are a potential replacement for ordinary Portland cement in most applications, where they offer high strength and durability with significant environmental advantages. Geopolymer synthesis occurs via the alkali-induced hydrothermal polycondensation of largely amorphous aluminosilicate components. The exothermic reaction between the amorphous component of the precursor and an alkaline solution results in ions passing into solution and polycondensation leading to gelation of a poorly ordered array of aluminate and silicate tetrahedra charge balanced by alkali cations. The empirical formula is Mn[(SiO2)z-AlO2]nwH2O (where: Mn is a cation, usually an alkali, n is a degree of polycondensation, w 3 and z is 1, 2 or 3) 1. Geopolymers may offer significant sustainability advantages when used as a replacement for ordinary Portland cement (OPC) products in mining applications. The process of manufacturing OPC releases large amounts of carbon dioxide such that the production of cement is the second largest contributor to industrial greenhouse gas emissions, only after the combustion of fossil fuels. The production of 1 tonne of OPC, made from the calcination of

Abstract In underground operations the mined open stopes are usually back-filled to stabilise surrounding workings. This fill may consist of tailings from the processing plant, usually mixed in slurry with a binder such as ordinary Portland cement (OPC). Extensive use is made of tailings in OPC-based paste fill, cemented hydraulic fill or cemented aggregate fill applications. A large underground operation such as the Mount Isa Copper Operations utilises over 3 million tonnes of backfill per annum. Geopolymers offer an alternative binder system with significant environmental advantages over OPC. Geopolymers are formed by polymerisation of aluminosilicate precursors in an alkali medium. They generally form products with superior strength characteristics as well as increased resistance to degradation, particularly under acidic conditions. Geopolymers have lower carbon dioxide emissions associated with their manufacture than OPC and offer further potential advantages such as the use of less water and more waste materials. The application of geopolymers to weak material systems such as mine backfill has not been widely studied. The aims of this investigation were to assess a range of Australian mine process wastes for suitability as geopolymer feedstocks in fill applications and to construct a range of these cemented mine fills. The physicochemical characteristics of each of the wastes are discussed as well as how they ultimately contribute to the geopolymer cement through direct replacement of OPC. Results from various tests on the candidate geopolymer fill formulations are presented and the potential of such fill formulations to replace OPC in mine backfilling operations is highlighted.


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

limestone, directly generates 0.55 tonnes of CO2. An additional 0.4 0.5 tonnes of CO2 is generated by the combustion of fossil fuels for the calcination and to supply energy for grinding and other plant processes 1-3. The development of geopolymers as cement-like materials provides opportunities for energy saving and a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions 2-6. In mining operations the removal of large amounts of ore may destabilise the surrounding underground workings still in progress raising the risk of ore loss. To alleviate this concern the concentrator tailings can be returned to the mine as a backfill. Generally this backfill consists of tailings from the mine slurried with a binder, such as OPC, which is then pumped back into the mine to restabilise old workings or fill the mine. The minimum strength requirements of the fill are relatively low, generally of the order of 0.8-1 MPa. Where the mineralogy of the waste is suitable, it is proposed that geopolymer may replace the OPC as the binder in these backfills. Many industrial wastes contain aluminosilicate materials that may be exploited for production of geopolymers, reducing overall emissions and offering the potential of adding value. Some mine wastes have an amorphous or alkali-soluble aluminosilicate component 7 that can significantly improve the backfill physical characteristics by contributing an aluminosilicate source for the polymerisation reaction and thereby reduce the need for additional aluminosilicate feedstock. This in turn would reduce costs and processing in production of geopolymer-based backfills. Other wastes, such as fly ash, can be used as an inexpensive aluminosilicate feedstock, where such an amorphous component is lacking in the mine waste. In this case inactive components of the mine waste will fulfil the role of aggregate within the geopolymer network 8. The aims of this investigation were to characterise a suite of mine and mineral process wastes from various sites around Australia and to assess their ability to form geopolymer-based low-strength materials suitable for mine backfill operations. Then, using the wastes available to Mount Isa specifically, we aim to develop a suite of suitable OPC replacement candidates for use in existing fill systems. The physicochemical properties of each waste are discussed and their potential for use as geopolymer feedstocks is highlighted.

Using an example of geopolymer fill, some sustainability metrics are illustrated and compared to the conventional OPC system on site. Key Findings From this investigation it was apparent that geopolymers at low concentrations in a slurry and subsequently cured at elevated temperature provided sufficient compressive strength for mine paste backfill operations using a wide variety of samples. For samples that contribute to the alkalisoluble aluminosilicate required for the geopolymer reaction a maximum compressive strength of ~ 5 MPa was obtained for a mixture consisting of approximately 95 % waste and 5 % binder on a dry weight basis. For samples that do not contribute to the alkali-soluble aluminosilicate required for the geopolymer reaction compressive strengths of ~ 1 1.3 MPa were obtained for mixtures consisting of 89 % waste and 11% binder on a dry weight basis. Thus the mixtures are good candidates for use as mine backfill materials. Chemical characterisation of the samples showed that XRD, XRF and alkali-soluble aluminosilicate determination were all essential in assessing the suitability and role of a mine waste for use in fill with geopolymer as the binder. In many wastes, particularly those that had been heat-treated and rapidly cooled, an amorphous component were identified in the qualitative XRD analysis. The quantitative characterisation of this phase and its impact on or contribution to the polymerisation process would give a better indication of its role in the polymerisation process. Characterisation and quantification of this phase is thus essential to determining the potential strength of backfill made from any particular mine waste material. Conversely, if a mine waste cannot be used as a feedstock, the effect of different imported aluminosilicate sources on the fill characteristics must be undertaken along with cost-benefit analyses From this work the following specific areas were identified for further investigation in developing effective geopolymer backfills for Mount Isa Mines. Slags available to Mount Isa were considered to be suitable for further examination, and binders produced from the former three slags were found to have an unconfined compressive strength of up to 43 MPa at 21 days with moderate


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

to negligible decrease in strength with decrease in sodium hydroxide concentration. Using slags as the binder, tailings-based cemented fills were constructed and found to meet strength requirements of 1 2 MPa at the 9wt% binder materials in the fill. Preliminary indications are that the replacement of OPC by geopolymer-based mine backfill systems could result in overall reductions in both energy usage and GHG emissions of the order of up to 25 % and 25 60 % respectively. The large ranges are due to differences in the production methods of sodium hydroxide and the methods of allocating impacts between co-products, as well as possible geopolymer formulation ranges. It is important to note that these changes are not insignificant. For example, a current geopolymer fill formulation that achieves a 30% reduction in GHG emissions applied to a 3 Mt p.a. backfill operation (eg the Mount Isa Copper Operations) equates to an annual reduction of the order of 100 kt CO2. This is of similar magnitude to the total greenhouse gas emissions saved by the installed photovoltaic capacity of Australia 9. The conversion of four similar-sized mines (12 Mt p.a. of equivalent backfill) to geopolymer-based backfill would produce a saving in greenhouse gas emissions matching that of the proposed largest solar electricity generation plant in the world (at 154 MW, saving 400 kt CO2 p.a.) to be built in Victoria at a cost in excess of A$420 M 10. There are also changes in materials usage, with the replacement of the manufactured product OPC by a waste material, albeit an imported waste in this case. Acknowledgements The assistance of Drs Glen Corder and Benjamin McLellan, from the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland, in estimating some sustainability metrics for target geopolymer-based fills versus existing systems is acknowledged. Geopolymers in Mine Fill (Project 4B2) is a project of the Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing (CSRP), which is supported by the Australian Governments Cooperative Research Centres Program. The CSRP involves partners from industry, universities and government. This collaborative research project is part of an overall

aim of the CSRP to develop the necessary chemical and structural understanding of geopolymer materials made from waste products for use in replacing conventional cements and concretes. References 1. J. Davidovits, Journal of Thermal Analysis 1991, 37, 1633. 2. J. Davidovits, World Resource Review 1994, 6, (2), 263. 3. J. Davidovits in: Properties of geopolymer cements, First International Conference on Alkaline Cements and Concretes, Kiev, Ukraine, 1994; Kiev, Ukraine, 1994; pp 131149. 4. F. P. Glasser, in: Insight into speciality inorganic chemicals, D. Thomson, (Ed.) The Royal Society of Chemistry: 1995; pp 369389. 5. W. Jiang. Alkali Activated Cementitious Materials: Mechanism, Microstructure and Properties. Doctor of Philosophy, The Pennsylvania State University, 1997. 6. J. Davidovits, Concrete International 1987, 9, 23-35. 7. J. G. S. van Jaarsveld; G. C. Lukey; J. S. J. van Deventer; A. Graham in: The stabilisation of mine tailings by reactive geopolymerisation, MINPREX 2000, Melbourne, Victoria, 11 - 13 September, 2000; Melbourne, Victoria, 2000; pp 363-371. 8. A. Palomo; M. W. Grutzeck; M. T. Blanco, Cement and Concrete Research 1999, 29, (8), 1323-1329. 9. H. Saddler; M. Diesendorf; R. Denniss, A Clean Energy Future for Australia. WWF Australia: 2004. 10. Solar Systems 154 MW Victorian Project Fact Sheet Environmental Benefits. orianProject.html (7 May 2007),


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Geopolymer Sewer Pipe J T Gourley and G B Johnson Rocla Pipeline Products Introduction and Background Corrosion Mechanisms in Sewer Systems Anaerobic bacterial colonies form in the slime beneath slowly moving sewer effluent. The Desulphovibrio Desulphuricans bacteria convert the sulphur and sulphates in the effluent to hydrogen sulphide. Some of this hydrogen sulphide is released into the air space above the effluent as gaseous hydrogen sulphide. Colonies of the aerobic bacteria Thiobacillus Concretivorus form on the above-water surfaces of the sewer system (pipes, manholes, treatment works). They convert the hydrogen sulphide dissolved in the film of water condensed on these surfaces, to sulphuric acid. The solution of sulphuric acid so formed can be highly concentrated ( typically 10% concentration or greater), but the amount formed each day is limited and dependent upon the level of bacterial activity. This concentrated sulphuric acid solution reacts with an equivalent amount of the alkaline Portland Cement concrete substrate, so eating away the concrete surface, from the surface inwards. The mechanisms and the parameters that determine the rate of attack on concrete are described fully in references 1 and 2. Ref 3 summarizes these mechanisms and describes methods of slowing the corrosion rate to allow the achievement of acceptable service lives for concrete sewer components. This model for sewer corrosion relies on a fairly accurate knowledge of a large number of sewer parameters. If the parameters can be well defined then the model predictions are accurate and a system can be accurately designed to suit any required service life in the range 10 to 100 years. However, some poorly designed sewers in tropical climates can produce environments where the corrosion rate is so rapid that design lives of conventional concrete components are measured in months rather than years. In addition the input parameters often change with time; for example;

effluent loads increase as the population density increases, bacterial activity increases with increases in mean ambient temperature, effluent composition changes as the volume and nature of industrial waste discharges change in any one locality,

often making accurate prediction of service life difficult. Geopolymer Concrete; The solution. Geopolymer (GP) concrete is unlike hydrated Portland Cement concrete in that the binding medium is almost totally acid resistant. In addition it does not suffer the corrosion problems experienced by Portland cement concrete when exposed to neutral or acid sulphate soil environments. The GP concrete consists of the normal aggregate skeleton, graded from coarse stone particles down to very fine sand particle. However the hydrated Portland cement paste binder is replaced with an inorganic polymer binder. Such concrete can be used, with modified manufacturing processes, to make concrete pipes on conventional pipemaking equipment. Methodology / Experimental Results Unreinforced sewer pipe have been made on laboratory prototype equipment and on existing factory equipment in Roclas factories (see Fig 1). When tested to the relevant Australian Standards for concrete pipe (AS 4058), such pipe pass all structural requirements for strength and the ability to withstand internal and external hydrostatic pressures. When immersed in sulphuric acid (10% solution to Rocla procedures, and pH =1 to Mississippi State University procedures) such pipe specimens show almost total resistance to acid (see Fig 2). When exposed in aggressive live sewer environments (SA Water test chamber and Penrith Water test chamber), geopolymer sewer pipe show


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

negligible corrosion after 18 months exposure. During this time the above-water, exposed sections of a control standard OPC concrete sewer pipe were almost totally destroyed. The physical properties of many materials degrade with time when exposed to typical aqueous environments and when simultaneously subjected to a sustained load. ASTM D6783-05 describes a test for measuring the rate of degradation of polymer concrete when simultaneously exposed to a typical sewer chemical environment and various proportions of the pipes ultimate load strength. When subjected to this chemical resistance testing regime, geopolymer sewer pipe have shown no signs of time dependent strength degradation after more than 7000 hours exposure. Tests are continuing but extrapolation indicates the geopolymer pipes will easily pass the requirements of this test.

RESISTANCE to 10% Sulphuric Acid Mix GJ 9/98

100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 20 40 60 80 100 IMMERSION PERIOD (days) % Mass Loss: GPC % Mass Loss: OPCC

Figure 2: Mass losses of geopolymer concrete (GPC) and Portland cement concrete (OPCC) after cyclic immersion in 10% sulphuric acid. Conclusions & Future Direction Geopolymer concrete has shown to be an ideal material for the manufacture of sewer system components. Rocla are establishing a pilot plant for the manufacture of such products with a view to proceeding to commercial production. A trial pipeline will be constructed and monitored jointly by Rocla and the Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing, as part of the CSRPs Demonstration Program Acknowledgements Rocla has been a foundation participant in the Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing, which is established and supported under the Australian Governments Cooperative Research Centres Program. South Australia Water has provided access to their sewer test chambers for product testing and helped with experimental procedures and analysis. References
1. 2. Thistlethwayte, D.K.B., The Control of Sulphides in Sewerage Systems., Butterworths, 1972. Technology Standing Committee on Hydrogen Sulphide Corrosion, Hydrogen Sulphide Corrosion Manual, Volumes 1 and 2., Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works, 1989. Gourley, J.T., Sewer Pipeline Degradation., Proceedings of PIPES WAGGA WAGGA 93, Australian Water and Wastewater Association, Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia, May 1993.

Figure 1: Cored GP concrete sewer pipe.



First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Development of Geopolymer Materials at ANSTO

P. A. Walls, E. R. Vance and D. S. Perera Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Institute of Materials Engineering, Menai 2234 NSW Introduction, Background and Objectives ANSTOs interest in geopolymer materials stems from our involvement in the immobilisation of low and intermediate radioactive waste streams. Some of the basic science aspects of this endeavour parallel aims of the CSRP geopolymer project in understanding how geopolymers form and how their properties are affected by impurity elements. In the past 5 years ANSTO has been actively involved in developing the following areas of geopolymer processing and characterisation; Synthesis of geopolymers from various precursor materials, including metakaolin, sodium silicate and aluminate solutions, as well as various flyashes. Aqueous dissolution. How impuritiy ions affect the properties. Determination of suitable curing regimes. Immobilisation of low and intermediate level nuclear waste stream in geopolymer matrices. Effect of the nanostructure of geopolymer materials on their physical and chemical properties. geopolymers to be undertaken. Macro-pore free material has been successfully produced. Setting and curing processes were studied using ultrasound propagation and AC impedance spectroscopy. These have been used to gain an insight into the effect of various anion and cation impurities on the setting and curing characteristics of model geopolymer systems. The dehydration and sintering of geopolymers has been studied by Differential Thermal and Thermogravimetric Analysis (DT/TGA) and ANSTOs unique laser dilatometry facility. It is essential to determine the aqueous durability of geopolymers, especially where hazardous, toxic and/or radioactive species are present in the precursor materials. ANSTO uses two corrosion tests known as the PCT (Product Consistency Test) and ANS 16.1 Measurement of the Leachability of Solidified Low-Level Radioactive Wastes by a Short-Term Test Procedure to monitor aqueous durability of radioactive samples which are candidates for disposal, as well as the TCLP test for hazardous/toxic waste immobilisation., where the leachate is analysed by ICP-Mass Spectroscopy. Structural studies include; NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) to determine physical, chemical, electronic and structural information; XANES (X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure) provides information on the coordination of specific ions; FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared) spectroscopy to look at the role of water and organic species, and TEM and SEM to visually image the physical structure. Positron Annihilation Spectroscopy (PALS) has been used to investigate nano-porosity. Key Results/Findings Aqueous dissolution. Immersion in DIW produces pH ~11 in a few tens of minutes. Alkalis are the species most readily released from the geopolymer. In solutions with large volume /surface area at ambient temperatures, derived

Methodology / Experimental Technique ANSTO has approached its R&D into geopolymer materials from a viewpoint of trying to understand what compositional and processing factors affect final performance of the material, the main aspects being durability in corrosive environments and physical strength. ANSTO has used a suite of analytical techniques to characterise aspects of processing, determination of structure (ranging from the nano to micro-scale), and evaluation of as-cured and thermally treated properties. To obtain reproducible processing conditions for the vast range of compositions that have been explored, two types of bench-top high-shear rate mixers have been utilised, a vacuum dental mixer and The Thinky high speed paddle-free rotational mixer. The latter has allowed experimentation into low water content


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

alkali leach rates are in tens of g/m2/day (leach rates of tens of microns/day) for the first few days, but they decrease with leaching time. Release of pore water is a very significant contributor to ionic release, but framework leaching also takes place. Both metakaolin and flyash based geopolymers can pass ANS16.1 for LLW, and can pass PCT for deep disposal if few anions are present. Impurity cations which form insoluble hydroxides eg. Mg(OH)2 have little effect on the curing kinetics or physical properties, but slightly soluble hydroxides, e.g. Ca(OH)2 can greatly accelerate setting processes. Anions reside in the pore water forming alkali salt solutions and strongly affect setting kinetics, physical properties and leaching behaviour. The nanostructure of geopolymers. Positron annihilation lifetime spectra (PALS) and BET surface area analysis have confirmed the presence of extensive micro and nano-porosity (0.5nm), but it remains to demonstrate control of such porosity to see how physical properties are affected. Highlights/Benefits Simulated alkaline waste resembling that from the proposed Mo-99 production in OPAL, (ANSTOs new replacement reactor) was incorporated in geopolymers1. On testing the geopolymers according to the ANSI/ANS16.1, they easily passed the test. Cs and Sr are two of the most difficult radionuclides to immobilise and thus we studied their aqueous leaching according to PCT-B test protocol by incorporating 5 wt% of each element added as hydroxide or nitrate to geopolymers2. They had normalised solution releases of < 1.3 g/L compared to a value of 13 g/L for Na to pass the test. NMR and TEM studies indicated most of the Cs was bound to the structure rather than being exclusively in pore water3.

have been developed to look at real life flyash containing systems. Exploration of the effect of various impurity anions and cations on physicochemical properties and processing parameters are high on the list of tasks. The thermal properties of as-cast and thermally treated geopolymer products will also be investigated. The thermal conductivity, heat capacity, thermal expansion and strength / modulus characteristics will be determined to assess viability of value-adding through secondary thermal processing. Acknowledgements This work was partly carried out under the auspices of the Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing, which is established and supported under the Australian Governments Cooperative Research Centres Program. We would also like to thank the team of scientists, post docs, students and technicians at ANSTO that have been involved in this project. References 1. D S Perera, E R Vance, S Kiyama, Z Aly and P Yee, Geopolymers as candidates for the immobilisation of low- and intermediate-level waste, Scientific Basis for Nuclear Waste (Ed, D S Dunn, C Poinssotand B D Begg), Materials Research Society, (2007) pp361-6. 2. D S Perera, E R Vance, Z Aly, J Davis and C L Nicholson, Immobilization of Cs and Sr in geopolymers with Si/Al ~ 2, Environmental Issues and Waste Management technologies in the Ceramic and Nuclear Industries XI (ed. C C Herman, S Marra, D Spearing, L. Vance and J Vienna), Ceramic Transactions 176 (2006) 91-96 3. E. R. Vance, D. S. Perera, Z. Aly, M. Blackford, Y. Zhang, Z. Zhang, M. Rowles, J. V. Hanna, K. J. Pike, J. Davis and O. Uchida, Solid State Chemistry phenomena in Geopolymers with Si/Al ~ 2, Proceedings of the GGC 2005 September, 28-29, 2005, Perth, Australia. CD ROM, nGGC2005.pdf

Conclusions & Future Direction ANSTOs initial involvement in the CSRP geopolymer project has explored pure metakaolin -sodium silicate and sodium aluminate systems. The challenge now is to use the tools that


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

SECTION 8 Bauxite Residue Program

E Jamieson
Thursday, 22 November 2007


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

By-product Utilisation, The Bauxite Residue Program.

E J Jamieson1

Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing. Kensington, Western Australia

Introduction, Background and Objectives Bauxite residue is the by-product from the Bayer alumina extraction process. While research into residue reuse has been conducted for many years, few if any applications have been 1-3 commercialised . Boutique applications while interesting will not impact upon the volume of residue stored. Industry is beginning to appreciate that by-products need to be produced to a standard and not as an afterthought, as illustrated in figure 1.
Bauxite Alumina Bauxite Alumina ReSandTM ReLimeTM ReSoilTM X, Y, Z Residue Residue

Picture 1. Bench scale red sand wash plant being tested in preparation for pilot plant construction. Red LimeTM is a form of solid alkalinity associated with red mud. It has been shown that this material can be successfully intercepted within the refining process. A pilot plant has produced several tonne of this material, (Picture 2) for field trials being conducted by WA Department of Food and Agriculture to determine if the material is suitable for use as a high grade agricultural lime.

Figure 1, Paradigm shift, from waste storage to by-product production. Key Product Developments. With this new approach, several bulk products have been developed Course bauxite residue can be processed through screening, washing and neutralisation, to a product standard suitable to be labelled ReSandTM, a trade mark registered by the Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing (CSRP). This trade mark is being established to represent sand of a particular quality irrespective of source (eg building rubble, cap rock, bauxite residue, process slag, etc). Several CSRP enabled pilot plants are being proposed for the production of ReSandTM , including a 10t/hr plant at Alcoa World Alumina. Field applications are being prepared in conjunction with Department of Main Roads in WA.

Picture 2. Red LimeTM Pilot Plant. The field trials have been hindered due to the drought in Western Australia over the past several years, (See Picture 3), however soil pH response has indicated that Red LimeTM can not only modify soil pH similar to traditional lime, but it appears to also modify pH at depth. Pot trials are under way to supplement the field trials.


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

greater certainty, and will therefore allow process modification if required. The CSRP has also developed a Sustainable Development model which is currently being applied to various reuse products. This will allow for quantification of some of the broader sustainability aspects of reuse so they can be considered alongside the more traditional financial considerations. Picture 3. Field clover growth with Red LimeTM amendment. Investigations are under way within the CSRP to determine a quality based industrially derived lime specification, to be established as ReLimeTM. Trials of Red Mud as a soil ameliorant have been investigated under the Alcoa trade mark of Alkaloam for many years by the WA Department of Food and Agriculture. These trials we conducted under the conditional approval granted by the WA Environmental Protection Agency. A final report to the Department of Environment and Conservation is seeking to clear the last of the EPA conditions for use. Detailed monitoring over many years has shown no negative impacts and ongoing benefits to both water quality and crop response. Conclusions & Future Direction During the course of product development, many hurdles have arisen which can potentially limit the commercialisation process. Primarily, the commercial assessment required for this product could not be accommodated within current governing legislation and associated standards. Products are therefore forced to be assessed against Waste Classification standards, with the associated stigma of being called a waste. In an effort to overcome this hurdle, products are being assessed using testing procedures and criteria established within the European Union. The CSRP is looking to adopt this approach of leach testing, geochemical modelling and risk based scenario assessments. This will allow a determination of the impact on the receiving environment over a long period of time with much It is unlikely that a single by-product will allow the re-use of all of the bauxite residue produced globally. It is therefore important to continue to look at a wide range of potential uses, both large and small. It is also important for this work to be done in a very methodical way within a transparent process supported by regulatory agencies so that we can be confident that the potential benefits are identified and risks mitigated for each reuse opportunity as it arises. Acknowledgements This work was carried out under the auspice of the Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing, which is established and supported under the Australian Governments Cooperative Research Centres Program. In particular, contributions from Tony Bagshaw, (CSRP Consultant), Glen Corder (SMI, UQ) Chanelle Carter (Alcoa World Alumina), Shelly Attiwell & Alan Jones (CSRP students) and Mark Rivers (WA Dept Food & Ag) are acknowledged. References
1. Jamieson, E.J., Cooling, D.J. & Fu, J. (2005) High volume resource from bauxite residue. Proceedings of the 7th International Alumina Quality Workshop. Perth October 2005. pp 210213. Jamieson, E., Jones, A.; Cooling, D. & Stockton, N (2006) Magnetic Separation of Red Sand to Produce Value. 1st International Magnetic & Electrical Separation Symposium, Perth, Australia. March 2006. Ade Sri wahyuni, Hamid Nikraz, Evan Jamieson, & David Cooling. (2006) Sustainable Use of Residual Bauxite Tailings Sand (Red Sand) in Concrete. Green Processing, 3rd International Conference on Sustainable Processing of Minerals and Metals. Newcastle Australia. June 2006.




First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

ReSand: The Big Picture

A N Bagshaw CSRP Business Consultant Introduction, Background and Objectives Various mineral processing operations produce large volume residues and wastes that are currently disposed of in designated locations, be they waste rock dumps, stockpiles or tailings storage facilities. A significant number of these contain coarser, sand-sized particles (e.g. bauxite residue, copper ore waste rock, mineral sands byproducts and gold processing wastes) which have potential value as useful by-products for various commercial applications. The CSRP has registered a generic trade mark, ReSand to collectively describe such materials. ReSand can arise at two main points of the mineral processing flowsheet: In ore preparation, where physical treatment processes such as crushing, grinding and separation can lead to a coarse fraction which contains little or no content of the commodity being produced and which is discarded into waste dumps. Selective crushing/grinding and beneficiation or modifying the treatment regime can produce such potential byproducts. In downstream processing, where the commodity being produced is separated from a residue stream which is subsequently deposited in a secure facility. The residue may require some further degree of treatment into a form more amenable to commercial exploitation. ReSand examples has concentrated on materials from the bauxite refining and mineral sands industries. Sustainability Case Management of inorganic residues and ore wastes is one of the principal sustainability concerns of minerals processing. Utilisation of significant parts thereof for construction and other purposes will significantly reduce liabilities associated with current management practices and thereby minimise this principal sustainability risk. Utilisation of ReSandTM will reduce the need to quarry for bulk natural sands for construction materials.

Main Applications The range of applications for a particular ReSand will depend on its critical properties (physical, chemical, mechanical, etc.) as well as its availability and location to specific markets. The initial focus is on the construction industry, including: Road Base Construction: Preliminary investigations into the use of ReSandTM as a sub-base material for road construction show considerable promise. Major effort is being applied to a co-ordinated focus on industrial by-product use in road construction with significant demonstration projects underway. Aggregate Sand for Concrete: The potential use for ReSandTM as an aggregate in concrete has been evaluated; this is being broadened to include a range of other by-products including fly ash, with a view to possible synergies between these materials as combined aggregates. General Fill Material: ReSand in one form or another may prove to have adequate strength for general fill media, for which there is increasing demand in many locations.

As a number of distinct by-products, ReSand may be viable in a broad range of applications where substitution for a current material offers better performance, cheaper price, less environmental impact (both from re-use of the waste and substitution) and overall more favourable life cycle assessment. The overall objective of the ReSand work program is to identify potential opportunities arising from the processing of a broad range of mineral commodities and confirm their suitability for use in commercial applications. Initial work on


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Licensing of ReSand Brand Name With CSRP gaining the ReSand trademark the opportunity exists to endorse various types of ReSand. Materials having a lesser ecological footprint than newly quarried sand would qualify as CSRP-certified ReSand. The CSRP seal of approval would be based on a strong foundation of fundamental and applied research ensuring that ReSand: meets all environmental criteria; meets all relevant standards and codes; provides a strong sustainability case backed up by independent assessment; and is tailored to the planned application.

Substituting for other (natural) materials that are well entrenched in accepted, commercially viable (but increasingly less so) supply chains Demand for ReSand could exceed supply capabilities, hence important to manage the development/demonstration/commercial implementation program carefully.

Conclusions There is a strong sustainability case for promoting the commercial application of a range of ReSand products. Successful exploitation will depend on: Availability of supply: a number of mineral processing and downstream activities exist in remote locations where opportunities for substitution of natural sands is limited; Quantity of supply: may limit the extent to which substitution can reach; Acceptance by all stakeholders; and

Ultimately there will be the need to recognise the importance of international standards bodies, such as SAA in Australia, ASTM in the USA, etc. setting appropriate standards for specific ReSand products and codes of practice being agreed upon for use of those products.
Potential Issues Acceptance of a by-product as a commercial resource Meeting regulatory and environmental conditions Advocacy: engaging all stakeholders to ensure a positive outcome

Financial considerations, especially the cost of supplying ReSand to end-users.

Acknowledgements This work was carried out under the auspices of the Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing, which is established and supported under the Australian Governments Cooperative Research Centres Program. Brian McLoughlin (McLoughlin Metallurgical Consulting) and Tom Bond (WML Ltd) contributed significantly to progress with utilising ReSand from the mineral sands industry.


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Assessment of the Sustainability Benefits of ReSand G.D. Corder1, B.C. McLellan1, A.N. Bagshaw2

Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072

Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing, 26 Dick Perry Avenue, Kensington WA 6151

Introduction, Background and Objectives ReSand is the name given to a number of minerals processing by-product materials currently being examined as substitutes for the construction industry. The current project is examining the comparison of ReSand as a substitute for standard aggregate in road base. This work applies the sustainable development (SD) assessment tool, developed in project #70 (1A3), to determine the SD benefits of ReSand compared with standard aggregate. The ReSand source, in this case, is a coarse fraction of the mineral sands waste product rock. The basis for the assessment was to assess the sustainability performance of ReSand compared with quarried aggregate in using 5000 tonnes of the waste material for 300-500m of road base construction. Key questions to be answered were: What are the SD benefits of replacing standard quarried aggregate to ReSand? What are the limitations is using ReSand as an alternative to standard aggregate sources?
Benchmark Blasting Transport to Crusher (20 km) ReSand

Primary Crushing

Secondary Crushing Transport to Site (50 km)

Figure 1: Operations involved in production of road base from quarrying or ReSand. The third step was the estimation of the difference of each of these elements when using ReSand compared with quarried aggregate. The difference for each SD element, was estimated at each stage in the process based on either standard calculations or formulas from sources, such as the National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) and Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO) workbooks. As explosives are a critical ingredient of the quarrying process, the impacts from their production were also included in the analysis. The fourth step was to extrapolate the outcomes from the third step for use: of 5000 tonnes waste material (base case); and all waste mineral sands material across Australia.

Methodology The first step in the assessment was defining the boundary of the systems to be examined. The chosen boundary took in the point of initial sourcing of materials in the case of ReSand this was assumed to be the transport of the waste product from the minerals sands project, whilst for the benchmark it was the blasting of rock in the quarry (Figure 1). This identified the blasting, primary crushing or feed transport as the major differences in the process. Next, the key SD elements that are affected in the production or use of either ReSand or standard aggregate were identified; these were energy, greenhouse emissions, other atmospheric emissions, by-product production and land usage.

Finally, a monetary valuation and non-monetary valuation were estimated to compare the potential sustainable development effects against the benchmark industry impacts.


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Table 2: Comparison of impacts and inputs from quarrying and ReSand for base case of 5000 tonnes.
Sustainability Category Energy Usage (MJ) Land Usage (m2) Greenhouse Emissions (kg CO2-eq) Atmospheric Emissions (kg) By-Product Production (t) Benchmark 137,200 114 18,300 7,600 ReSand 174,500 0.00 12,300 3,200 5,000 Change 37,300 (27%) -114 (-100%) -6,000 (-33%) -4,400 (-58%) 5,000

important to stress that these amounts do not include labour, land access and maintenance costs and thus these figures may not be accurate. A more thorough analysis is required to determine the distance between the mine and the quarry at which the profit from using ReSand would be equal to that for quarried aggregate. Highlights The key findings from the assessment were that (under base scenario conditions) ReSand: reduces greenhouse emissions by approximately one third reduces other atmospheric emissions (dust, etc.) by approximately 60% increases energy usage by approximately one quarter reduces land usage for quarrying material entirely provides a useful by-product that would otherwise be discarded

Table 3: Estimated change in sustainability impacts for use of all waste mineral sands in road base (assuming mineral sands mine is 20 km from crusher as per base case).
Sustainability Category Energy Usage (TJ) Land Usage (ha) Greenhouse Emissions (kt CO2-eq) Atmospheric Emissions (kt) By-Product Production (Mt) Change due to ReSand 0.29 -0.09 -0.05 -0.03 0.04

Feed transportation distance was found to have the greatest effect, with further reductions in greenhouse emissions, improvement in energy usage and profit margins all relying heavily on the transport distance. Conclusions & Future Direction This initial SD assessment shows that ReSand has significant benefits in relation to reduced atmospheric emissions, greenhouse gas emissions, and land usage. Future work should focus on improving the level of accuracy of the estimation of impacts, in particular the effect that the distance between the mineral sands mine and the quarry has on the profit margin. Acknowledgements This work was carried out under the auspice of the Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing (, which is established and supported under the Australian Governments Cooperative Research Centres Program. References
B. McLellan, G D Corder, and D Brereton

Key Results/Findings The results for the base case of 5000 tonnes of waste sand (refer to Table 2) show that there is an improvement in all categories except for energy usage, which is due to the extra diesel for transport. Further analysis demonstrated that if the energy usage for ReSand was to be comparable to quarried aggregate, the distance between the minerals sand mine and the crusher would need to be less than 2.5 km. When the opportunity for ReSand is expanded for re-using all the estimated waste mineral sands in Australia, the resulting sustainability impacts are relatively low, as illustrated in Table 3. The potential for ReSand from this source is modest due to the low percentage of waste in mineral sands and the low total Australian production (relative to other minerals). Based on the available data, the profit under base case conditions was $6.40 per tonne of standard aggregate, but only $2.40 per tonne of ReSand. The prime reason for the difference is the additional transport costs for ReSand. It is

Assessment and Valuation of Sustainability Benefits of CSRP Research Projects, CSRP

Report, May 2007


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

ReSand: Pilot Plant

Alan Jones Alcoa World Alumina Introduction, Background and Objectives The extraction of alumina from bauxite produces a high volume by-product which is stored in secure impoundments close to the refining operations. In Western Australia, typically half of this byproduct has a particle size in excess of 90 m and can be called red sand. Alcoa World Alumina Australia (Alcoa) operates three alumina refineries in Western Australia, and this coarse fraction represents a potential resource of up to 20,000 tonnes per day from the three refineries. This coarse fraction is unique to Western Australia due to the high quartz content of bauxite from the Darling Range. A variety of uses for bauxite residues has previously been outlined by Cooling and Jamieson (2004) including the use of unprocessed red sand. Primarily red sand has been deemed to have physical properties suitable for use as a general fill material within the construction industry and road construction. Alcoa is attempting to produce red sand to a standard for branding with the ReSand trade mark registered by the CSRP. If successful, Alcoa plans to provide ReSand to the CSRP for demonstration projects, including use in road construction. To be able to meet the ReSand standards, it is necessary to remove any residual fine mud and soluble salts from the coarse residue sand and neutralise any remaining alkalinity through a process of carbonation and washing. A pilot plant has been designed, constructed and commissioned to provide approximately 5,000 tonnes of washed and carbonated ReSand for use in these trials. Methodology Alcoa has provided a series of sand samples to Main Roads Western Australia for evaluation as construction materials. One opportunity was for use in road construction. An initial request to provide small scale samples (approximately 250 kg) of ReSand to Main Roads Western Australia led to the need for Figure 1: Washing & carbonation of small scale sample Further testing of the sand was required which necessitated the collection of a larger sample (approximately one tonne). Alternative, less labour intensive methods were sought for performing the washing and carbonation step. To provide sand to a target quality, a series of bench scale trials was undertaken. The sand required removal of excess fines, neutralisation through carbonation and a final wash. To perform these steps, it was decided to use a flat bottom classifier. Flat bottom classifiers are used in the mineral sands industry for the removal of fine particles and the neutralisation of sand from the synthetic rutile process. Screening of the sand was also required to remove particles greater than two millimetres to prevent blockage of the valves on the flat bottom classifier (see Figure 2). evaluation of larger scale production. Initial assessments were based upon bench scale trials then applied to pilot plant design. Bench scale samples were obtained by manual sampling of the sand classifier at Alcoas Pinjarra Refinery. The sand was then batch washed in a 200 litre drum (see Figure 1) into which CO2 was sparged.


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

In the pilot plant, process liquor will be removed through use of a dewatering screen after the initial screening to remove the oversize material. The sand from the dewatering screen will be fed via a conveyor belt into a flat bottom classifier for washing and carbonation. Conclusions Figure 2: Trommel screen for removal of oversize material After removal of oversize particles the sand was fed into the flat bottom classifier. Clean water permeated upward through the settling chamber, discharging through the overflow weir. Carbon dioxide (CO2) was injected into the wash water. The interaction of the upward flow and the settling solids created a fluidised bed which inhibited the settling of fine sized material, whilst allowing the heavier coarser particles to pass to the bottom of the chamber (see Figure 3). Initial test work has indicated that a process including washing and carbonation of the coarse residue fraction can produce clean sand that meets ReSand standards for use as general fill. The operation of screening and dewatering are essential for the successful operation of the flat bottom classifier: Trash screen to remove large particle that could block the underflow valve. Dewatering screen for removal of process liquor which contains soluble salts.

Acknowledgements This work was carried out under the auspices of the Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing, which is established and supported under the Australian Governments Cooperative Research Centres Program. Special thanks to the Technology Delivery Group staff at Alcoa World Alumina, Australia. Thanks to Linatex Pty Ltd for providing information on the principle of operation of a flat bottom classifier. References
1. Jamieson, E.J., Cooling, D.J. & Fu, J. (2005) High volume resource from bauxite residue. Proceedings of the 7th International Alumina Quality Workshop. Perth October 2005. pp 210213. 2. Jamieson, E., Jones, A.; Cooling, D. & Stockton, N (2006) Magnetic Separation of Red Sand to Produce Value. 1st International Magnetic & Electrical Separation Symposium, Perth, Australia. March 2006.

Figure 3: Flat bottom classifier washing & carbonating sand Pilot Plant Process modelling was used to determine the optimal conditions required to minimise CO2 and water use while maintaining the required level of washing and neutralisation of the finished product.


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Classification of ReSand and Leach Testing of Alkaloam and Red Lime

Shelly Attiwell CSRP Student at Curtin University, Western Australia Introduction. Bauxite residue, known as red mud is a byproduct generated from the extraction of alumina from bauxite using the Bayer process. Alkaloam is the registered trade name used by Alcoa World Alumina (Alcoa) for red mud used as a soil amendment. Red Lime is the trade name given to waste lime intercepted and removed from the Bayer process. It is normally disposed of by adding to the bauxite residue and can constitute up to 5% of the total red mud volume, however is currently being evaluated as an agricultural lime. Red Sand is a coarse fraction of bauxite residue having been carbonated and washed. This sand fraction is being assessed as a general purpose fill and construction sand, referred to as ReSandTM. Leachability assessment of residue by-products for re-use applications. Storage of Bauxite residue poses some long term issues for the alumina industry. Work has been underway for many years investigating a range of alternative uses for the residue, however detailed evaluation of the materials within a risk based assessment is required to ensure by-product specifications are well established and there are no negative impacts from the intended use of the material. In Western Australia, assessment of leachability is measured using the Australian Standard Leaching Procedure (ASLP), which was based on the US EPA Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP). This method was designed to assess the leaching of materials intended for co-disposal to landfill and is not ideal for broader assessments of the leaching of materials intended for reuse. A pH dependence leach test, developed by the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN), has been assessed and accepted by the European Union for characterising leaching behaviour of waste materials. The test can be applied to monolithic and granular materials including industrial by-products considered for re-use. The method provides fundamental leaching information from a single material over a wide pH range under varying environmental conditions. Leach Testing of Alkaloam, ReSandTM and Red Lime Leach testing has been carried out on Alkaloam, Red Lime and Alcoas ReSand using the ASLP and European pH dependence leach tests. This work was undertaken to provide the following: (i) A comparative evaluation of the Australian and European Union standard leach tests (ASLP and pH dependence leach tests) to determine their suitability for conducting environmental risk assessments for the reuse of industrial by-products. The leaching properties of Alkaloam, ReSand and Red Lime, compare results to existing guideline values, and provide detailed information upon which further risk based assessment can be made.


Comparison of the leaching behaviour of Alkaloam, ReSandTM and Red Lime to regulatory guidelines. Leach testing of the bauxite residue by-products has been completed and the results compared against relevant criteria from the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) waste guidelines, the European Union waste guidelines, and the Dutch Building Materials Decree. The results have also been compared to the leaching behaviour of some typical soils. The results to date indicate that the use of these materials should not present any environmental risk. Re-Use Opportunities by-products for Residue

Demonstrating a detailed knowledge of the leaching behaviour of the potential by-products and comparing the results to a range of regulatory guidelines is critical when considering the potential uses for these materials, some of which are;


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

For Alkaloam, acid sulphate treatment for commercial land development and coal overburden, use in compost, domestic sewage treatment (septics), cement production, use in geopolymers, as a soil amendment in agriculture, Use in road construction. as a neutralisation agent for acid sulphate soils or mine tailings, treatment of bio-solids and sludge, waste water treatment, a feedstock for the manufacture of cement, as a soil amendment in agriculture. construction, fill and fine aggregate.

For Red Lime

Close correlation of leach data obtained using the ASLP and pH dependence leach tests has been found. However, the pH dependence tests provide a great deal more information on leaching behaviour across a wide range of environmental conditions. Work to date supports adoption of the European Union standard leach test for assessing residue re-use applications as an alternative to the current Australian standard leach test. The additional information provided from the pH dependence leach testing opens the way for more detailed assessment of risks. Acknowledgements This work was carried out under the auspices of the Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing, which is established and supported under the Australian Governments Cooperative Research Centres Program. Special thanks to Technology Delivery Group staff at Alcoa World Alumina, Australia.

For ReSandTM

Conclusions Assessment of the leaching properties of bauxite residue by-products, Alkaloam, Red Lime and ReSandTM indicate that very little process development would be required to provide a material suitable for reuse in commercial applications and thus provide a showcase for sustainable development in the alumina industry. Comparison against DEC and EU guideline values provides a pathway for these industrial byproducts to be potentially considered for re-use.


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

SESSION 9 CSRP Participants Forum

Thursday, 22 November 2007
Venue: CSIRO, Bayview Avenue, Clayton

The purpose of the Participants Forum is to provide a forum for consultation among the CSRP Participants. Note that the Participants Forum is an advisory body to the CEO; it is not the AGM which is the ultimate authority within CSRP. The Independent Chair, Mr Philip Bangerter, has been appointed by the Board in accordance with the rules of the Centre Agreement. The CEO will make an opening presentation to the Forum and will then make himself available or be excused as the Forum sees fit. Cost is complimentary. Open to CSRP Participants only.
RSVP by 7 November 2007 using the registration form or email

Forum Program Chair: Philip Bangerter

14.00 14.10

Opening Remarks Participants present their view of CSRPs Progress Participants can pre-register their interest in presenting at the Forum or simply take the floor on the day Open Discussion The Way Forward Items for the Executive from the Participants Forum Items for the Board from the Participants Forum Items for the AGM from the Participants Forum Format and Timing of the next Participants Forum Close

Steven Green All

14.30 15.15

All All



First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

SESSION 10 Student Poster Session


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Dramatically Improving the Efficiency of Fine Grinding with the IsaMill

Michael Larson University of Queensland JKMRC

Introduction, Background and Objectives As the IsaMill has become more accepted throughout industry as the preferred method for ultrafine grinding it has become desirable to produce a model for JKSimMet to further promote the use of this grinding mill, not only in the ultrafine grinding it is already proven in but also in more mainstream grinding applications. Goals of work thus far: To identify those variables that most affect the efficiency of the IsaMill. To optimize those variables to achieve the highest possible efficiency. To demonstrate the efficiency improvements possible by performing fully scaleable tests on the M4 IsaMill.
120 110 P o w e r(k W h /to n ) 100 90 80 70

Media Filling vs Grinding Efficiency

y = 58.734x


R = 0.8981
10 micron power

60 20%


60% Media Filling


Figure 1: Grinding media load comparison for the M4 IsaMill using 2.5mm MT1 media grinding a 75 micron copper concentrate.
Feed Density vs Power

Key Results/Findings It was found that the two most significant variables affecting the efficiency of the IsaMill were the media load and the feed density. Based on the results of comparing different media types, only the ceramic media will be the focus of this testing. It was shown that as media volume increases the efficiency of the mill steadily improves as it no longer simply mixes ore and water, but imparts energy into the actual grinding. Energy efficiency of the mill is relatively constant for any given feed density up until the effects of viscosity take effect. As Viscosity begins to rise, so to does the energy required to grind to the fine sizes required of the IsaMill. On the more dilute end of the feed, the IsaMill, because of the centripetal separator at the discharge will act as if closed in with many small cyclones, essentially providing a 1,000% circulating load and keeping the steady state operating density of the mill higher than the flow entering and leaving the mill.
P o w e r(k W h /to n )

90 80 70 60 30 40 50 Density(%Weight) 60 70 10 microns

Figure 2: Feed Density vs Power

Viscosity vs Density
200 Viscosity 150 100 50 0 35 45 55 65 Density(Weight%) Copper Con

Figure 3: Density vs Viscosity


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Further testing was done on a gold/pyrite concentrate from the Kumtor Mine. Much the same effect can be seen, with power efficiency staying level regardless of density before power consumption rises dramatically at a critical density/viscosity. As a full scale survey was completed of the Kumtor circuit it is possible to compare results of that survey with a more efficient grinding media size using the M4 IsaMill.
Kumtor Comparison Coarse Grinding 90 Micron Feed

a final grind of 20 microns. This showed an overall efficiency gain of 18.4% over the best single stage IsaMill results and 27% against the lab ball mill results to reach 20 microns. This is also not including the effects of cyclones or steel grinding media and liners necessary for the ball mill.
IsaMill in Series 165 micron feed

Power (kWh/ton)

y = 7816.8x



R = 0.9975

3.5mm 5mm

Pow er (kWh/ton)

Kumtor IsaMill CG M4 3.5mm(JK4) M4 5mm(JK10)

y = 1124.4x



y = 1750.6x


R = 0.9972

Kumtor Ball Mill

R = 0.9804 10 10.0 Size (microns) 100.0

10 10 Size(microns) 100

Figure 4: Kumtor Comparison Coarse Grinding using M10,000 with 2.5mm media, 4MW ball mill and lab M4 IsaMill with 3.5 and 5mm media. The 2.5mm MT1 was deemed too small to adequately break the hard 90 micron feed of the Kumtor concentrate; however, it would appear that the 3.5mm media is more efficient than either the 2.5mm media or the ball mill currently in this duty. For the samples from the second survey, a coarser feed of 165 microns, it was decided to test on a lab scale ball mill along with the M4IsaMill. A test simulating running this material in series with 5mm media to bring the material to ~32 microns and a second stage using 3.5mm media to

Figure 5: Simulating running an IsaMill in series to further increase efficiency. Conclusions: Even with the vast improvements brought on by the IsaMill, there are still opportunities to further improve its efficiency and introduce its operation to an expanding number of applications. References
1. J Pease, G Anderson, D Curry, J Kazakoff, F Musa, F Shi and C Rule; Autogenous and Inert Milling Using the IsaMill SAG Conference 2006 F. Burns; Coarse Grinding in Stirred Mills Bachelor of Engineering Thesis, University of Queensland, October 2007



First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

A Dimensional Analysis Approach to the Scale-up and Modelling of Industrial Screens

Marko Hilden Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre Introduction, Background and Objectives Vibrating screens are used industrially for sorting particles on the basis of their size. Although the screens themselves use a relatively tiny quantity of power, screen performance often has a significant impact on the efficiency of downstream processes. Theoretical models of the screening process have traditionally been carried out using small pilot and lab-scale screens. However, attempts to correlate small-scale data with industrial-scale results have not been successful. Smaller screens can be used to obtain trends of behaviour for larger screens, but not to make quantitative predictions (Oja and Lehto, 2003). Accurate modelling of industrial screens still requires experimental data from fullsized pilot screens or in-plant industrial screens. Large scale disadvantages: test-work has numerous performance at a more convenient scale. The application of the scaling theory obviates the need to develop a scaling methodology based on empirical regression relationships. This paper describes an experimental test rig (the Screening Physical Model or SPM) designed according to the principles of scale modelling to model a larger industrial screen at a smaller scale. Methodology / Experimental Technique Physical models are a scale-model of a (usually) larger scale process, designed according to wellformulated theoretical scaling rules based on dimensional analysis. The model is a physical analogue of the full-scale physical process, from which measurements can be taken to predict the full-scale behaviour. Despite being a widely used scaling tool, dimensional analysis scaling is not known to have been previously applied to screen modelling. The Screening Physical Model or SPM (Figure 1) is the name given to the experimental test-rig that has been designed and constructed to enable large industrial screens to be simulated at a smaller scale while maintaining the relevant dimensionless parameters constant.

When designing screens for new plants, there may not be sufficient sample quantity from drill-core samples available to permit the operation of a large pilot scale screening test program; Screen sampling surveys may cause significant interruption to plant production; Large industrial screens usually have a single undersize chute, so it is not generally possible to obtain kinetic screening data for models such as the Ferrara and Preti (1975) model at an industrial scale (Batterham et al., 1980); Sampling may be considered unsafe (for example in the case of scalping screen oversize that feeds directly into a crusher); It may be difficult to control feed disturbances; and It can be very costly to assess changes that require physical changes to the screen or screening media, for example the effect of changing aperture size.

Vibrating Feeder Exciters

(Variable Speed & Angle) (Variable Speed)

Feed Impact Plate Screen Body Replaceable Screen Cloth Springs

Oversize collection Undersize collection

Scale-model similitude provides a theoretical basis for scaling down the industrial screen to a smaller lab-scale screen, and to predict screen

Figure 1: Diagram of the Screening Physical Model equipment.


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Key Results/Findings The Screening Physical Model (SPM) aims to approximate, as closely as possible, the separation process that occurs on industrial screens. A continuous screening action is used, and all of the relevant geometry and operating conditions are scaled down from the full-scale screen. By incorporating the scaling theory in the equipment design, the equipment permits large industrial screens to be modelled at a convenient scale in the laboratory. Most of the process measurements that can be measured on a full-scale screen can be approximated from measurements obtained from the SPM, including predictions of screening efficiency (Figure 2), screening throughput (Figure 3) and bed transport velocity.

Highlights/Benefits A new experimental technique for predicting the performance of large screens has been developed.

Conclusions & Future Direction The Screening Physical Model (SPM) allows the separation process that occurs on industrial screens to be replicated at a convenient scale in the laboratory. The potential applications for this equipment include screen design, screen selection for new sizing applications, screening media selection and comparison, model-fitting for computer-based plant simulation, and optimization of operating conditions. The existing SPM is designed only for flat-deck screens with a linear-stroke vibration, but the same scaling principles can equally be applied to the modelling of different screen types including banana screens and circular-stroke machines. Further work is underway applying these techniques to full-scale screens in the iron ore industry. Acknowledgements This work was carried out under the auspice of Rio Tinto and the Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing, which is established and supported under the Australian Governments Cooperative Research Centres Program. References
1. Batterham, R.J., Weller, K.R., Norgate, T.E. and Birkett, C.J., 1980. Screen performance and modelling with special reference to iron-ore crushing plants, European Symposium on Particle Technology. European Federation of Chemical Engineering, Amsterdam, Netherlands, pp. 1-16. Ferrara, G. and Preti, U., 1975. A contribution to screening kinetics, 11th International Minerals Processing Congress. Universit di Cagliari, Cagliari, pp. 1-35. Oja, M.I. and Lehto, H.J., 2003. Experimental scale-up of the screen models. In: L. Lorenzen and D.J. Bradshaw (Editors), 22nd International Mineral Processing Congress. SAIMM, Capetown, South Africa, pp. 419-426.

Full-scale Screening Efficiency, [ ]

1.0 Regression fit y = 1.0626x R2 = 0.9688 Prediction equation y=x 0.4




0.0 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 SPM Screening Efficiency, [ ]

Figure 2: Prediction of screening efficiency.

7.0 6.0 Full-scal e Throughput, kg.s -1 5.0 4.0 3.0 2.0 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 SPM Throughput, kg.s-1

Regression fit y = 11.169x R2 = 0.9947 Prediction equation y = 10.854x



Figure 3: Prediction of screen throughput.


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

List of Registered Participants

Dr Dan Alexander JKMRC, University of Queensland Dr Hal Aral CSIRO Minerals Ms Shelly Attiwell Alcoa Dr Jim Avraamides Murdoch University Dr Tony Bagshaw CSRP Mr Grant Ballantyne University of Queensland Mr Phillip Bangerter Hatch Prof Ben Adair JKMRC, University of Queensland Mr Ahmad Bilal Nasir Curtin University of Technology Eric Boom BHP Billiton Ms Albena Bossilkov Curtin University of Technology Prof David Brereton SMI, University of Queensland Mr Warren Bruckard CSIRO Minerals Dr Chunlin Chen CSIRO Minerals Dr Dan Churach CSRP Dr Paul Cleary CSIRO Mathematical & Information Sciences Mr Robert Cocks Murdoch University Dr Glen Corder SMI, University of Queensland Dr Claire Cote SMI, University of Queensland Mr Dan Curry Xstrata Technology Mr Mike Daniel JKMRC, University of Queensland Mr Kevin Davey CSIRO Minerals Prof Geoffrey Evans University of Newcastle Mr Markus Fietz CSIRO Minerals


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Mr Robert Flann CSIRO Dr Bark Follink CSIRO Minerals Mr Damien Giurco UTS Sydney Miss Megan Goldspink CSRP Dr Chris Goodes Rio Tinto Mr Michael Goodwin Hatch Dr Terry Gourley Rocla Mrs Stevan Green CSRP Mr Terry Hall CSIRO Minerals Dr Nawshadul Haque CSIRO Mr Marko Hilden University of Queensland Dr Sharif Jahanshahi CSIRO Minerals Dr Evan Jamieson Alcoa

Mr Casey Jarman University of Queensland Dr Michele John Curtin University of Technology Andrew Johnson University of Newcastle Mr Greg Johnson Rocla Mr Alan Jones Alcoa Dr Frank Jorgensen CSIRO Minerals Mr Michael Larson University of Queensland Dr John Mathieson BlueScope Steel Mr Robert Matusewicz Ausmelt Mr Alberto Melgoza SMI, University of QLD Dr David McCallum CSIRO Minerals Mr Ben McLellan University of Queensland Mr Ian McNeilly University of Central Queensland


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Mrs Jacqueline Medvecka SMI, University of Queensland Mr Steve Mohr University of Newcastle Dr Rob Morrison JKMRC, University of Queensland Dr Mark Neville CSRP Dr Terry Norgate CSIRO Minerals Dave Olney ALCOA Dr Yuhua Pan CSIRO Minerals Mr Neville Plint Anglo Platinum Ms Zeljka Pokrajcic University of Queensland Prof Malcolm Powell JKMRC, University of Queensland Ms Victoria Ramsell Murdoch University Dr John Rankin CSIRO Minerals Prof Markus Reuter Ausmelt

Dr Tony Rickards CSRP Mr William Rickards Curtin University Mr Phillip Ridgeway OneSteel Mr Steven Sanetsis CSIRO Dr Ray Shaw Rio Tinto Mrs Erica Smyth CSRP Mr Kaveh Soltaninaveh Curtin University of Technology Mr Michael Somerville CSIRO Minerals Dr Daniel Southam Curtin University of Technology Mr Graeme Thompson Murdoch University Mr Daniel Tuzon SMI, University of Queensland Dr Rene van Berkel CSIRO Minerals Prof Arie van Riessen Curtin University of Technology


First CSRP Annual Conference, Melbourne, 21-22 November 2007

Mr Keith Vining CSIRO Minerals Mr Philip Walls ANSTO Mrs Clare Walton CSRP Ms Sophie Wheatley Murdoch University Mr Jim White OneSteel Mr Ross Williams Curtin University of Technology

Prof Kate Wright Curtin University of Technology Mr Steven Wright CSIRO Minerals Dr Dongsheng Xie CSIRO Minerals Dr Ling Zhang CSIRO Minerals Dr Marcus Zipper CSIRO Minerals