AUDIT OF THE COLD STAGE PRESSURE FILTERS IN A COPPER PLANT

ISSUE

A mining company localized in British Colombia was experiencing repetitive pluggages of their leaf filters used to recover the Cadmium and Copper deposit formed during a cementation step. Because of these repetitive pluggage, the filters were not able to reach the required filtered pulp volume allowing the operation of the process in continu. This situation was inducing an accumulation of the to be filtered pulp’s in the holding tanks leading to some interruption of the production. To address this problem, STS Canada was mandated to conduct an audit on the filtering step to identify the origin of these repetitive pluggages and propose an action plan to solve it.


TECHNOLOGICAL CHALLENGE

Investigate the multiple cause of operational problems or performance of filtration equipment. Being able to target the most profitable causes in terms of intervention (application of the Pareto rule to sort the multiple causes).


RECOMMENDED SOLUTION

  • Using audits models developped in various contexts covering all cases (15 years of experience in the operation of audit development and maintenance) ;

  • Work session/Interview with officials from the sector in order to understand and identify the problem ;

  • Characterization of the filtered pulp and identification of conditions for equipment operation ;

  • Visit the area and perform an equipment inspection with the customer to complete the audit survey.

RESULTS

Presentation of the full audit report to the customer, including conclusions, recommendations and action plan to correct the failure of the equipment. Analytical investigations of filter components and pulp characterization are generally recommanded after the audit to complement the solution elements of the investigated problems.

COVERED EQUIPMENT

Industrial filtration unit (Leaf filter, horizontal tank filter)

Drying system

Cake discharge system

Cementation process

LEVEL OF INTERVENTION

Audit and troubleshooting

BUDGET OF THE PROJECT

16000$

YEAR

2008