Developing a mine operation with a modular design and minimal footprint

On the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island lies a significant mineral deposit containing ilmenite, garnet, zircon and gold. These minerals are of interest for their use in manufacturing and construction activities.

Seeing the value of the deposit, our client TiGa Minerals and Metals Limited (TiGa) is seeking to develop a mine on the farmland which would later be relocated to similar ore areas nearby. Noting the need for relocation as the project develops, any solution would need to be modular.

Our solution has the added benefit of having a low environmental impact, and low noise generation in operation and easier rehabilitation of each mine site back to the farm owners.

Exploration, evaluation and plant design

TiGa first approached IHC Mining’s laboratory in Australia for help in better understanding the minerals present at the site as well as to help assess what was recoverable with a focus on maximising the obtained value from a resource in the most efficient manner.

From here the scope was expanded to a feasibility study which included an extensive metallurgical test work program. The completion of the test work program enabled the development of a process flow sheet used as a design bases for the plant assets TiGa will build and aided in the confirmation of equipment selection, mineral recoveries and expected product qualities.

As a result of the studies and test work, and having set out the flow sheets and equipment designs, it was concluded that the Barrytown Mineral Sands Project would include a Mining Unit Plant (MUP), a Wet Concentrator Plant (WCP) and a Mineral Separation Plant (MSP) all which IHC Mining can deliver.

Photo Mitch Ryan

IHC Mining operates an independent laboratory at the forefront of mineral processing technology. We have access to a broad range of separation equipment, allowing us to assess both well established and emerging processing technologies. Add to that the the modular design of the plants and their minimal footprint, we can provide the best possible results for TiGa.

Mitch Ryan - Senior Metallurgist and Project Lead on the project

Integrated solution, from start to finish

The Mining Unit Plant (MUP) receives mined materials from the pit via mining equipment, at a rate of up to 450 tonnes per hour. Oversize material such as coarse gravel and rock is screened out for return to the pit, and the deslimed ore is then pumped overland to the wet concentrator plant for processing. The process equipment is arranged on three relocatable skids for easy regular moving as the mine advances.

The Wet Concentration Plant (WCP) contains wet gravity and electromagnetic separation equipment to extract gold from the ore and generate a heavy mineral concentrate (HMC). Tailings from the WCP are pumped back to the mine void ahead of site rehabilitation. Here, transport water is recovered for reuse within the process, thus creating a circular and more sustainable approach for water (re)use.

To keep light and noise emissions to a minimum and thereby reduce environmental impact, the MUP and mine is only operated 14 hours per day. The WCP is located in a controlled building and can be operational 24 hours per day.

Finally, the heavy mineral concentrate is transported to the Mineral Separation Plant (MSP). Here the product is dried, separated and further concentrated resulting in separate ilmenite, garnet and zircon product or concentrate streams.

Mining Unit Plant (MUP) for the Barrytown Project
Mining Unit Plant (MUP)
Wet Concentration Plant (WCP) for the Barrytown Project
Wet Concentration Plant (WCP)
Mineral Separation Plant (MSP) for the Barrytown Project
Mineral Separation Plant (MSP)

Challenging project with many opportunities

With the Barrytown Project, TiGa will produce an ilmenite product, garnet product and a concentrate rich in Zircon. Goal is to develop a mineral sands operation that will process 1.3 Mtpa of deslimed and oversized removed ore containing the minerals, scaling up to double the operation to 2.6 Mtpa within the first four years of operation.

Engineering visual IHC Mining

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