Nickel

Agnew (Leinster), Western Australia

I spent a short time at Agnew Nickel Mine in Western Australia in 1984 during a plant expansion project at the time when the mine was a joint venture between BP Minerals and Mt Isa Mines.  I was responsible for commissioning a new ball mill to increase the capacity of the grinding circuit.

I returned to Agnew as metallurgical manager and relieving resident manager in 1985/6.  The mine was producing difficult, highly oxidised supergene ore that had a very high MgO content.  The priority was to avoid exceeding MgO rejection limits for concentrate.  Simultaneously, drill core from high grade extensions to the mine was tested extensively in the metallurgical laboratory.  My assignment also included commissioning of a new tailings dam at the hottest time of the year, when recovering adequate process water to operate the plant was a challenge.

I drew up a list of plant modifications required to achieve capacity and recovery when the new ore sources became available.  These were implemented once the mine was acquired by Western Mining.

Fortaleza de Minas, Brazil

In 1987 I was seconded to Brazil to supervise a metallurgical testwork programme on drill core from the Fortaleza de Minas nickel deposit in Minas Gerais.

Nickel Concentrate Filtration

Since the mid-1990s I have worked on several projects with Larox and Outotec for the installation of automatic pressure filters for dewatering of nickel flotation concentrate.

© Ian Townsend 2015