Tech­nol­ogy & In­no­va­tion

Pro­duc­ers could save about two-thirds on cap­i­tal costs us­ing the Py­rophos process, while ben­e­fit­ing from sub­stan­tially lower op­er­at­ing costs, the CSIRO stated.

The Australian Mining Review - - CONTENTS - REUBEN ADAMS NA­TIONAL

A NEW CSIRO-de­vel­oped process de­signed to make low grade phos­phate re­serves eco­nom­i­cal to mine while re­duc­ing prob­lem­atic waste by-prod­ucts will be com­mer­cialised by Aus­tralian com­pany Py­rophos.

Phos­phate pro­duc­ers are grap­pling with in­creas­ing pro­duc­tion costs, low qual­ity re­serves, and the prob­lem­atic waste by-prod­uct phos­ph­o­gyp­sum.

For every tonne of phos­phate pro­duced us­ing wet acid, about three tonnes of phos­ph­o­gyp­sym waste is cre­ated; re­sult­ing in about three bil­lion tonnes of waste be­ing stock­piled each year, ac­cord­ing to the CSIRO.

In con­trast to wet acid, Py­rophos’ new smelt­ing-based process in­volves ap­ply­ing heat to phos­phate ores, re­sult­ing in a safe gravel by-prod­uct which could be used as a road base ag­gre­gate or in Portland ce­ment pro­duc­tion.

The Py­rophos process also has a much smaller plant foot­print than the wet acid process and re­placed the more ex­pen­sive sul­phur with coke.

Pro­duc­ers could save about two-thirds on cap­i­tal costs us­ing the Py­rophos process, while ben­e­fit­ing from sub­stan­tially lower op­er­at­ing costs, CSIRO stated.

“CSIRO has de­vel­oped the core IP and will be the R&D cen­tre sup­port­ing our de­sign en­gi­neers for our work with in­di­vid­ual pro­duc­ers,” Py­rophos man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Mark Muzzin said.

“We bring in­dus­try knowl­edge to the part­ner­ship – from the eco­nom­ics, to the pro­cesses and peo­ple.

“It’s now up to us to evolve the IP and con­vert it into com­mer­cially proven tech­nol­ogy.”

Im­age: Ja­son Parker-Burling­ham.

Global phos­phate pro­duc­ers are con­tend­ing with grow­ing pro­duc­tion costs, lower qual­ity re­serves, and stock­pil­ing the waste by-prod­uct phos­ph­o­gyp­sum.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.