Slurry & Process Test Work

Our work is rooted in a deep understanding of the material properties with which we work, and fundamental to our business is our comprehensive network of in-house laboratories.

Our test capabilities include material and clay characterization, rheology, pipe loop tests, slurry wear tests, thickening, filtration, hydro-cyclones, tailings deposition, filter cake conveyability, and mine backfill characterization, including UCS and triaxial tests to determine optimum binder content.

Our laboratories are located in Cape Town, Cornwall, Denver, Santiago, Sudbury and Perth. All our facilities conduct bench top de-watering tests, rotational viscometer tests and material characterisation tests. Our largest facility in Cape Town is able to conduct slurry pipeline tests in 300 mm diameter pipelines as well measuring the effect of solids on pump performance for a range of different pump and impeller diameters. Slurry wear tests are done using either accelerated wear tests or long term wear tests to determine the wear performance of different pipe lining materials for specific slurries.

High concentration paste backfill and thickened tailings pipeline tests are done at our laboratories in Cape Town, Denver, Santiago and Sudbury.

Our facilities can be modified to suit client specific test requirements and to test vendor equipment and instrumentation to determine their suitability in specific applications.

Notable Projects

West African Tailings Flow Behaviour Test Work

Large scale loop tests were conducted to evaluate the minimum flow requirements for the transport of a fine tailings from a West African Mine. The objective of the test work was to determine the the implications on the existing pipeline installation of operating with a stationary bed. The test work showed that the material could be transported with a settled bed, but that there was an increased operational risk when re-starting the pipeline that could result in a blockage under certain conditions.

Gold Tailings Paste Cyclone Test Work

Pilot cyclone simulation test work covering a range of pressures and cyclone geometries, to generate a particular underflow particle size distribution optimal for paste backfill. The work included a full paste backfill binder strength study. This work provided many of the necessary parameters to facilitate efficient commissioning of the paste backfill plant.

Waste Water Treatment Plant Sludge

The impact of adding a waste sludge stream to tailings on thickener and filtration performance. The sludge precipitates alter the water chemistry enough to cause notable changes in performance parameters, some beneficial and some detrimental. By looking at the whole process and having the capability to experimentally verify each individual process we were able to guide our clients in making the best decision of their project.

Clarification/Thickening and Filtration of Calcine Baghouse Dust

Test work involved finding optimum coagulant and flocculant balance, optimum flocculant mix energy levels, definitive thickening and filtration sizing parameters at controlled pH and elevated temperature (40⁰C).

Leach Residue

Rheological characterization of a high temperature (90⁰C) and low pH (less than 1.5) leach residue material.

Umm Wu’al Phosphate Project, Saudi Arabia

Investigation into the conveyability of filtered tailings in conjunction with the transportable moisture limit.