PROCESSING

New ore sorter could improve Panasqueira concentrate output

New ore sorting equipment has arrived at Almonty Industries’ Panasqueira tungsten mine in Portugal

Staff Reporter
Cronimet's ore sorting containers at Panasqueira mine

Cronimet's ore sorting containers at Panasqueira mine

The entire ore sorting installation has now arrived at the mine, after being released by customs on July 24.

This installation is being assembled under an agreement with Cronimet Mining Processing of South Africa.

In May 2017, Almonty announced that its fully owned subsidiary, Beralt Tin and Wolfram (Portugal), which operates the Panasqueira mine, had reached a comprehensive agreement with Crominet, which it expected to result in an increase to its overall recovery.

The mine had been using a heavy media separation unit, which generates a pre-concentrate that is then upgraded by gravimetric methods to produce an outstanding final concentrate containing 75% WO3, considered to be the highest commercially available grade in the world.

Last year the miner said that tailings from the heavy media separation were sent to Crominet facilities where XRT sorting tests showed a possible recovery of up to 93.6% of the contained tungsten.

Under the agreement with Crominet, it is installing and operating the XRT ore sorter and respective ancillary equipment at Panasqueira, with enough capacity to treat the totality of the tailings generated by the heavy media separation unit.

Accordingly, the new installation will allow additional reclamation of the coarse fraction tailings and will result in a production increase of about 10% in the Panasqueira mine.

The industrial tests are forecasted to run during the second half of August 2018, and the commissioning of the installation is forecasted for late August 2018.

The Panasqueira mine, which has been in production since 1896 and is located approximately 260km north-east of Lisbon, Portugal, was acquired by the company in January 2016 and produces tungsten concentrate.

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