On the back of a successful Brownfield upgrade project in 2012, doubling the capacity of the existing concentrate dewatering facility, Jord was awarded an order to build a turnkey copper concentrates filtration and handling facility. The plant will be erected on a greenfield site, alongside a new rail siding outside Blayney. Plant capacity will peak at 622,000 tpa. This plant will replace the existing plant, located in town, that has run out of capacity. At the heart of the facility lies two membrane chamber filter presses. The plant will be commissioned in the second quarter of 2016.
The ability to both remove low levels of oxalate material and the requirement for effective filter cake washing drove the selection of large plate format, high volume membrane chamber filter presses for this traditional drum filter application. The units are fitted with automated plate shifting and a high pressure cloth washing system to ensure reliable automated operation.
Three x 144 plate membrane chamber presses were delivered to ensure a competent cake material product was produced for disposal. An elevated reactive clay content demanded the use of a membrane squeeze unit with high pressure capability. Jord pre-assembled the units off site and delivered them in one piece with plates installed. A dual crane procedure lifted them into place on site.
Two belt filter press units were selected for this project, to dewater coal tailings material. The belt press filters were selected due to a low capital cost and high tonnage throughput, relative to other technologies suitable for this application. The units were factory run tested before being shipped to site as fully assembled modules.
To this day, the red mud buildings installed at Worsley Alumina in the early 1980s remain Jord’s largest filtration installation. The 32 x 100m2 rotary drum vacuum filters were the largest bank of filters in service anywhere in the world and were operational for over twenty years. Technology has since moved on and large format membrane chamber filter presses are now better suited for this service. They provide significantly lower moisture content and higher rates of caustic recovery than rotary drum vacuum filters.