Home Insights Case studies Mining and metals refining New Outotec Hybrid CC Filter Plates "The most economical way to do filtration"
Mining and metals refining
Sep 13, 2018

New Outotec Hybrid CC Filter Plates "The most economical way to do filtration"

New innovative plate design improves profits through an increase in capacity, easier, safer maintenance and reliability.

We have been piloting our new Hybrid CC Filter Plates at First Quantum Minerals´ Pyhäsalmi mine in northern Finland since January 2016. The results have exceeded all expectations providing “improved reliability” and “cost effectiveness” for slurry filtration. After piloting the hybrid plates, Pyhäsalmi mine placed a five year annual order for CC plates to support their five Outotec Larox CC filters.

Pyhäsalmi Mine, the second deepest metal mine in Europe, produces copper, zinc and pyrite. In 1962 it was initially developed as an open pit mine by Outokumpu Oyj, followed by the first underground development.  It has been a key site for the development of many Outotec technologies such as Courier, Millsense and now Outotec´s new Hybrid CC Filter Plates.

Cooperation was a key driver in product development

Aki Tuikka, Pyhäsalmi Mill Manager, has high expectations when it comes to the safety and reliability of equipment.  In 2015, Tuikka met with Outotec engineers to discuss methods to improve the performance of Pyhäsalmi´s ceramic filter plates. Through open and honest communication, Outotec was able to develop a new Hybrid CC plate concept that met Tuikka´s expectations.

“It looks like this new hybrid filter plate will be an excellent solution,” says Tuikka. “When the CC plates are working well, it is the most economical way to do filtration.”  

But communication is a two-way street, and according to Henri Hellman, Outotec´s Head of Service Product Management for Beneficiation services, this new hybrid design would not have been possible without close cooperation with First Quantum Minerals.  

“To be honest, we developed this product in conjunction with our customer,” Hellman said. “It was critical for us to obtain a sample from the Pyhäsalmi site to facilitate the development of our filters with the correct material suitable to the current conditions. From my point of view, this is an excellent example of good cooperation.”

The CC plates are working well and is the most economical way to do filtration.

Reliability at the forefront

The first ceramic (CC) filters were installed at Pyhäsalmi in the mid-1980s, so Pyhäsalmi´s operators are experts in optimizing the filtration process. According to Tuikka, the most important aspect of efficient filtration is reliable equipment.

“One of the most important aspects for us in terms of equipment is reliability,” Tuikka said. “Of course, know-how and quality of equipment are also important, but reliability is number one, and I am confident with the reliability of Outotec´s new hybrid plates.”

Compared to other filtration methods that involve pumps, motors or vacuums, Outotec Hybrid CC Filters have fewer moving parts, which leads to increased energy efficiency, ease of operation and reliability of equipment.

Outotec Hybrid CC filter plates, exceeding all expectations

Improved residual moisture

Reduced residual moisture levels are key to the filtration process. Plant Foreman Janne Soudunsaari at Pyhäsalmi continually monitors the moisture content of the cake with the aim to reduce dust and ensure that the content is dry enough for the flash smelting process.

“The moisture content is currently much easier to control with the new Hybrid CC Filter plates,” says Soudunsaari. “The moisture % has been clearly lower with these new filters. The capacity is also much better, and we can see a much thicker cake. I am satisfied with all the aspects of these new plates,” Soudunsaari concludes.

Designed for safety

The new Outotec Hybrid CC Filter plates are significantly lighter than others in the market, which makes installation easier and safer. Lighter plates also decrease the likelihood of damaging the plate during installation.

“Safety of our products, employees, and contractors is of utmost importance to us at Outotec, and we are proud to say that our new Hybrid CC Filter plates are among the safest on the market,” reports Hellman.

 

*Metso Outotec was formed July 1, 2020 when Metso and Outotec merged into one company. This case study has been written prior to the merger under the old company name.

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