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Mining and metals refining
Apr 23, 2020

Outotec Larox® PF plate pack expansion increased concentrate production at Aktogay

The Outotec Larox® PF plate pack expansion increased concentrate production at KAZ Minerals’ Aktogay Concentrator Plant in Kazakhstan. The PF expansion is a cost-efficient way to rapidly increase filter capacity, increase production and gain maximum benefit from your current filtration equipment.

About KAZ Minerals

KAZ Minerals PLC is the largest producer of copper in Kazakhstan. It is a high growth company successful in developing new mines and focused on a large scale, low cost, open pit mining in Kazakhstan, Russia and Kyrgyzstan. It operates the Aktogay and Bozshakol open pit copper mines in the East Region and Pavlodar region of Kazakhstan, three underground mines and associated concentrators in the East Region of Kazakhstan and the Bozymchak copper-gold mine in Kyrgyzstan.

About Aktogay mine

Aktogay is a large scale, open pit mine with a remaining mine life of around 25 years (including the expansion project) at an average copper grade of 0.35% (oxide) and 0.33% (sulphide). Aktogay commenced production of copper cathode from oxide ore in 2015 and copper in concentrate from sulphide ore in 2017. The operating sulphide concentrator has an annual ore processing capacity of 25 million tonnes and the sulphide processing capacity will be doubled to 50 million tonnes with the addition of a second concentrator by the end of 2021.

Plans to expand production

KAZ Minerals planned to increase copper concentrate production at its greenfield project Aktogay plant by increasing the filtration capacity by 25%. The filtration area of Outotec Larox PF filters could be expanded by simply adding additional plates. This is a low cost, low impact upgrade to the filter which provides guaranteed results. We have vast experience in successfully implementing this service solution at other production sites in the Eurasia region.

25% Increase in filter capacity and concentrate production.
25% Increase in filter capacity and concentrate production.

Outotec solution

Our solution avoided large investment costs by avoiding having to purchase additional filters to expand the capacity of existing filtration area.  Both filters were expanded from 72 m2 up to 96 m2 by installing 4 additional plates to each filter.

The filter expansion upgrade increased production, due to larger filtration area on existing equipment. No instrumentation or automation changes were required, because the operational principles of the filter remained unchanged. The expansion upgrade saved time, since the installation and start-up of the expansion was implemented by experienced Outotec technicians and was performed during a normal shutdown.

Results

The installation of additional filter plates increased the overall filtration by 25% resulting in an increase of 25% concentrate production. The expansion of filtration area had a payback period of just a few months and did not require any additional costs for changing the instrumentation, auxiliary equipment or software. The installation of additional plates was performed within 9 days during the annual maintenance of the filter. The experienced staff of Aktogay maintenance team as well as the supervisory services offered by Outotec to perform this work resulted in minimal production impact.

Conclusion

The PF filter expansion was a cost-efficient way to increase the filter capacity by adding additional filter plates with guaranteed increase in production, and minimal downtime.

*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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