The mineral processing plant manufacturer Appropriate Process Technologies (APT) is currently changing its strategy to target platinum miners, in Zimbabwe. The company is designing a new modular platinum gravity recovery system that can be used to process primary ores.
The firm’s chief executive, Kevin Peacocke, said in a statement that:
We are focusing more on designing and incorporating modular platinum group metal specific gravity recovery systems, which can be used to retreat tailing and to process primary ores. The main aim is to meet the demands of every player in the industry since our core business is centred on mineral processing.
This means APT is moving away from gold recovery gravity systems and has plans to install a platinum processing plant in Africa really soon.
Our first entry into the platinum industry is the in-house ISO 9001-compliant test work facility that we are operating. The facility is being used to examine and assess several methods of platinum recovery from tailings for a large Zimbabwe-based client and to investigate the gravity recovery of platinum for a local platinum miner.
Empowering local small-scale platinum miners that don’t have the proper machinery to process the minerals is the project’s main goal. That’s why the two PGM gravity-processing products developed by APT can be installed as an adjunct to existing processes or as a complement to improve the sulphide flotation systems already prevalent in the market. Kevin Peacocke adds that:
What we aim to do is to install our gravity recovery PGM products in phases, initially to complement existing systems, but to get to where we may propose the installation of complete gravity recovery plants to help upcoming platinum miners.
What makes this development and testing process unique is that the ore dictates the process that will eventually be chosen and designed
Appropriate Process Technologies has two different products that it uses for the recovery of PGMs: a Knelson semi-continuous batch concentrator that targets elemental metals (like platinum) and a Knelson continuous variable discharge concentrator that targets free element platinum, sulphides and semi-liberated sulphides. The batch concentrator operates at an elevated gravitational force, 60 to 200 times the gravitational force on Earth.
With a presence in 20 countries around the world, ATP kicked-off this project in May and is still perfecting their technology. Now working in Zimbabwe, the company is considering expanding its assembly facility in Kya Sands, Johannesburg, within the next 12 months.