Process Plant Design and Engineering Services

Approach

The basis of all good process design is a sound interpretation of comprehensive testwork performed on representative samples taken from across the ore body. SRK metallurgists and process engineers are experienced in both the definition and interpretation of testwork and in the development of robust flow sheets that are flexible to treat the range of ores that are likely to be fed to the metallurgical process plant. As part of this work, a detailed equipment list clearly identifying each process item required would be prepared.

Once testwork is complete and the flowsheet established, SRK process engineers will prepare comprehensive design basis which will define the parameters to be used for the metallurgical plant design. This will include all process and metallurgical design parameters, operating times and realistic design margins and operating ranges for individual items of equipment and sections of the plant. All reagent and consumable requirements are clearly identified and used for estimation of operating costs.

Using these parameters, SRK will prepare a mass/metallurgical balance for the plant which will identify the range of tonnages and material flow rates around the circuit. This information is then used to size and specify the individual items of equipment required. These process specifications are used to obtain equipment details, operating cost data and budget quotations from recognised equipment suppliers.

Once this information is available, SRK prepares a list of the electrical loads based on the equipment selected, the duties specified and the operating times for each item of equipment. The electrical supply requirements are then calculated for the plant and the electrical operating cost for the process is estimated.

The flow sheets are further developed into piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs), using the mass balance to size the piping and valve requirements.

Based on client’s requirements, local conditions and industry norms, a control philosophy for the plant would be established and SRK would prepare instrumentation process data sheets.

Other engineering aspects of the plant, such as the plant layout, the structural steel requirements, civil and concrete works, electrical, instrumentation and control on systems can be developed depending upon the clients requirements. SRK works closely with recognised engineering companies to develop the appropriate level of engineering detail.

Capital costs can be generated to varying levels of accuracy – the higher the accuracy, the greater the amount of engineering that has to be performed.

Experience

  • Lead - zinc concentrator – Ireland. Full process design as part of a turnkey mine development.

  • Metallurgical study for a concentrator producing gravity gold, copper sulphide flotation concentrate and iron rich magnetic separation concentrate. Services included mass and metallurgical balances for a range of ores, flow sheeting, equipment selection and sizing and estimation of capital and operating costs.

  • Process design package for an effluent treatment plant as part of a chemical complex in Taiwan. Services included mass and metallurgical balances, flow sheeting, equipment specification, definition of P&IDs and preparation of instrument process data sheets, outline plant layouts.

  • Process design for a major gold plant development in Australia. Plant incorporated Primary Crushing, SAG and ball milling, gravity concentration of gold and intensive cyanidation, flash flotation and conventional flotation of sulphides, two-stage concentrate regrinding, CIL and carbon desorption, gold electrowinning and smelting and cyanide detoxification of tailings using hydrogen peroxide.

Services

  • Fully independent engineers and metallurgists;
  • definition of realistic plant design parameters based on sound interpretation of testwork;
  • development of flexible flow sheets suitable for the range of feed parameters and operating conditions;
  • equipment selection and sizing;
  • development of detailed plant information;
  • estimation of plant operating costs;
  • estimation of plant capital costs;
  • established working relationship with equipment suppliers.; and
  • experienced in working with engineering contractors.
SRK Sweden