Steinert KSS sorting systems successfully extend the life of mine in Mexico

In 2018, an industrial mineral mine in central Mexico installed its first Steinert ore sorter to improve the run of mine grade, […]
Successful installation of the Steinert KSS sorting systems in Mexico. Credit: Steinert

In 2018, an industrial mineral mine in central Mexico installed its first Steinert ore sorter to improve the run of mine grade, which had gradually been decreasing with the aging of the mine. This first successful installation was followed by two more Steinert multi-sensor sorters, which are now processing most of the medium- to low-grade ROM ore, producing a high-grade product, which can be sold directly to the market.

This ore sorting plant has thus enabled the mine to extend its resources to include low-grade areas which were previously below cut-off grade. Further expansions of the ore sorting plant are planned.

Steinert has developed a unique concept, called multi-sensor sorting or, Steinert KSS. The Steinert KSS sorting system applies that concept allowing the combination of one of the three main sensors (X-ray transmission, X-ray fluorescence, and NIR) with all the three additional sensors (induction, 3D laser, and colour).

The main combination for mining is the X-ray transmission sensor added by a colour, a 3D laser and an induction sensor. This approach gives customers enormous flexibility to treat very difficult minerals like fluorspar, iron ore, polymetallic ores, gold ore and others. The sensors are fine-tuned to detect to many physical properties, such as density, size, volume, brightness, color, inductivity and conductivity.

In this case, the main differentiating properties are density, size and color.

One machine, many solutions

Ore sorting is gaining acceptance in the mining industry with more and more sorting plant installations worldwide. This beneficiation technology can be applied as ROM pre-concentration, to generate a higher-grade and consistent grade mill feed. The main advantages of waste rock sorting are cost reduction in transport, reduced milling cost, less fines or slimes disposal and savings on water consumption.

Steinert’s Mexican client is continuously facing challenges of inconsistent grades due to waste rock dilution in their ROM ore. The sorters can be set to produce various grades of products depending on market demand for premium-grade product at a premium price or lower-grade products.

The implementation of the project started with tests carried out at Steinert Test and Development Center in Germany. Shortly after testing, Steinert's Latin American head of customer support, Edwardes Dias, commissioned the first sorting system in 2018. This successful ore sorting plant consisting of three machines will be extended soon.

“Steinert's mining division in North and South America cooperates for the customer’s benefit”, says Vinícius Souto, head of Steinert Mining in Americas. “We brought together mineral processing experts, solutions consultants, service technicians, and after-sales services – all within reach when the customer needs them.”

The requirements for ore sorting applications are growing, demanding complete and flexible solutions. Facing these demands, Steinert provides remote support that simplifies commissioning, monitoring and control of client facilities. Besides the remote service solutions, Steinert maintains inventory of spare parts to ensure the shortest possible response time for customer support.

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