LONDON: This week, a group of international experts on the sustainability of the mining industry will meet at Newcastle University to talk about a "game-changing" technology that could have a major impact on extracting critical minerals.
The "REFLUX® Flotation Cell" was created by award-winning Professor Kevin Galvin in partnership with FLSmidth.
Many mineral separation techniques, many of which have not changed in 50 years, have been greatly improved by the device.
The use of this technology minimizes the environmental impact of "beneficiation", the process of separating important minerals from the surrounding ore.
It can recover fine mineral fragments that could not be effectively recovered during processing and were therefore discarded.
It recovers more minerals faster than earlier technologies, using less energy and producing less waste.
For industry to be able to supply the expected future demand for essential minerals, increased mineral recovery required for clean energy, medical and mobile devices is essential.
Mineral sands which are currently considered as waste and residue can also be recovered using this technology.
Industry may be able to reduce its reliance on existing residue storage facilities in the future by switching to new technologies.
Industry will be instrumental in aiding in emissions reduction, according to Professor Galvin, who is also director of the university's Australian Research Council Center of Excellence for Enabling Eco-Efficient Benefit of Minerals.
He added that the mineral industry is poised to adapt and grow according to the interests of international sustainability leaders.
As part of a four-day symposium, which will focus on sustainable solutions to improve mineral processing, the university will host representatives from 14 organizations and eight countries.
Delegates will observe the reflux flotation cell in action and speak with the University's critical mineralogy team about the latest advances in mineral processing research.
FLSmidth's Global Product Line Manager Lance Christodolu predicts that the REFLUX flotation cell will improve product grades in addition to enabling faster recovery of valuable minerals.
“Events like these help promote the benefits of industry adoption. As new technology has now gone through the stages of research and discovery, design and concept, prototyping technology and on-site testing, the event is an important event for the industry. Acts as the turning point. Adoption."
The science of RFC technology is based on the findings of many academic institutions and researchers.