FLOWSHEET DEVELOPMENT, COMMISSIONING AND START-UP OF THE VOISEY’S BAY MILL

CIM Journal Preprint 2017

 P. F. Wells1,3, P. Langlois2,4, J. J. Barrett2,5, J. Holmes2,6, M. Xu1,7, and G. Labonté1,8

1 CVRD-Inco Technical Services Limited
Sheridan Park
Mississauga, Ontario L5K 1Z9

2 Voisey’s Bay Nickel Company
Newfoundland and Labrador

3 Currently Principal Metallurgist,
P.F. Wells Metallurgical Associates Inc.
Oakville, Ontario

4 Currently Director, Labrador Operations,
Vale
Newfoundland and Labrador

5 Currently Project/Metallurgical Consultant
JJ Barrett Consulting
Oakville Ontario

6 Currently Mill General Superintendent,
Potash Corp.
New Brunswick Division

7 Currently Manager, Mineralogy and Mineral Processing,
Vale Technology Centre
Sheridan Park, Mississauga, Ontario, L5K 1Z9

8 Currently Senior Process Engineer,
SNC-Lavalin
195 The West Mall, Toronto, Ontario

http://dx.doi.org/10.15834/cimj.2017.5
Abstract The Voisey’s Bay mill processes a high pentlandite and chalcopyrite ore in a largely pyrrhotite/troilite matrix. During 1994–1997, circuit development focused on making a relatively low-grade nickel concentrate. When flowsheet development resumed in 2001, the target grade was raised from 14 to 20% Ni. Initially triethylene tetramine and sulphite pyrrhotite depressants were used in a lime circuit, but by recycling process water and the contained thiosalts—the required nickel grade was made without depressants. Construction and commissioning of the mill were fast-tracked, with start-up in September 2005. Ramp-up of throughput and metallurgy was faster than any other recent nickel installation. Tonnage was limited mainly by concentrate dewatering due to higher than expected ore grades.
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