The installation of 19 Cavex 400CVX10 hydrocyclones at OceanaGold’s Didipio gold and copper mine in the Philippines has led to savings of more than US$800,000 annually through a dramatic reduction in grinding circuit recirculation.

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The Didipio mine, which employs more than 1,500 workers (drawn predominantly from the local community) expanded its production capacity, which increased the incumbent cyclones’ feed density beyond what they could effectively manage, leading to a circulating load of up to 700 per cent.

The Cavex 400CVX10 hydrocyclones significantly improved separation efficiency due to their finely tuned spigot liner diameter, and the strength and corrosion resistance provided by its cast housing.

Thanks to these qualities, the introduction of the Cavex hydrocyclones reduced the circulating load from 620 per cent to 374 per cent. The direct savings in power consumption, ball consumption, cyclone and pump maintenance costs exceed US$815,000 per annum.

“Having had good performance from Cavex hydrocyclones at our New Zealand sites, we were confident that retrofitting Cavex hydrocyclone cluster at Didipio, with an increased number of smaller cyclones than we had at the time, would help reduce our problematic circulating load and lever multiple benefits in doing so,” said Gary Webb, processing manager, OceanaGold Didipio Project. “The changeover to Cavex hydrocyclones has exceeded our expectations, enabling higher throughput and lower consumable costs without being penalized in grind size.”

The superior performance of Cavex hydrocyclones can be attributed to the unique 360-degree laminar spiral inlet geometry design, which provides a natural flow path into the hydrocyclone. This shape allows the feed to blend smoothly with rotating slurry inside the chamber, reducing turbulence.

“Working with customers across the globe, our expert engineers are constantly looking at how they can maximise separation efficiency, hydraulic capacity and extend the wear life of not just the hydrocyclone, but our customers’ overall processing plants,” said Mike Arakawa, Philippines country manager, Weir Minerals. “I’m proud of the results we’ve achieved together with OceanaGold. Reduced circulation means reduced power draw, fewer balls consumed and less equipment wear, creating a more sustainable mine.”

*Article published in the April-June 2020 issue of The Asia Miner