Graphite Metallurgical Testwork and Process Engineering
WGA designed and managed a bench scale graphite metallurgical testwork program and then a Pilot Plant operation to deliver a defined flowsheet, process plant design and operating cost data for the proposed Kookaburra Gully Graphite project. Utilising WGA’s in-house expertise on flotation and testwork programs, WGA successfully tested and optimised the downstream process and produced bulk graphite samples with excellent yields, allowing for independent testing of Micronisation and Spheroidisation for specialty battery applications. This process is crucial to the efficient operation of lithium ion batteries and established the process warranted moving forward to further feasibility stages.
WGA designed and managed a graphite metallurgical testwork program to deliver a defined flowsheet, process plant design and operating cost data for Lincoln Minerals’ proposed Kookaburra Gully Graphite project.
Lincoln Minerals was preparing a Program for Environment Protection and Rehabilitation (PEPR) as the next stage of their mine approval process which required detailed process flow sheet definition and process design. Based on the proposed flowsheet, a mass balance was developed with a Process Design Criteria (PDC) to enable development of operating and capital cost estimates.
WGA reviewed previous testwork, interpreted geological cross sections and visited the site and core storage facilities to select representative samples for testwork – including master composites and variability samples. Metallurgical testwork included comminution testing and ore characterisation with head assay, size by assay, optical mineralogy and QEMSCAN. Detailed flowsheet development involved rougher, regrind and cleaner flotation tests, verified by locked cycle tests. Samples for generating tailings residue for dewatering and rheology testwork were also produced for geotechnical evaluation.
Engineering deliverables developed by WGA included the process design criteria (PDC), mass and water balance, process flow diagrams (PFD), and the process plant description, which were used to provide operating cost estimates. WGA coordinated the capital cost estimate preparation, developed from the mechanical equipment list, and submitted a final report to Lincoln Minerals.
WGA's work was used by Lincoln Minerals to complete the Pre-Feasibility Study and Feasibility Study. WGA then coordinated a pilot plant test work program processing bulk graphite ore samples in China for specialty battery marketing and downstream testwork.
"Metallurgic and pilot plant testwork confirmed ability to produce high grade graphite products of 93% to 98% graphitic carbon by a simple flotation flow sheet"
Dr A John Parker
Lincoln Minerals Managing Director