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pH advanced process control solution for Impala BMR first stage high pressure acid-oxygen leach. Abdullah Khan 26 February 2009 Hydrometallurgy Conference Muldersdrift. Agenda. Company Overview BMR Process Flow Frameworks - I & C Systems Advanced pH Controller. Company Overview.

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pH advanced process control solution for Impala BMR first stage high pressure acid-oxygen leach

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Ph advanced process control solution for impala bmr first stage high pressure acid oxygen leach l.jpg

pH advanced process control solution for Impala BMR first stage high pressure acid-oxygen leach

Abdullah Khan

26 February 2009

Hydrometallurgy Conference

Muldersdrift


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Agenda

  • Company Overview

  • BMR Process Flow

  • Frameworks - I & C Systems

  • Advanced pH Controller


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Company Overview

  • Impala Platinum second largest platinum producer in world

  • Produce 2.0 million ounces of platinum annually

  • Produce copper, nickel and cobalt as by-product

  • Generate annual income of R 1.5 billion from base metals

  • General platinum process overview:


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BMR Process Flowsheet

MATTE

GRINDING

MATTE FROM

MINPRO

NICKEL

LEACH

COPPER

LEACH

PGM CONC

LEACHING

PGM CONC

DRYING

DESPATCH TO

PMR

NICKEL

PURIFICATION

COPPER

PURIFICATION

COPPER

ELECTROWINNING

COPPER

PRODUCT

NICKEL

REDUCTION

COBALT

STRIPPING

COBALT

PURIFICATION

COBALT

PRODUCTION

SAMPLE QA

PACKING

NICKEL POWDER

WASHING/DRYING

AMM SULPH

PRODUCTION

SAMPLE QA

PACKING

BRIQUETTING

SINTERING

SAMPLE QA

PACKING

SALES


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Frameworks - Information & Control Systems


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Hardware

APC

Business

Strategy

Defines

IT

Architecture

Software

MES

Network

LIMS

Data

Supports

Procedures

Human

Human

Human

Source: Butler M, ISM - USB


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Data

Information

Knowledge

Wisdom

Raw facts

Organized collection of facts

Awareness/ understanding of set of info and how it can be applied

Judicious application of knowledge

Human


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Advanced pH Controller in First Stage Leach - Feedback


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Process Description


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The Process Problem

  • Fe is an impurity. Sometimes >1% in matte. Needs to be removed in first stage otherwise continues through PGM circuit causing filtration problems

  • Ni (+/- 47% in matte) extracted in first stage process

  • Need to ensure high Fe and Ni extraction efficiencies

  • Improvement of PGM grade

  • How do we achieve this?

  • Control pH


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pH Advanced Controller Principles

  • Stabilise pH to improve leaching efficiency of Fe and Ni – better quality of PGM concentrate

  • High pressure acid leach has complex reaction kinetics

  • On-line pH sampling

  • Simplify control approach. Manipulate acid addition to compensate for:

    • Pulp density changes, Product feed rate changes &

    • pH response measurements

  • Advanced controller based on a hybrid of fuzzy logic technology and fundamental principles


  • Apc design l.jpg

    APC Design

    • Disturbance variables:

      • matte composition, spent electrolyte solution composition, pulp feed rate

    • State variables:

      • pulp density, Cu in solution

    • Adjustable variable:

      • spent electrolyte flow rate

    • Target variable:

      • ph in first compartment


    Sampling and measurement l.jpg

    Sampling and Measurement


    Apc solution l.jpg

    PD required in autoclave

    pH setpoint: 1.8 – 2

    “Measured Disturbances”

    +

    +

    -

    PD from TK2102

    FF Control

    FB Control

    Pulp feed rate

    -

    Spent electrolyte flow rate

    First Stage

    Leach

    Process

    Pulp density from TK2102

    Process output: pH

    Pulp feed rate to autoclave

    APC Solution


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    APC Performance


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    APC Results

    • PGM concentrate grade is better i.e. Less Fe and Ni slippage

    • Performance analysis conducted in March 2007:

      • pH variation reduced from 1.2 to 0.7 (an improvement of 40% in pH stability)

      • Ni extraction efficiency increased by 0.5% to 91.7%

      • Fe extraction efficiency increased by 3.3% to 88.5%

      • Increase of PGM grade by 1.4%


    Apc challenges l.jpg

    Low throughputs: pH control not as good which presents opportunity for controller improvement

    Change management:

    People

    Training

    Work Procedures

    Controller and process performance monitoring

    SLA – controller maintenance and performance audits

    APC - Challenges


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    APC – Challenges Overcome


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    Thank you


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