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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

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

Abdullah Khan

26 February 2009

Hydrometallurgy Conference

Muldersdrift

agenda
Agenda
  • Company Overview
  • BMR Process Flow
  • Frameworks - I & C Systems
  • Advanced pH Controller
company overview
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:
bmr process flowsheet
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

slide6

Hardware

APC

Business

Strategy

Defines

IT

Architecture

Software

MES

Network

LIMS

Data

Supports

Procedures

Human

Human

Human

Source: Butler M, ISM - USB

slide7

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

the process problem
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
ph advanced controller principles
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
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
apc solution

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
apc results
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
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