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Micronics’ New Mine-XLL™ Filter Cloth Delivers Over 10,000 Cycles in Select Mineral Processing Applications

Wednesday, July 8, 2020
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The Challenge

Copper Mine

In the competitive mining and mineral processing industry, the separation of liquids and solids is highly important as mining operations seek to economically & efficiently process high-value metals like gold, silver, zinc, copper, lead, rare earths, and more.

Filter presses are used in the mining industry to dewater mineral concentrates, mine tailings for dry-stacked tailings management, and orebody (or mineral) concentrations in the Merrill-Crowe process.

Our experience as a long-standing manufacturer of filter press cloth for the mining industry has provided Micronics with a large body of historical operating data. Our data shows that a typical mining filter cloth will last in the range of 1500 to 3000 cycles before the need for cloth change-out.

Naturally, mining companies are constantly looking for ways to reduce operating costs and increase machine uptime to drive additional manufacturing output. The frequency of filter cloth change-outs is an area that is often cited as offering a real opportunity for improvement as it is a driving factor behind machine downtime and increased O&M costs.

Not only is it costly to frequently change-out the conventional felted polypropylene cloths that dominate the industry, but it slows down high-capacity production.

In addition, with new exploration and ever-changing mineral ore bodies, clay content percentages increase, often resulting in ineffective dewatering. The deteriorative effects of these clay minerals can blind filter cloth – even high-quality filter cloth – causing poor cake release, increased cycle time, and often dramatic increases in cake moisture.

The Solution

Micronics has developed and is introducing a new high-performance heavy nylon cloth, MINE-XLL™ Filter Cloth — Style # 70320 – designed specifically for the mining industry to address the concerns that mine operators have been repeatedly expressing to us:

Significantly increasing the number of cycles achieved before the need for cloth change-outs (much longer cloth life)
Superior mechanical resistance to abrasive, high-velocity mine slurries
Improved cake release
Cleaner filter cloths – with less blinding & less washing required

Listening to your needs is a foundation for the Micronics approach to cloth product development. We develop next-generation cloth products by specifically addressing the concerns you express. This is often referred to as relying on the “voice of the customer” (VOC).

We call it common-sense listening.

Results

Several leading mines in North America have recently completed testing of Micronics’ innovative new MINE-XLL™ Filter Cloth to validate the performance advantages that we presented and believed were achievable. Performance has frankly exceeded all expectations.

The new MINE-XLL™ Filter Cloth from Micronics has lasted an average of 3x longer than conventional Polypropylene Felted Mining Filter Cloths, including our own.

Micronics has worked closely with mine sites that have achieved over 5000 cycles before the need to change-out the cloth while other mines that have already achieved 10,000 cycles before need to change-out the cloth*.

This step-change in cloth performance has already been shown to deliver:

Significant increase in filter press up-time
Reduction in maintenance costs associated with the now longer number of cycles between cloth changeouts
Increased production output

These are all critical in large-scale 24/7 mining operations.

Cake release is notably better with Micronics’ new MINE-XLL™ Filter Cloth. The pictures here demonstrate just how clean our new cloth is even after 1-month life in a Cu mine application. When we compare it to a traditional Polypropylene Felted material, the difference is notable. After a month, the felted cloth is saturated in Cu concentrate, as is shown in the image on the right.

New Micronics MINE-XLL™ Filter Cloth, Shown after ~1 month in use in a Cu mine. Cake release is visibly superior with
MINE-XLL™

Traditional Felt Mining Filter Cloth, shown after
~1 month in use in a Cu mining application.

Cost Savings

Now, let’s look at your press operation and what savings you could potentially see with use of Micronics’ new MINE-XLL™ Filter Cloth. With the assumption that you change cloth every 1500-3000 cycles, or an estimated 30-45 days, the impact of the MINE-XLL™ Filter Cloth to your business could be savings of up to 8 cloth changes annually.

Estimating that the cost to change the cloth is around $16,000 per changeout, the savings can be over $128,000 annually.


Contact Us to learn more about testing Micronics’ innovative new heavyweight nylon filter cloth, MINE-XLL™ Filter Cloth, to enhance productivity in your mining operation. Accept no substitute for Micronics’ MINE-XLL™ Filter Cloth, delivering the extra-long life, abrasion resistance, & enhanced cake release the mining industry has asked for.

Experience why Micronics’ Mining Solutions are second to none: our innovations are based on ‘common sense listening’ to deliver the productivity increases you need.

* Results may vary from mine to mine and will depend on a variety of operating factors including the nature of the ore bodies.