INNOVATION CENTRAL: Checking out the newly-installed Pilot Plant Reflux Classifier unit are (from left) New Acland washplant employees Dave Macgregor, Kristof McDonald, Robert O'Brien, Andy Scouller and Jeff Selman.
INNOVATION CENTRAL: Checking out the newly-installed Pilot Plant Reflux Classifier unit are (from left) New Acland washplant employees Dave Macgregor, Kristof McDonald, Robert O'Brien, Andy Scouller and Jeff Selman.

New Acland Mine explores coal processing technique

IT IS innovation central at New Acland Mine this week with New Hope announcing a second trial at the mine's wash plant to explore a new coal processing technique.

The trial will investigate the viability of the FLSmidth Reflux Classifier, a new and highly efficient device for processing fine coal which could provide leading-edge technology to the wash plant.

New Acland's wash plant manager Robert Rashleigh said the technology was only installed at about 40 sites around the world.

"This particular unit is starting to gain momentum in the industry so we're pretty excited to bring it to New Acland," he said.

"A more efficient wash means more product coal and that's something we really like the sound of.

"We're currently laying the groundwork for the trial and should be kicking off the pilot program from June."

New Hope Group's principal process engineer Michael Rodgers is responsible for the trial and said the reflux classifier's density separation was particularly interesting.

"The mining industry has processed coal by density for decades but the reflux classifier gives the process a more precise separation," he said.

"The heavier reject material discharges from the bottom of the unit, and the low density clean coal is sent out the top, giving you a lower ash product.

"New Acland is always looking for ways to continually improve our operations and even though it's early days, this pilot program could deliver real benefit to our wash plant."

The reflux classifier pilot is running with another wash plant trial testing a dry sorting technology which could allow New Acland Mine to become the first Australian coal mine to adopt the technology.


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