Coal Age

MAR 2019

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22 March 2019 coal preparation continued of large screens and large cyclones that people are looking at now." Other purchasing trends reveal miners are planning for the long term. "They are buying more robust equipment, equipment that lasts lon- ger without requiring as much main- tenance," Hopwood said. "That is a trend that bodes well for us." Phillips agreed. "The Derrick Stack Sizers, the better high frequen- cy screens, there is a little more inter- est in those than there has been in the past," he said. "They are expensive, but there is some interest there." Some of that interest springs from a trend in miners targeting lower yielding seams. "A lot of the ones in the East, they are mining thinner, rockier coals," Phillips said. "Some of them are trying to increase their overall product tons," he said. "Others are just trying to stay even on the product tons but because the yield has dropped, they have to process more raw coal." In either case, mining and pro- cessing costs rise, he said. "A lot of people these days are cutting 54 to 58 in. underground," Phillips said. "If it is only 28 in. of coal, you have a lot more rock than if it is 36 in. of coal." One effect is "they are having to increase capacity at the plant to han- dle the increased amount of rock," Phillips said. Another effect is a heightened need for price stability, he said. "Sta- bility is a big issue and if the price stays up then they'll go ahead and open a mine in some of these thin- ner seams," Phillips said. "If the price doesn't stay up, then they can't afford to mine that thin." The combined effect on purchas- ing is a trend in emphasis on "effi- ciency, hence better recovery," Trygs- tad said. "If you've got a facility, one way to expand your revenue is can you increase recovery in your plant, hence payback, that sort of thing." Thus, more miners are seeking solutions that can be plugged into existing infrastructure and requiring minimal construction. "If you can go out and buy the equipment and figure out a way to insert it into your existing process or just a small add-on to the side of an existing plant, it is relatively low capital," Trygstad said. "You are probably getting the most bang for your buck because you are spending all your money on the process itself as opposed to a major construction project," he said. "Hopefully if you do it right, you don't have a lot of down- time in your changeover." Some such plug-and-play solu- tions or upgrades that are hot right now or could be in the future are spi- rals and reflux classifiers. "I think one that is gaining a lot of traction is replacing spirals with reflux classifiers or augmenting your spi- rals," Trygstad said. "If you don't have enough capacity in that area, so many plants are reliant on the fine coal part of it because fine coal costs so much." An example would be an opera- tion with more fines than previously, BOKELA launches a steam-assisted hyperbaric filtration pilot plat at the RAG coal prep plant Auguste Victoria in Marl, Germany, in 2014. (Photo: BOKELA)] The ANDRITZ hyperbaric disc filter is advertised as offering continuous filtration, high solid throughputs, low residual moisture, and clear flitrate with a limited footprint. (Photo: ANDRITZ)

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