Title page for ETD etd-01222009-172643


Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Andrews, Lesley
Email Landrews@angloresearch.com
URN etd-01222009-172643
Document Title Base metal losses to furnace slag during processing of platinum-bearing concentrates
Degree MSc
Department Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering
Supervisor
Advisor Name Title
Prof C Pistorius Supervisor
Keywords
  • base metals
  • Waterval Smelter
  • FactSage equilibrium model
  • PGE losses
Date 2008-09-02
Availability unrestricted
Abstract

The base metal distribution in, and losses to, Anglo Platinum six-in-line and slag cleaning furnace slags were characterised to coincide with various process changes at Waterval Smelter from 1999 to 2009. The base metals are presumed to be reliable indicators of PGE losses and are easier to detect and measure than these elements are. In addition, base metal and sulphur levels are used to monitor and control many smelter processes, including slag cleaning and converting.

Some losses to slag are recoverable but others are not – these have been quantified during this study. Slag composition and smelting temperatures have varied substantially, and optimisation of the slag cleaning furnace – a first for the South African platinum industry – has produced a wide variation in oxidation conditions. Most of the base metal losses in the slag cleaning furnace are mechanically entrained matte particles, the largest of which should be recovered. These have been examined to establish any relationship between composition, size, and depth within the furnace so that recommendations can be made to limit these types of losses.

In the six-in-line furnaces, over half of base metal losses to slag are as dissolved phases, which are not recoverable. Levels of dissolved metals have been measured and related to furnace operating conditions and slag composition. The prediction of such base metal losses is not easy, because the slag compositions are so complex. One aspect of the project has been to compare the measured distribution of the base metals with those calculated using the FactSage equilibrium model, to identify problem areas, and to recommend actions which could improve the predictions of this and similar modelling programs for base metal dissolution in slag.

New electron microbeam techniques have been developed to quantify base metal distribution in slag, and novel combinations of these techniques with analytical chemistry and Mössbauer Spectroscopy have been pioneered.

© 2008, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Andrews, L 2008, Base metal losses to furnace slag during processing of platinum-bearing concentrates, MSc dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-01222009-172643 / >

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