Mining and Processes:
Mineral sands mining and processes include the following three mining and processing components to produce marketable products:
- Mining – Excavates mineral sands including Heavy Minerals (HM) and Light Minerals (LM) from the mined ground.
- Wet Plant – Separates HM from LM. (Trial plant is a WET PLANT.)
- Dry Plant – Processes HM to separate individual minerals present (Zircon, Rutile, Ilmenite, Garnet, Magnetite etc.)
The mining will be done by following two processes, which are (1) Dry Mining and (2) Wet Mining or Dredge Mining.
Dry Mining above water table – Two processes will be adopted for dry mining,
Dry Mining with Excavator and Front-End Loader. This method will be adopted in areas where there is no habitation and settlement. After excavating mineral sands will be taken to the Wet Plant.
Dry Mining utilising local equipment and local workforce – This process of mining will be adopted where there is little settlement. In these areas, mineral sands are rich in HM contents. Local workforce will be trained and given support to mine these resources using local equipment like Spade, Belcha etc. Everlast will purchase their products on mutually agreed negotiable rate. The mining will be done under strict EML supervision. No settlement will be disturbed. This will be undertaken as a community service and poverty alleviation measures. This will be implemented in consultation with the local leaders.
Wet Mining below water table or in the river – Wet mining will be done by dredging and undertaken below the ground water table. Mine area will be divided into mine units of 50m*30m*5m (the actual size will be designed after successful completion of exploration program) dredge ponds which are called paddocks. The soil cover will be collected and saved in a topsoil stockpile for future rehabilitation of the mined area. Mineral sands above the ground water level will be excavated by excavator and carried to the Wet Plant by truck. The deposits below the ground water table and riverbed will be mined by dredging and transported to Wet Plant through pipes. In Wet Plant heavy minerals will be separated and light minerals about 90 to 95% will be returned to the excavated pit for filling the mine pit or land reclamation. After proper drainage and compaction, the topsoil will be placed on the filled-up paddock. The filled paddock will be afforested, and the area will be developed to better value-added land.
Separation of heavy minerals will be done in the Wet Plant (Mining Spiral Concentrator). The Wet Plant will be located near the mine area. The mineral sands from the mine area will be taken to a slurry pond of the Wet Plant where the mineral sands will be slurried to maintain a constant 15-17% feedstock to the Wet Plant processing unit. Here gravity and initial magnetic separation will be done by using water. No chemicals or explosive will be used at any stages of the mining and processes. The separated heavy minerals after draining and drying will be transported by river to the Dry Plant. The location of Dry Plant will be finalized after successful completion of Exploration Work in the area. The light minerals will be carried by pipes to the mined paddock to fill the void and for the land reclamation also.
In the dry plant, heavy minerals will be separated to individual mineral fraction and bagged for the market. Minerals which will not be marketable quality will be shipped back to the mine site and used for refilling the mined block.
The proposed Plant will be a small plant by industry standards. This is very generalized mining and processes that discusses the basic mining activities that will take place during development of the HM resources in the Mining areas. The objective of the Plant is to establish a small to medium scale mining operation which will provide the basis for Everlast to develop a major mineral sands operation within 5 years, following the completion of a comprehensive exploration program and the granting of additional mining leases.
The plant will also be a demonstration plant which will show to the Government that few problems exist in relation to the environment.