South Australia’s IMP technology (IMPTEC) have developed an energy efficient super fine crusher that reduces communition costs.
The machine is used to convert black sand or iron sand waste into a replacement for Portland cement.
IMPTEC director John Doherty called the machine a game-changing invention that could become a leader in the mining industry.
“What we’re involved in is reducing the amount of energy, which is usually electrical, and the cost of media. You can also include lower maintenance costs because it’s just one machine,” he said.
He added that it reduced approximately 30 per cent of costs.
Communition is a necessary process for producing cement, particularly Portland cement.
“Our semi-commercial unit takes in two orders of two tonnes per hour,” Doherty said.
“If it approves itself over the next few months, it would be good. We’re looking at scaling up to 100 tonnes per hour.”
Transforming this black sand or granulated slag into cement is considered a world first.
IMPTEC received the Statewide Super Innovation in Resources award for the crusher at the South Australian Resources Industry Awards last month.
One of the judges, Bill Skinner, leader of the Minerals and Energy strand at the University of South Australia, said that as deposits of high grade materials reduce, finely grinding material becomes more vital.
“Energy consumption is going to go up if we are trying to keep up with what is needed in terms of metals. So anything that is going to reduce the footprint of an operating plant is going to be good,” he said.
“Portland cement is very energy intensive to produce and produces a lot of CO2 in the process. If you are using something that is actually a waste product, that is what you want.”
IMPTEC is trialling a semi-commercial machine at Hallett Concrete in Adelaide.