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Optimization of lime slurry preparation plant


Deadline 28/04/2020

Closing Time

Solutions are sought that allow the critical variables of the lime slurry preparation process to be controlled in line and in real time, with the aim of reducing the consumption of raw materials and also ensuring the quality of the final product for subsequent transport to the grinding and flotation processes. The main variables to control are: percentage of solids and lime slaking temperature.

Operation and processes involved:
Minera Escondida, Concentradora Los Colorados.

Current situation:
Lime slurry is prepared by a process of slaking quicklime (CaO) with water in a vertical ball mill. This lime slurry (Ca(OH)2 ) is then sent to a storage tank for further transport to the concentrator plant. The most frequent problems of this plant are: incrustation of the slurry in the transport circuit to its destination and low efficiency in the preparation, increasing the consumption of raw material.

Increased consumption of raw material (lime) and incrustations in the transport lines that generate problems of operational continuity.

Problem occurrence:
The problem is common in the process of preparing lime slurry.

Modifications are made to the operational logic of control valves and line de-scaling actions.

Proven technologies:
New technologies have not been tested, but process engineering consultancies are not desired.


Challenge page

Supply Innovation BHP

aims to promote the development of projects between the Company and the Suppliers with an associative approach, where the design and construction of the solution for the “Challenge” detected by an area of the Operation is addressed jointly. In this way, the generated projects develop solutions that add value to the Company and the suppliers build capacities and competencies that translate in more and better business opportunities.

Expande program

The Open Innovation in Mining Program, Expande, is a public-private initiative designed and carried out by FundaciĆ³n Chile. The purpose is to drive innovation and make possible a better future for global mining, promoting the mining ecosystem in Chile along with building a collaborative model that enables the best solutions for the high complexity challenges of mining today and tomorrow.