Coal Preparation » Fine Coal
Every year millions of tons of good quality ultrafine coal are discarded along with the high ash slimes material onto tailings dams throughout Australia's coal mining regions. With Baleen Filter's new micro-screening technology, originally developed for the water treatment industry, indications are that significant recovery of this coal is possible and feasible. The principle of recovery is based purely on size classification. Test work carried out on four coal processing plants showed that the valuable coarser fraction of the tailings solids can be effectively separated from the slimes, increasing the overall plant yields by between 1 and 4 percent (depending on mesh aperture selection). Two of the host sites did not have flotation circuits, and both showed very similar and positive results from the testwork. The other two sites did have flotation circuits, and the results were very positive on one of them. The focus of the testwork was on recovery of coal from tailings, but the Baleen Filter technology received a lot of interest during the trial program and is likely to face further R&D opportunities in other coal washing applications in the near future, such as desliming of spiral product, and removal of visible suspended solids from process water.