Hudbay goes 100% Jameson Cell for New Britannia flotation circuit

Hudbay goes 100% Jameson Cell for New Britannia flotation circuit

News update
25 March 2020


Hudbay’s New Britannia copper-gold operation has chosen to create a flotation circuit made entirely of Jameson Cells. The northern Manitoba operation needs to process finer grinds and higher grades of ore, and to manage costs while doing so means pursuing as small a footprint as possible, while still delivering optimised recoveries and concentrate grades.

Hudbay appraised several options but found most to be unfavourable in capital cost and return. The Jameson Cell was identified by Hudbay as being integral to the optimal circuit configuration, and Glencore Technology was engaged for technical support. The new circuit will go into a dedicated, standalone building, meeting capital and operating target cost targets for a remote site.

Any perceived risk was removed by extensive pilot plant testing at the nearby Stall concentrator, as well as through Hudbay staff experience with Jameson Cell and other pneumatic flotation technology.

Peter Amelunxen, VP of Technical Services for Hudbay, said: “The decision was driven by the realities of our orebody and a desire to reduce costs and increase net value. It might look innovative, but it’s just a real-world decision based on technical understanding, costs and risk perception.”

Manager of Metallurgy, Matthew Taylor, added: “We needed to build in the ability to handle a large variation in copper feed grade while maintaining the flotation tails grade below 0.1% copper reporting to the tails leach circuit.”

“And we needed a technology that might be new to our operation but it had to be proven, industrially. Any gains in availability, recovery, and product quality have to be achieved through smaller footprint and a proven simplicity of operation.”

The result is intended to maximise the project NPV over the forecasted mine life, head grades, and mineralogy.