Use water responsibly

Dry mineral processing

Dry processing can make an important contribution to reducing water consumption. One possibility is sensor-based ore sorting, but density separation, magnetic separation, crushing and classification processes are also options that can be considered for the ore in question. Case-by-case consideration is essential here, as dry processes often have cost advantages, but will only result in higher process efficiencies under certain conditions. With many years of experience in dry processing and leading partners worldwide, SIX-S is the right competence for dry processing.

Water is increasingly becoming a limited resource. Different consumers and stakeholders are competing with each other for water supplies. The mining industry no exception being under increasing pressure to reduce water consumption. Even where there is enough water for all consumers, there is high pressure to reduce water consumption and associated emissions. So a resource that historically could be used without hesitation, and often wasted in the grand style, is becoming more and more expensive, not only in dry climates.

However, water is an important raw material for mineral processing: In general approx.  2-4 tonnes of water is needed for every tonne of ore processed. Water serves not only as a transport medium and to reduce wear, but also to dissipate heat and to prevent dust emissions. And the most important separation processes all take place in aqueous solutions, as water has a higher viscosity and specific gravity compared to air. While most of process waters can be recirculated, water remains on the particle surfaces of crushed or ground rock, and is thus carried out of the process, or lost to the system through evaporation.