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Australia's largest-ever thickener order

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Outokumpu Technology has been awarded Australia's largest-ever thickener order with its contract to design, supply and install thickeners for the $1.4 billion Ravensthorpe Nickel Project.

The initial contract, worth more than $30 million, includes a counter current decantation (CCD) circuit and neutralisation thickeners.

The CCD supply comprises six 42m diameter thickeners incorporating Outokumpu's Turbodil forced dilution systems and SUPAFLO(r) high torque SBD2000 multi pinion drives.

These thickeners will perform an integral role in ensuring cost efficiency at Ravensthorpe, which will produce up to 50,000tpa nickel and 1400tpa cobalt in a mixed hydroxide product.

Outokumpu will provide six 42m CCD high rate thickeners, with an extended sidewall height of 6.7 metres, specified to permit greater bed compression and optimal underflow density.

The thickener mechanism will be driven by an Outokumpu SBD2000 multi- pinion drive with a maximum output torque of 2.5MNm. The Turbodil forced dilution allows the most favourable feed dilution for a range of ore types and throughput tonnages.

Also included in the package are four 30m high rate neutralisation thickeners, each with 4.3-metre sidewall height. These units incorporate SUPAFLO Floc-Miser high rate feedwells that have been successful in reducing reagent consumption and improving overflow clarities in similar applications.

With detailed design and preliminary fabrication in progress, the thickener package installation will be completed mid 2006.

(Released by Outokumpu Technology in December 2004.)

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