Minerali Industriali Engineering opens its MTC

The Minerals Treatment Centre, the innovative pilot plant set up at Minerali Industriali Engineering’s R&D centre, was officially opened on 15 September.

The Minerals Treatment Center (MTC), the name of the innovative pilot plant located at the Minerali Industriali Engineering’s Research & Development Centre, was opened on 15 September in Cacciano di Masserano, in the province of Biella.

This ambitious and futuristic project was conceived directly by the Minerali Team as an intermediate solution between laboratory and industrial testing that would cater for specific industrial needs.

While laboratory tests provide valuable preliminary information on the effectiveness of the various mineral treatment methods for the materials under examination, they are severely limited when more in-depth study is required. For example, they provide only very general information on yields, specific consumption and the potential for scaling up to an industrial level. To obtain more detailed information, it is normally necessary to perform industrial testing, which however is laborious (as production facilities have to be shut down and cleaned thoroughly), requires large quantities of raw materials (several hundred tonnes) and is fairly costly to perform.

The aim of the MTC is to overcome these limitations. The centre reproduces numerous wet and dry industrial treatment processes continuously but on a small scale and is therefore able to perform reliable tests aimed at optimising plant engineering decisions. It is effectively an industrial process carried out on several tonnes of material to ensure the representativeness of the results while considerably reducing costs and minimising the risk of contamination. It is a highly flexible solution with sequences of treatments that can be easily adapted to customers’ needs and are grouped into three sections: an initial crushing and screening area, a second dry treatment area and a third wet treatment area.

Following the preliminary laboratory test, which is in any case useful for setting up the MTC’s operating parameters, the MTC performs testing and is concluded with an MTC Test Report, which includes the analysis of raw materials and the intermediate and final product results, as well as the calculation of yields, energy costs per tonne and the flow rate for each process. It also provides a plant construction design and an approximate indication of costs (both CapEx and OpEx).

Thanks to the MTC, MIE is able to provide complete, all-round customer support during all stages of the decision-making process and can build a plant that is fully customised to individual requirements based on its experience in the mining machinery sector.

The more than 50 MIE customers and partners attending the inauguration were taken on a guided tour of the MTC by company engineers, who explained the operation of the plant in detail. Guests were greeted by MIE’s Chairman (L. Ramon) and three CEOs (V. Costa, M. Vulcano and M. Bargioni), the Chairman and the CEO of the parent company Minerali Industriali (Giorgio and Sabrina Bozzola, respectively), and all the plant’s employees.

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