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Increased recovery of saleable coal at a coal preparation plant


A coal-handling and preparation plant at a coalmining operation in the Hunter Valley.


The coal-preparation plant was losing fine coal saleable product to tailings. It required additional fine coal treatment to maximise coal recovery yield and minimise tailings disposal costs. The required equipment was bulky and there was limited space available around the existing preparation plant.

The plant modification required diversion of the existing tailing thickener feed piping into a new flotation circuit located adjacent to the existing preparation plant, with the flotation tailings reporting to the existing thickener. Recovered flotation product would be directed into a new disk filter in the existing preparation plant. Dewatered product coal would feed onto the existing product conveyor system and the recovered effluent recycled to the thickener to minimise site water balance loss.


Advitech’s engineering team developed a conceptual plant design for the flotation and dewatering circuits to confirm equipment selection, space requirements and cost elements that would allow the site’s requirements to be achieved. Indicative cost estimates were developed from the conceptual design and an initial cost-benefit analysis suggested an economical return.

A preliminary plant design was developed from the conceptual plant information, providing better costing estimates to improve the accuracy of the cost-benefit analysis.

Advitech prepared detailed design engineering and drafting of the structural, civil and mechanical elements, and produced the drawings and associated documentation for construction. Our team managed the equipment procurement, fabrication and construction phases to ensure the project was on time and on budget.

Value Delivered

The cost of the plant modification was repaid within six months from the increase in saleable product and reduction in tailings disposal costs.