Phosphate Mining and Poly Tanks
Updated: Oct 21, 2019
There are many challenges that phosphate mining and production can produce. Phosphate is a vital mineral for those in agriculture, livestock feed, and even consumer products. Overall, it is a life-giving substance that is needed for many industries to function. However, mining phosphate is no easy feat. However, with the right preparation and equipment, it can be mined successfully.
There are common challenges that phosphate mining produces. The main one is abrasion. Phosphates can be more or less abrasive depending on the form they’re in and what they’re being turned into. Typically, phosphates will effect unprotected equipment, particularly if you are working in fertilizer or certain types of animal feed.
The next problem that comes up a lot: dust. Beneficiation plants deal with this a lot because the rock is dry. If you aren’t capturing this dust and reintroducing it into the process later on, you could be losing a lot of money.
The opposite problem occurs when phosphates are wet: they clump together can create issues in processing equipment and decrease efficiency. A good way to avoid this is through something called knocking systems which breaks down these clumps.
Phosphate is also known for being corrosive as most phosphate products have phosphoric acid in them. Often times, protective alloy and linings are required to help avoid corrosion.
No matter if it’s in the same deposit and across different deposits, variability is a huge challenge in all phosphate mining operations. This is a problem because it decreases process efficiency as each batch will require adjustments.
Contamination is another common problem. Sometimes phosphate will be in the presence of organics which causes a decrease in value or can even be unusable in the worst cases. There are ways to fix this where a calcination purifier is added through a kiln to get the material back to phosphate ore. Of course, it’s best to avoid this as this purification process takes up time and money.
A lot of these challenges are tough to combat. However, testing out your process and procedures ahead of time can be a life saver. You can test your phosphate at smaller scales in order to work out variables and gain helpful information for scaling up your process and determining what types of equipment is needed to increase efficiency. Doing this is way better than finding out halfway through your deposit and finding out that you need just one more piece of equipment, or, an entire rework of your process.
Purchasing high quality equipment is also a must. Make sure your manufacturer is familiar with the phosphate products as it will help prolong your equipment life. Find out ahead of time the types of modifications your equipment will require to protect against the harsh material of phosphate.
All in all, phosphate mining is a challenging process. It can really wear down your equipment and can be difficult to process efficiently due to variability. If you are looking for a type of poly tank that can house certain chemicals and remain at full strength, contact us and we can get you what you need!