zinc production industry
in conditions when china realizes state program of lead and zinc industry modernization, there is a potential for future penetration of the kivcet process into metallurgical technology market of china.
large metallurgical companies with state participation, having integrated plants for lead and electrolytic zinc production, are especially promising for process commercialization. if the capacity of electrolytic zinc plant in the integrated lead and zinc complex is considerably higher, it is almost impossible to find the alternative technologies which will be as effective as kivcet process and which allow to replace old technologies (sintering, smelting in blast furnace and waelz process) and to process simultaneously lead raw materials and by-products from electrolytic zinc plant following current environmental requirements . at present, due to experience of commercialization of a number of environmentally-safe lead smelting processes, it is very well realized in china.
two more chinese companies are very interested in kivcet process. the consequences of this interest will be known in the nearest future. as for kivcet process commercialization in other countries and in kazakhstan, there are no perspectives in the nearest future yet.
mineral and raw material basis for zinc production industry of the republic of kazakhstan
according to data of us geological survey (2005), kazakhstan explored zinc reserves are in the 4 th place in the world after china, usa and australia. verified kazakhstan zinc reserves are in the 3 rd place in the world after australia and china. on the basis of large complex deposits of eastern, central and southern kazakhstan, highcapacity mining and metallurgical complex has been created. the history of development of this complex is more than 200 years.
earlier, a lot of money was invested into development of mineral and raw material basis (mrmb), therefore zinc reserves, spent for processing, were compensated and besides, quite many reserves were formed. at present, state register of reserves of the republic of kazakhstan estimates about 80 ore enterprises of lead and zinc sub-industry. there is the following distribution of zinc reserves among the regions: 40.7 % in eastern kazakhstan, 28.5 % in central kazakhstan, 23 % in southern kazakhstan, 5.8 % in western kazakhstan, and 2.0 % in northern kazakhstan. average zinc concentration in actual reserves according to category а+в+с1 is 3.57 %. estimated cost-efficiency of development for deposits with actual reserves is mostly determined by complex characteristics of mineralization. generally, mineral and raw material basis, prepared for operation, ensures estimated metallic zinc production output until 2030. to increase competitiveness of the sub-industry, it is necessary to consolidate mineral and raw material basis, especially quality characteristics of deposits.
the main source of raw materials for ust-kamenogorsk metallurgical complex of kazzinc company is concentrates from zyryanovsk ore-dressing plant, where 2.25 million tons of ore from maleyevskoye deposit are treated. the capacity of ore extraction from this deposit is planning to be decreased from 2019, and its developed will be finished in 2028.
problems of zinc industry enterprises
problems of mining zinc enterprises arise from general conditions of mining industry of the republic of kazakhstan, which are characterized by decreasing of development rate, aggravation of mining and geological conditions for deposits exploration due to transition of mining activities into deeper levels (more than 500 m), and, as a result decreasing of effectiveness of traditional methods for resources exploitation. current technologies for mineral deposit exploration are mainly based on drilling-and-blasting ore breaking. concentration of mining operations, increasing ground pressure, decreasing of ore grade, delay of prepared reserves and stowing operations, low level of mining technologies improvement, and formation of huge underground spaces result in increasing of accidents and industrial injuries, large-scale random rock falls with penetration into day surface and decreasing of mines ventilation quality.
taking into account such conditions, the mines shall use different methods for increasing of economical effectiveness: decreasing of dead ground extraction, decreasing power and material consumption of the industry, recycling of wastes from ore processing, different methods for recovery and utilization of worked-out areas.
problems of ore-dressing are closely connected with tendencies of mineral and raw-material basis development in the republic, which are characterized by decreasing of raw material grade and technological characteristics. from 1975 till 2000, average zinc concentration in ore decreased from 2.73 % down to 2.15 %, and consequently, zinc recovery decreased from 82.55 % down to 70.25 %. this is only one negative factor, influencing ore-dressing characteristic. mainly, ore-dressing characteristics depend on quality characteristics; first of all, it is content of oxidized mineral forms, mineral grain size and characteristics of their intergrowth. at present, both problems are not solved in a general technological sense, however, all over the world much attention is paid for their solution.
at present most of ores, processed in kazakhstan, are characterized by close intergrowth of thin mineral inclusions. mineral grains, containing commercial components, are so small that the ore has to finely grinded for their extraction. it results in loss of most of the extracted monomineral grains, containing dressing metals.
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