SC TOMPE “Ilmenite” is engaged in the exploitation
and processing of ilmenite-zircon sands
of the Tugansk deposit
The following spectrum of works has been completed to date:
1824Discovery of Ilmenite
Ilmenite derives its name from the Ilmen Mountains, located in the Urals, where this mineral has been found for the first time.
Discovery of Ilmenite
Ilmenite or titano ferrite is a mineral having the chemical formula FeO·TiO2 or FeTiO3. For the first time ilmenite has been found in the Ilmen Mountains, located in the Urals, from which it derives its name.
First crystals of ilmenite were found in 1824. Originally it has been mistaken for tantalite. In 2826 Johannes Menge, outstanding geologist and scientist, visited the Ilmen Mountains, sampled and describe the mineral of black color and submetallic luster. Later, brothers Gustav and Heinrich Rose who were German mineralogists and scientists studied the new mineral and named it ilmenite after the locality of its first discovery.
In 1827 Adolph Theodor Kupffer, Russian scientist, chemist, physicist, metrologist, who has founded the first Depot of Standard Weights and Measures in Russia, gave a detailed description of ilmenite for the first time. In the same year he published his article “Ilmenit. Krystall. d. Augits & Rothbleierzes”. (Ilmenite. Cristalisation of augite and red lead ore) in the Kastner, Arch. Naturl. X Magazine.
By the end of XIX c. the Ilmen Mountains became practice area for Russian and foreign geologists and mineralogists. At that time mineralogy in Russia began to develop as a scientific field. Gornyi Zhurnal (Mining Journal) containing mining news and expedition results started to be issued. 20 research papers of Russian geologists and mining engineers and 22 research papers of foreign chemists and mineralogists on the Ilmen Mountains were published.
Nowadays, there is the only mineralogical reserve in the world located at the foothills of the Southern Urals that was established for protection and study of the entrails of the world. By the present time, more than 270 different minerals have been found in the Ilmen Mountains. Moreover, about 17 of these minerals have been found for the first time ever.
First discoveries of zircon inclusions and titanium minerals during prospecting works for silica (glass) and molding sands.
Tugansk deposit discovery and exploration
The first geological studies in Tomsk Oblast date back to the end of the XVIII century. These studies were mostly focused on geology of the Tomsk surroundings.
Regular geological surveys began only in 1920′s after the Great October Socialist Revolution.
The first discoveries of zircon and titanium minerals accumulations were made in conjunction to the prospecting works for silica/glass and molding sands near the railway Tomsk-Asino. In 1953 during a detailed exploration of the Tugansk molding sands deposit T. Murzayeva discovered high grades of ilmenite, leucoxene, and zircon in heavy suite.
In order to cover the growing domestic demand for the raw materials a large scale geological exploration has been conducted in Siberia since the mid 1950′s. The aim of that work was to expand the range of mineral raw materials to meet the industrial demand.
After due consideration of geological library materials V. Pyatnov, the member of the Giridmet institute, recommended to test the Tugansk area for the presence of commercially productive ilmenite and zircon accumulations.
In 1956 a centralized expedition under the Geological Survey Trust No.1 headed by B. Sokolov started a special survey of this ilmenite-zircon placer accumulations that resulted in pre-estimation of recoverable mineral sands reserves. Survey and exploration works were pursued further by the expedition No. 8 under the same Trust together with Tomsk complex expedition.
After 1958, exploration of the Tugansk deposit was continued by efforts of the Tugansk party efforts under the Tomsk complex expedition. Exploration materials were submitted to the State Reserves Commission (GKZ) of the USSR twice. In 1959 the mineral sand reserves of Malinovsk and South-Aleksandrovsk areas were approved. G. Ionov, I. Sandanov, and M. Nagorsky took part in their preparation. In 1961 a detailed exploration was completed.
The Tomsk Council of National Economy attempted to construct a pilot plant based on the reserves of Malinovsk and South-Aleksandrovsk areas. However, due to the discovery of new deposits in Ukraine the constraction of the Tugansk pilot plant was abandoned.
In 1985, in accordance with the new requirementsprescribed for the geological exploration and evaluation of ore deposits, the Ministry of Geology of the USSR charged the production geological assosiation Tomskneftegazgeologiya (Tomsk oil-and-gas geology) with the Tugansk deposit follow-up exploration.
In October 1987 a special group of the Tomsk geological survey expedition headed by V. Biryukov was formed for this project design and implementation. Over time, group members changed and skilled professionals joined the team, enabling every person involved to make a significant contribution.
In 1992 the reserves were approved in accordance with the follow-up exploration results. Similar to the previous exploration works results, the Tugansk deposit was recognizes by the State Reserves Commission (GKZ) as efficient for commercial exploitation.
In September 2002, CJSC Tugansk Ore Mining and Processing Enterprise “Ilmenite” was established with the objective of commercial development of the Tugansk ilmenite-zircon deposit.
In 1997 a special group was formed as part of the Tomsk geological survey expedition. This group aimed to design and oversee the realization of a pilot production at South-Aleksandrovsk area of the Tugansk deposit.
In June 1998 Tomskneftegazgeologiya, OAO (Tomsk oil-and-gas geology) started construction of a pilot plant started in accordance with the developed working documentation. In October 1999, the first heavy mineral concentrate was produced at the plant.
In September 2002 Tugansk Ore Mining and Processing Enterprise, ZAO was established to undertake the commercial exploitation of the Tugansk ilmenite-zircon deposit.
From 2003 to 2005, the Tomsk Research and Design Institute VNIPIET (Russian Planning and Research Institute for Integrated Power Engineering Technology) finalized the development of the mineral sands prosessing flowsheet. At the same time, a pilot open-pit based on South-Aleksandrovsk area of the deposit was organized in compliance with the license. Additionaly, a pilot processing plant was built 4 km away (Oktyabrskoye Village).
In 2005 a pilot production for mining and processing of 125 thousand tons of ore per year was put into operation.
In 2005 a mining and processing pilot plant with 125 thousand tons per annum throughput capacity was put into operation.
Start-up of a pilot plant
After just a year of pilot operation start-up, OJSC “TOMPE “Ilmenite” became a prize-winner of the All-Russian contest of the Program 100 Best Goods of Russia.
100 Best Goods of Russia
After just a year of pilot operation start-up, OJSC “TOMPE “Ilmenite” became a prize-winner of the All-Russian contest of the Program 100 Best Goods of Russia.
2006 OJSC “TOMPE “Ilmenite” participated in the regional contest for quality standards Best Goods and Services of Tomsk Region and was awarded with first-place certificates for ilmenite and zircon concentrates recognised as the best products of their category and the second-place certificate for graded silica sand.
At the federal stage of the 100 Best Goods of Russia contest OJSC “TOMPE “Ilmenite” has been awarded with the first-place certificate for zircon concentrate, and the second-place certificates both for Ilmenite concentrate and graded silica sand.
All-Russian contest of the Program 100 Best Goods of Russia was initiated 1998 by the Russia’s Federal Agency on Technical Regulating and Metrology, Transregional non-profit organization Academy of Quality Problems, and editorial and publishing agency Standards and Quality.
The contest is held both by regional and federal stages comprising six major nominations: Food products, Industrial goods for personal consumption, Technical and industrial goods, National handicraft industry, Public services, Technical and industrial services.
An industrial scale process flowsheet was developed; high quality concentrate samples were delivered.
Process Flowsheet Development
In 2007, Australian company, Mineral Technologies Pty Ltd, carried out a testwork for processing of a bulk mineral sands sample from the Tugansk deposit, developed an industrial scale process flow diagram, and delivered high quality concentrate samples (ilmenite, rutile-leucoxene, and zircon).
An international financial partner has joined the Project.
An international financial partner has joined the Project
In 2012 Izurium Capital Management, a London-based independent investment firm, acquired a majority ownership in OJSC “TOMPE “Ilmenite”, thus becoming a strategic and financial partner in the Tugansk project.
Established in 2009, Izurium Capital seeks to generate superior returns for investors through value oriented Private Equity and Special Situations investment strategies.
Since inception, Izurium has invested in excess of $200 million in companies globally, in a variety of sectors including mining, technology, industrial manufacturing and specialty lending.
The stage of the Tugansk deposit pilot production was completed. The stage of an industrial design started.
Ten years of sustainable pilot production
Since 2005, the pilot production plant of OJSC “TOMPE “Ilmenite” has been processing the Tugansk deposit mineral sands and producing small amount of high standart zircon concentrate, ilmenite concentrate, silica sand for glass production, and graded silica sand according to costomer requirements.
After ten years of sustainable pilot production, the Company achieved the following results:
- the specific geological properties of the deposit have been determined;
- the mineral sands mining process has been elaborated in accordance with local conditions;
- a well-proven process technology has been established, tailored to the specific properties of mineral sands;
- significant experience in the use of existing infrastructure has been obtained and logistical issues have been overcome;
- the cooperation of all production departments has been productive, the labor heath and safety issues have been settled;
- the enviromental impact of the production has been determined, and environmental protection mitigants have been decided;
- the coordination with local authorities regarding subsurface management, land-use management, and ecology has been established with due consideration of relevant production requirements;
- a quality management system has been introduced in accordance with international and local quality standards;
- the products specific characteristics and markets have been examined and the customer base has been formed.
Production starts with the mining operations including:
- stripping and ore mining operations;
- loading a truck with an excavator;
- truck hauling to a plant storage facility.
At the plant there are several processing stages, including primary gravity separation where preliminary heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) is delivered before being processed by electromagnetic and electrostatic separation into finished mineral products.
The process flow sheet for the Tugansk mineral sands ncludes four principal stages:
1. Feed preparation for processing including scrubbing, screening, and desliming with the use of scrubber trommel, high frequency screen, and hydrocyclone.
2. Gravity separation on spirals and production of preliminary HMC and silica sand.
3. Preliminary HMC processing by the wet magnetic separation into magnetic and non-magnetic fractions:
- The magnetic fraction (ilmenite) is processed by shaking table, vacuum dehydration and drying. Then, the dry ilmenite concentrate is treated by electrostatic separation to a finished ilmenite product.
- The non-magnetic fraction (zircon) is processed by gravitation, dehydration, drying and refining by electromagnetic separation to a finished zircon concentrate.
4. Silica sand processing by wet magnetic separation, high frequency screen classification, dehydration, and drying into glass sand VS-050-1 grade and co-products includong mortar and graded sands.
Despite severe climate (long and cold winters), the pilot plant operates all year round maintaining regular supply to long-term consumers.
Consumers of the final products are manufacturing enterprises in 15 regions of Russia focused on welding electrodes, refractories, antistick coatings, glassware, and construction materials production. Abroad, many foreign companies from Kazakhstan, China, Japan, and Europe have made production requests for the pilot plant products.
In 2013 OJSC “TOMPE “Ilmenite” started the next stage of the Tugansk deposit development – design of a large-scale ore and processing plant with 4 Mtpa throughput capacity.
Internationally recognized mining consultants and leading specialized Russian companies as well as world leading specialists are involved in the project as design engineers, experts and design contractors.
The pilot plant will operate until the start of the second project stage – plant with 2 Mtpa throughput capacity.
The Tugansk deposit resources and reserves estimation in accordance with the JORC Code was completed.
Resources and Reserves Estimation
In 2013, Australian Company Coffey Mining Pty Ltd accomplished resource estimation of the Kuskovsko-Shiryaevsk and South-Aleksandrovsk areas of the Tugansk deposit in compliance with the JORC Code (2012) for OJSC “TOMPE “Ilmenite”. As for today, the Company is still performing further mining studies.
Coffey Mining Pty Ltd is a Perth-based, independent international consulting company specialising in the areas of geotechnical engineering, hydrogeology, hydrology, tailings disposal, environmental science and social and physical infrastructure. Coffey Mining has more than 50 years experience as specialist mining consultants, operates in more than 80 countries around the globe, and has permanent offices throughout Oceania, the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe.
Processing plants preliminary design and equipment selection were accomplished.
As of today, Australian Company Mineral Technologies Pty Ltd has accomplished preliminary design of the processing plant, including plant layout, process flow diagram development, and equipment selection.
Throughout their 70-year history, Mineral Technologies has been providing services for mineral sands processing including process flowsheet diagrams development, processing plants design, equipment design and delivery for gravity, electrostatic and magnetic separation.
In 2015 TOMS Engineering (Saint Petersburg) was involved in the design.
In 2015 TOMS Engineering (Saint Petersburg) was involved in the design of the Tugansk Ore Mining and Processing Plant (The Tugansk Plant) with 6.9 Mtpa ROM throughput capacity. During cooperation with TOMS Engineering the following activities have been planned:
- Elaboration of Technical and Economic Evaluation of Deposit Development Scenarios (TEO)
- Development of Project Documentation
- Development of Engineering Documentation
For 20 years TOMS Engineering has been working in mining industry and providing a full range of services for mineral deposits development on the territory of the Russian Federation and CIS. Such services comprise all stages from investment to recoupment of a lucrative enterprise.
The projects completed by TOMS Engineering are as follows:
- Ore Mining and Processing Plant Oleniy Ruchey (Murmansk Oblast)
- Processing Plant, Mining and Metallurgical Company Dzhidinsky Volfram (the Republic Buryatia)
- Gold Recovery Plant, Karalveem deposit (Chukotka)
- Gold Recovery Plant, Nerundinsk deposit (the Republic Buryatia)
- Processing Plant, Nurkazgan deposit (Kazakhstan)
- and others.
Minerali Industriali has been involved in the Silica Plant design.
Silica Plant Design
In 2015 Italian company Minerali Industriali became a significant international partner of SC TOMPE Ilmenite. Minerali Industriali has been carrying out the following scope of works:
- Development of a process flow diagram for silica sand treatment
- Set of laboratory and semi-industrial testwork of silica sand from the Tugansk deposit
- Silica Plant design
Minerali Industriali is independent Italian company founded 40 years ago with the objective of extraction, processing and selling of material for glass and ceramics production. In August 2013 Minerali Industriali and Mineral Resources focusing on recoverable resources, mining, design and ore mining and processing plant construction were amalgamated.
Present time Minerali Industriali includes several industrial facilities in Europe, North and South Africa. The main activities have been certified in accordance with ISO 9001:2008. Equipment of an affiliated company of Minerali Industriali Maffei Sarda Silicati corresponds to the highest standards in terms of quality, ecological and industrial safety.
Due to long term experience in mining and processing area Minerali Industriali is to be deemed as perfect business partner in terms of dry and wet silica sand treatment and up-to-date equipment.
A set of engineering surveys as well as design documentation for non-public railway track of SC TOMPE Ilmenite has been performed and prepared.
Railway Track Design
Geotransproject Company involved in design and survey work for railway infrastructure facilities has performed a set of engineering surveys and prepared design documentation for “Non-public railway track of SC TOMPE Ilmenite on the Tugan station of West Siberian Railway. Stage 1”.
In October 2015 design documentation was provided to OJSC RZD for further approval.