Along the shores of Lake Superior, you can still find ancient copper mines. Discoveries of copper tools, artifacts and arrow heads tells us that the indigenous peoples in the area were using this copper 5,000 years ago and were part of an expansive trade network.
Mining techniques have come a long way
Established in 2009 by Glenn Kosick and Glenn Dobby, Woodgrove Technologies provides innovative, technologically advanced products for the Mineral Processing Industry.
Even before conceiving Woodgrove, Kosick and Dobby had mining in their blood. They previously owned mining company Minnovex and carved out business in over 30 countries. The company specialized in research, development and implementation of technological advances in the mining industry.
Today, the mining industry’s challenge is low grade, large tonnage deposits. Traditional flotation equipment suppliers have responded by simply increasing traditional tank cells to ever larger sizes to meet the need of these large tonnage operations. The results are a trend to longer residence times and massive infrastructure. Environmental impact and operating costs have also proportionally increased.
”Basically low grade / large tonnage operations are inefficient by definition.” says Stuart Fisher, Controller at Woodgrove Technologies.” All mining operations are extremely capital intensive so if you are moving a large tonnage and getting a low recovery rate for the mineral there is less metal produced per dollar invested. In this day of low resource prices operating costs have to be reduced whenever possible. More efficient technology is required to improve the efficiency of the exploitation of the resources.”
At the core of the Woodgrove philosophy is rejection of the status quo. Kosick and Dobby believed the challenges facing the industry needed a complete transformation in approach. They directed their efforts to researching and developing a machine specifically designed to meet these challenges and the result is the “Staged Flotation Reactor.”
The SFR is a new design that halves overall power consumption, uses half the floor space, and produces better selectivity and higher recoveries for less than the cost of putting in a conventional tank.
Woodgrove Technologies had recently secured contracts internationally in Bulgaria, Indonesia and Brazil, but they wanted to expand their operations in Brazil. An opportunity presented itself with mining company Vale and in order to secure some financing for the expansion, they turned to EDC for a solution. EDC was able to offer a 75% guarantee on financing which helped Woodgrove secure a line of credit with RBC.
“We undertook a very large project with Vale in Brazil which required us to contract with many fabricators for the tank cells, motors, pumps, valves etc. required to build the SFRs for our project.” says Mr. Fisher, “It would have been very difficult for us to commit to these contracts and the inherent cash flow issues that can arise without having a secure line of credit to use as bridge financing. It was the perfect solution for this project.”
The SFR is now in operation on gold, pyrite and copper flotations in three countries with more projects in various phases of design. Woodgrove Technologies is creating a paradigm shift in the way flotation is carried out in industry today.