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Mining


Heap Leaching

The heap leaching method for extracting copper and gold mining was introduced as early as the 18th century, while drip irrigation for this purpose was developed only in the past 20 years. Having invented and introduced drip irrigation for agricultural purposes to the world in 1965, Netafim was faced with significant technological challenges when adapting its systems to the mining industry. This was largely due to the fact that the two applications are both similar and different in many ways.

The main similarity between the two is that drippers offer the miner the same level of uniformity as achieved in its agricultural application, above 95%, thus optimizing metal recovery. However, in agriculture, filtrated water is used to irrigate crops, and therefore never flows twice through the emitter, whereas in mining, the same solution repeatedly flows through the dripper in a closed cycle. Therefore, the reused water may carry solid particles and other pollutants, thus increasing the risk of clogging.

To meet the unique challenges of the mining industry and to improve the productivity of leaching methods, Netafim developed Leach Line X, an innovative solution comprising a series of dripperlines. Equipped with highly turbulent flat drippers, wide passages and short flow paths, Leach Line X is always installed on top of the line. Its significant filtration area prevents large solid particles from entering and clogging the dripper. In addition to self-flushing, it ensures the dripper’s efficiency throughout the whole leaching cycle, leading to improved metal recovery.

Netafim provides reliable services in engineering, hydraulic design and technical support. Implementing a hydraulically efficient and cost effective system, the company’s mining division team assists the metallurgical engineer to achieve the appropriate and desired irrigation rate.

Netafim’s systems are complemented by a wide variety of products, each resistant to acid and alkaline solutions. These include sprinklers, pressure regulators, hydraulic valves, filters, Layflat and Flatnet pipes, fittings and more.

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