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MOISTSCAN Moisture Analyser Range - Applications in Nickel

Supplier: Callidan Instruments

The MOISTSCAN moisture analyser range has proven to be very compatible with applications within the Nickel Industry.


Typically the MOISTSCAN obtains an instrument precision of 0.7% for products which have a moisture range of 25% - 40%.

Typical application use for the Moistscan® include:

  • De-watering circuits such as for the input to kiln dryers
  • Plant feedback by analysing the output of the kiln dryer
  • ROM applications for metallurgical accounting
  • Loading Ports and train load outs for commercial and contractual purposes.
  • Measurement of nickel carbonate within the process

Clients involved with the MOISTSCAN currently include, SLN Nickel (New Caledonia) , Votorantin Metatis (Brazil) and BHP Billiton. The QNI staff use the analyser constantly for metallurgical accounting.

Queensland Nickel Plant's use of Moistscan's Microwave technology.

One of the most recent examples of Moistscan's accuracy was the analysis of its performance on site at Queensland Nickel Pty Ltd. (QNI). Located in Yabulu near Townsville, QNI is a subsidiary of BHP Billiton Ltd and refines laterite nickel ore to a range of nickel products as well as producing cobalt.

The annual production capacity is 30,000 tonnes of nickel and 2,000 tonnes of cobalt.

It is important the ore is dried to a consistent moisture level as variations can lead to process instability and unnecessary losses.

There is also a need for moisture measurement to obtain a mass balance and for metallurgical accounting purposes.

The stockpiles are open to the weather and hence variation in moisture content on receipt at the drier.

The ores are very difficult to handle, having a claylike texture resulting in an inconsistent feeding system onto the belt which in turn causes continual changes in the ore profile.

This results in significant surging of the material.

The nickel ore also tends to agglomerate into lumps when wet and this tendency is heightened by increased moisture content.


The Moistscan performance was verified by taking two samples from the moving conveyor and analysing each sample in different laboratories.

This sample was then compared with the one minute rolling average of the Moistscan analyser.

The conclusion of the sample program was that the Moistscan displayed an equivalent accuracy to that of either laboratory.

The microwave technique has been shown to be precise and reliable in providing moisture measurements in a number of other applications.