The worldwide trend across all industries to reduce dust in the working environment is underpinned by the dangers when personnel are exposed to excessive dust. The need is no different in the mining sector where large volumes of material are conveyed vast distances, and moved from one conveyor system to the next before reaching its final destination.
Managing Director of Weba Chute Systems, Mark Baller says that the company’s custom engineered transfer systems have played a major role in addressing the dust issue for many years on mines across the world. Baller says that Weba Chute Systems provide a viable solution to this potentially hazardous situation where excessive dust, especially fines, can be both hazardous to workers’ health and create greater abrasion to wearing parts resulting in increased maintenance.
“Majority of the dust generated in the mining and minerals beneficiation industries is created during the transfer of material, and it is not enough to merely install extractive equipment,” he explains. “It is essential to identify the actual source of the dust problem and engineer an appropriate transfer system to minimise the dust.”
Once this has been done, less powerful dust extraction equipment will be needed with consequent savings in both capital equipment expenditure and energy consumption. By controlling the fall of material in the transfer point, material degradation can be dramatically decreased by up to 80%, with a resultant decrease in dust and noise emission.
“Obviously the higher the drop, the greater the potential for more dust to be created. The Weba Chute System is configured to control the direction, flow and velocity of the calculated volume and type of material processed in a particular application. This absolute control of material has a marked effect on impact resulting in significantly lower amounts of fines and dust being created,” he continues.
In addition to this major advantage, spillage is virtually eliminated and this, again, reduces the dust factor. The locally developed and manufactured Weba Chute System is designed around the principle of conveyed material impacting on surfaces that already contain material. This is achieved by using a Cascade system to create a “Super Flow” effect. This feature plays an important role minimising the generation of excessive unwanted fines and associated dust.
While it is considered important to incorporate the Weba Chute System during the design phase of new projects, these innovative chutes can be retrofitted to existing installations thereby overcoming existing dust problems. The company’s design philosophy is simple. Each application is individually assessed in terms of its particular requirements, and the most appropriate solution is provided.
Baller says that there are more than 4,000 custom designed Weba Chute Systems operating successfully across the globe handling close on 2 billion t/mth. Tonnages handled vary between 40 t and 12,000 t/h with particle sizes being transferred in excess of 900 mm to 50-micron super fines.