Severstal to circumvent haulage cost hike at Tsentralniy open-pit with new conveyors

Severstal is readying an investment in a new conveyor system at the Karelsky Okatysh iron ore complex in northwest Russia as part of a major project to reduce haulage costs at the Tsentralniy open-pit mine.

In the company’s capital investment 2020 announcement at the end of January, it said one of the major investment projects being run by its Severstal Resources division was the “construction of a conveyor belt for run-of-mine transportation at the Tsentralniy pit”.

This conveyor system will help the complex continue to process 20 Mt/y of iron ore and 45 Mt/y of overburden.

Since this announcement, IM has received more detail about this planned installation from a Severstal spokesperson.

The conveyor complex will consist of three production lines, according to the spokesperson:

  • The ore production line includes a semi-mobile gyratory crusher, with capacity of up to 3,500 t/h, a conveyor that lifts the crushed ore to the pit surface and transports it to a warehouse for storage, a warehouse conveyor and a stacker;
  • The second production line is for overburden. It has a more powerful semi-mobile gyratory crusher with capacity of up to 7,300 t/h, lifting and transmitting overburden conveyors and a dump conveyor that feeds the overburden to the spreader that forms the tailings heap; and
  • The third production line is intended for “contaminated ore”. It consists of an eccentric crusher, a dry magnetic separation unit and a conveyor system. After separation, refined ore will be fed to the first ore line and the waste rock will be fed to the second overburden line.

The total length of all the conveyors is 6.5 km, with the largest single conveyor being 1.85 km. The spokesperson said the height of the overburden lift by the conveyor system is 320 meters.

Severstal Resources says the goal of the project, which should launch in 2023, is to reduce haulage costs associated with transporting rock using dump trucks.

“Today the Tsentralniy pit is 350 m deep, 4 km long and 2.5 km wide,” the spokesperson said. “Dump trucks are carrying ore and overburden for about 5 km; by 2023 this will increase to 7 km – hence the decision to build the conveyor complex.”

The project has the added benefit of reducing emissions as there will be less exhaust from the equipment in the pit, the spokesperson added.