Tag Archives: Conveyors

BEUMER Group prepares to showcase complete material transport solution offering at Bauma

BEUMER Group is gearing up to present an even wider product portfolio to attendees of Bauma 2022, in Munich, on October 24-30, following the acquisition of the FAM Group.

Since May of this year, the full-service provider has been offering its entire product spectrum, ranging from bulk material handling, and processing plants to conveyor technology. This sees customers provided with complete material transport solutions from a single source, the company says.

The BEUMER Group has been firmly anchored in the bulk solids handling technology market for decades, with the acquisition of the FAM Group significantly strengthening the system provider’s position in the minerals and mining markets. The FAM Group has its headquarters in Magdeburg, Germany, and is an internationally active, medium-sized group and manufacturer of systems for open-cast mining, stockyards, mineral processing, ports, conveying and loading.

The BEUMER Group offers machines along the entire transport chain for bulk goods, with solutions including the extraction, conveying, loading, storage and processing of various raw materials, for  various industries.

BEUMER Group says it combines many years of serial production know-how with customised manufacturing experience, offering high-quality engineering and extensive services.

“The BEUMER Group delivers turnkey complexes for the extraction, transport and processing of raw materials, thanks to its wide range of large-scale equipment and individual machines for open-cast mining, such as bucket wheel excavators, belt wagons and conveyor systems,” the company said. “Mine operators can transport various bulk materials with BEUMER’s pipe and overland conveyors, even over long distances and above terrain which is often rough and impassable. Steep gradients and tight curve radii enable individual routes to be adapted to the topography and the task at hand. The BEUMER Group can customise the systems to match the conveying task and topography exactly. The system provider relies on modern planning and layout tools to support plant operators early in the project and design the ideal conveying solution together with the customer.”

The product portfolio includes extensive storage space technology, loading systems and various crushing & screening plants, including impact, hammer, single & double-roll crushers, plus many more crushers and mills.

Rio Tinto and Baowu to invest $2 billion in Western Range iron ore development

Rio Tinto and China Baowu Steel Group Co. Ltd have agreed to enter into a joint venture with respect to the Western Range iron ore project in the Pilbara, Western Australia, investing $2 billion to develop the mine.

Western Range’s annual production capacity of 25 Mt of iron ore will help sustain production of the Pilbara Blend from Rio Tinto’s existing Paraburdoo mining hub. The project includes construction of a primary crusher and an 18 km conveyor system linking it to the existing Paraburdoo processing plant.

Construction is expected to begin in early 2023 with first production anticipated in 2025. The construction phase will support approximately 1,600 jobs with the mine requiring about 800 ongoing operational roles, which are expected to be filled by existing workers transitioning from other sites in the Paraburdoo mining hub.

Rio Tinto’s share of the capital costs are already included in the group’s capital expenditure guidance of around $9-10 billion for each of 2023 and 2024. Both parties will pay their portion of capital costs for the development of the mine, and mine operating costs, plus a nominal ongoing resource contribution fee calculated by reference to Western Range production volumes. There is no upfront consideration being paid by either party.

Rio Tinto and Baowu, which own 54% and 46%, respectively, of the joint venture, have also agreed to enter into an iron ore sales agreement at market prices covering a total of up to 126.5 Mt of iron ore over approximately 13 years. This volume represents Baowu’s 46% interest in the anticipated 275 Mt of production from Western Range through the joint venture.

Rio Tinto has a long history of successfully partnering and investing with customers to develop new mines in the Pilbara. Rio Tinto and Baowu’s partnership in the Pilbara dates back to the 2002 Bao-HI joint venture to develop the Eastern Range deposits in the Hamersley Ranges (Eastern Range) and Western Range, subject to a production cap of 200 Mt. It is now expected the production cap will be sourced entirely from Eastern Range, and this transaction will continue Rio Tinto’s relationship with Baowu through development of Western Range.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive, Simon Trott, said: “This is a very significant milestone for both Rio Tinto and Baowu, our largest customer globally. We have enjoyed a strong working relationship with Baowu for more than four decades, shipping more than 200 Mt of iron ore under our original joint venture, and we are looking forward to extending our partnership at Western Range.

“The development of Western Range represents the commencement of the next significant phase of investment in our iron ore business, helping underpin future production of the Pilbara Blend, the market benchmark.

“At the same time, Rio Tinto and Baowu continue to work together on low-carbon steelmaking research, exploring new methods to reduce carbon emissions and improve environmental performance across the steel value chain.”

Baowu Resources Chairman, Shi Bing, said: “The signing of the joint venture agreement for the Western Range project is a significant event in the history of cooperation between Baowu and Rio Tinto. We fully appreciate the persistent efforts of both teams in accomplishing the important achievement. The Bao-HI joint venture has been successfully operating for more than 20 years, leading us to a win-win result, and reaping friendship and trust.

“We hope that the two parties will deepen the mutually beneficial and win-win partnership, continue to carry forward the spirit of sincere cooperation and further expand cooperation in more fields and aspects on the basis of working together to operate the project well.”

Rio Tinto has worked closely with the Traditional Owners on whose country Western Range is situated, the Yinhawangka People, to co-design a Social and Cultural Heritage Management Plan for the project, designed to protect signiticant cultural and heritage values in the area.

The plan, which was agreed with Yinhawangka Aboriginal Corporation and announced earlier this year, outlines protocols for joint decision-making on environmental matters and mine planning.

Rio Tinto’s Paraburdoo hub is comprised of three operating mines, Paraburdoo, Channar and Eastern Range. Western Range contains two deposits, 36W–50W and 55W–66W, which are located within the Hamersley Basin of Western Australia. The deposits’ mineralisation is primarily hosted by the Brockman Iron Formation with additional detrital mineralisation present. The 36W–50W and 55W-66W deposits contain a measured resource of 22 Mt at 59.1% Fe, indicated resource of 102 Mt at 61.5% Fe and an inferred resource of 108 Mt at 61.4% Fe. The 36W–50W deposit contains a proven reserve of 109 Mt at 62.1% Fe and a probable reserve of 56 Mt at 61.7% Fe.

Zinnwald striving for battery-electric circularity with lithium project development

The development of the integrated Zinnwald lithium project in Germany could see the incorporation of a battery-electric fleet of LHDs and the return of metal production to a region of saxony with mining history dating back to the Middle Ages.

The London-listed owner of the project, Zinnwald Lithium Plc, has just released a preliminary economic study on its namesake project focused on supplying battery-grade lithium hydroxide to the European battery sector.

As with any responsible battery metal project being developed today, the project’s ‘green credentials’ are being considered even at this early stage.

Zinnwald Lithium has been keen to flag these, mentioning the project is located close to the German chemical industry, a fact that should enable it to draw on a well trained and experienced workforce with well-developed infrastructure, plus reduce the ‘carbon footprint’ of the final end-use product.

This focus will see all aspects of the project – from mining through to production of the end product – located near to the deposit itself.

Zinnwald Lithium also said the project has the potential to be a low- or ‘zero-waste’ project, as the vast majority of both its mined product and co-products have their own large-scale end-markets.

This could see it produce not only battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate products, but sulphate of potash (SOP) for the fertiliser market and precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) – the latter being a key filling material in the paper manufacturing process.

The project now includes an underground mine with a nominal output of approximately 880,000 t/y of ore at an estimated 3,004 ppm Li and 75,000 t/y of barren rock. Processing, including mechanical separation, lithium activation and lithium fabrication, will be carried out at an industrial facility near the village of Bärenstein, near the existing underground mine access and an existing site for tailings deposition with significant remaining capacity.

With a 7-km partly-existing network of underground drives and adits from the ‘Zinnerz Altenberg’ tin mine, which closed in 1991, already mapped out, the bulk of ore haulage is expected to be via either conveyor or rail

The nominal output capacity of the project is targeted at circa-12,000 t/y LiOH with circa-56,900 t/y of SOP, 16,000 t/y of PCC, circa-75,000 t/y of granite and 100,000 t/y of sand as by-products.

The company is looking to complete the ‘circularity’ dynamic in its fleet and equipment selection, according to CEO, Anton Du Plessis, who mentioned that electric LHDs could be used to load and haul ore to an ore pass in the envisaged operation.

He said the cost estimates to use such equipment – which are factored into the project’s $336.5 million initial construction capital expenditure bill – have come from Epiroc, which has a variety of battery-operated mobile equipment.

“The base case is battery-operated loaders,” he told IM. “The final selection will be based on an optimisation study where, in particular, partly trolley-fed haulage systems will be investigated.”

Forms of automation are also being studied, Du Plessis said, with the caveat that “only select technologies we consider proven” will be evaluated.

Zinnwald Lithium is also looking at electric options for long-hole drilling underground, with both battery-based units and cabled versions under consideration and requiring firming up in the optimisation study.

With a 7-km partly-existing network of underground drives and adits from the ‘Zinnerz Altenberg’ tin mine, which closed in 1991, already mapped out, the bulk of ore haulage is expected to be via either conveyor or rail. The former, of course, will be powered by electricity, but the company is also considering potential battery-electric options for the latter, according to Du Plessis.

The company is blessed with existing infrastructure at the mine, which should help it in advancing the project at the pace its potential end-use manufacturing suppliers would like. It is already evaluating options for the construction stage – with an engineering, procurement and construction management contract the most likely option – and it has plans to conclude a feasibility study by the end of next year.

Du Plessis said while most of the fixed assets have been removed or were deemed outdated a long time ago from the former operating underground mine, other infrastructure was in good shape.

“The excavations, main level, underground workshop, ventilation shafts and, particularly, 2020 refurbished access tunnel provide a very good starting point for our project,” he said. “The access tunnel was originally constructed for dewatering the old mine and, therefore, the mine and the tunnel have been maintained very well.”

The company is now shifting to the bankable feasibility study and currently selecting partners for the project.

With what it calls a “simple, five-stage processing” route confirmed by test work for the extracted material at Zinnwald, the company is looking to select OEMs with the optimal concept for the project, Du Plessis said.

“In the PEA, mineral processing equipment cost is based on Metso Outotec estimates, pyrometallurgy is based on Cemtec technology, and hydrometallurgy is based on various providers’ technology,” he clarified.

Continental expands Conveying Solutions business in Sweden with Vulk & Montage buy

Continental is expanding its presence in Sweden with the acquisition of conveyor and maintenance company, Vulk & Montage, based in Karlstad.

Vulk & Montage has four locations in Karlstad (headquarters), Örebro, Mora and Stockholm, Sweden. The company is a leading service provider for the conveyor industry in central Sweden, operating out of its four branches and one rubber workshop.

The company provides add-on products such as belts, belt scrapers, industrial hoses, screens, wear rubber, lightweight conveyor belts, technical plastics and additional services like lining (cold and hot), spraying polyurethane, sandblasting and paintwork.

“With the Vulk & Montage Group, we are able to offer an entire service and solution package in addition to the current Continental product portfolio to our industrial customers in Central Sweden,” Song Qi, who is responsible for the global business with conveyor belt system solutions at Continental, said. “The acquisition underscores again our goal of further expanding our service business directly with our customers and aligning our focus accordingly.”

Completion of the acquisition is subject to approval by the competent antitrust authorities, with the two parties agreeing not to disclose the purchase price.

Continental’s Conveying Solutions is one of the world’s leading specialists in conveying and off-highway solutions, with customers in key industries such as mining, agriculture, automotive and plant engineering.

Conveying Solutions’ goal is to respond to specific customer needs and to provide holistic and efficient solutions for every conveying task in the most environmentally friendly way possible – from plant design, production and installation to preventive maintenance and repair.

Conveying Solutions has more than 5,800 employees at 54 locations in 16 countries.

Safety pays with mining conveyor maintenance, Martin Engineering’s Swinderman says

Conveyor safety is not a modern trend bred by government regulation, it’s a common-sense idea as old as the first conveyor design, R Todd Swinderman, CEO Emeritus, Martin Engineering, says.

In the modern age, safety is a key factor in worker protection, reduced insurance rates and a lower total cost of operation. There are several hurdles to the installation of safety equipment, the biggest of which is the near-universal use of the “Low Bid process”, he says.

“When companies buy on price (Low Bid) the benefits are short-lived and costs typically increase over time,” Swinderman says. “In contrast, when purchases are made based on lowest long-term cost (Life Cycle Cost), benefits usually continue to accrue and costs go down, resulting in a net savings over time. Safer and more reliable equipment is easier to service, has a longer life and is less expensive to maintain.”

Organisations that embrace safety show significant performance advantages over the competition, according to Swinderman. The proof is reflected in reduced injuries and greater productivity, along with above industry average financial returns and higher share prices.

Justifying safety investments is greatly enhanced by quantifying what most financial managers refer to as “intangible costs”, ie injuries, lost labour, insurance, morale, legal settlements, etc. However, managers and accountants have been trained to think about saving direct costs to justify investments, Swinderman says.

When conveyors don’t operate efficiently they have unplanned stoppages, release large quantities of fugitive materials and require more maintenance. Emergency breakdowns, cleaning of excessive spillage and reactive maintenance all contribute to an unsafe workplace.

Safety pays

Numerous case studies revealing the positive relationships between safety and productivity are backed up by organisations that gather global statistics on accidents and incidents. The simple formula for return on investment (dividing savings by cost) does not capture the potential savings from safety investments, according to Swinderman. Several organisations provide detailed and regional statistics on the cost of accidents.

Regional statistics on costs of accidents

Lacking specific historical data, managers can turn to numerous reliable sources that provide the probability of incidents that can be used to estimate tangible and intangible future costs.

Accident rates per 100,000 industrial workers per year

The financial technique used to compare options is a “net present value” (NPV) analysis. NPV compares different investment options with varying costs and savings (cash flows) over time, discounting them by the company’s cost of money.

Swinderman explained: “For example, an internal risk analysis shows a facility has 30 workers exposed to conveyor hazards. The estimated probability of the different classes of accidents (fatal, lost time and first aid) is multiplied by the cost of these accidents to reveal what could be invested to reduce the incident rate by half.”

Estimated total annual cost for all accidents

Assuming the life of the conveyor is 20 years and the cost of money (discount rate) is 5%, the available additional investment would be about $750,000 more in design time to accomplish the 50% improvement in safety, he says. By choosing the lowest-priced bid to meet the minimum safety requirements, the short-term expenditure ends up costing considerably more over the 20-year lifecycle.

Annual accident costs for years 1 to 20

By spending $750,000 more to exceed the minimum safety and design requirements and reduce the accident rates by 50%, the annual projected cost of accidents drops from $140,813 to $70,407, Swinderman says.

Measured in today’s dollars – including the additional investment of $750,000 – the projected savings over the 20-year term at 5% are about $1.2 million by investing more upfront.

Swinderman concluded: “If, after further analysis, the savings are found to be less – perhaps only a 25% reduction in the cost of accidents – the upfront investment is still justified over the long term. Even though it takes a little more effort to collect data and do a financial analysis, in the end, NPV consistently proves that safety does indeed pay.”

Orica’s hardware and software platforms converging for Mining 4.0

Orica’s corporate vision of “mobilising Earth’s resources in a sustainable way” is being further realised through a host of developments from its Digital Solutions and Blasting Technologies divisions, IM reports.

Those involved in charging operations could soon benefit from the launch of Orica and Epiroc’s Avatel™ solution, which, in combination with the WebGen™ wireless initiation platform, offers the ability to remotely blast a development face.

At the same time, the company is busy with the sustainable production of emulsion, the integration of geological orebody information to optimise energy use for blasting, and the expansion of downstream mineral processing tools.

Avatel

Avatel is a combination of state-of-the-art hardware and software solutions designed to mechanise the blasting process.

It includes Orica’s HandiLoader™ emulsion process body, Epiroc’s M2C carrier integrating an RCS 5 control system with Orica’s LOADPlus™ control system, a WebGen 200 wireless initiation system and an automated WebGen magazine. Epiroc has also incorporated onboard dewatering and lifter debris clearing capability, while Orica’s SHOTPlus™ intelligent blast design software is leveraged to deliver superior blasting outcomes, Orica says.

Orica and Epiroc’s advanced technologies integrated into the Avatel system

These components help eliminate the need for personnel exposure at the development face throughout the charging stage of the mining cycle, keeping personnel out of the line of fire, by substituting inherently high hazard manual tasks with a mechanised development charging solution.

A prototype Avatel unit is set to commence operations at Agnico Eagle Mining’s Kittilä gold mine in Finland in the next few months. This follows “alpha trialling” of the complete prototype unit at Epiroc’s Nacka test mine in Stockholm, Sweden.

Adam Mooney, Vice President of Blasting Technology for Orica, said: “Our goal for Kittilä is to expose Avatel to a real mining environment, putting the unit through its paces in an active mine where safety, productivity and reliability are core requirements for success.

“We will gain a practical understanding of how Avatel will fit in with and benefit the entire mining cycle, while also taking the opportunity to measure the blasting improvements possible through the combined use of electronic initiation timing and the precise blast energy control available with Avatel.”

A separate unit, meanwhile, will head to Newcrest Mining’s Cadia copper-gold mine in New South Wales, Australia, later this year, for the first commercial deployment. This is currently undergoing pre-delivery commissioning at Epiroc’s customer centre in Burnie, Tasmania.

Cyclo

Not too far away in Papua New Guinea, Orica has successfully commissioned a Cyclo™ emulsion technology unit, which has been running at a customer site for around two months, according to Mooney. The unit in question has treated in excess of 100,000 litres of used oil, he said.

Cyclo combines the company’s emulsion technology with used oil processing technology to transform mine-site used oil for application in explosives. To provide the tight quality control and regular testing required to manufacture emulsions with such inputs, Orica has partnered with CreatEnergy to develop a standalone, on-site solution to treat used oil.

Orica initially scheduled Cyclo for market introduction in late 2022, but it scaled and sped up development and production plans to support customers’ operations and curtail material disruptions brought about by COVID-19.

The first automated containerised used oil recycling system was commissioned in Ghana late in 2021, with the Papua New Guinea unit being the latest deployment.

Cyclo – containerised, automated used oil recycling service at a customer site in Ghana, Africa

A Senegal Cyclo debut is on track for July given the unit is already in country and connected into the emulsion plant on site, Mooney explained.

The company also plans to bring to market a Cyclo unit suitable for Arctic conditions by the end of this year, with the solution already under construction.

Data to insights to intelligence

Aside from hardware and sustainable emulsion solutions, Orica has recently signed an agreement with Microsoft Azure predicated on creating data-rich and artificial intelligence-infused tools that enable productivity, safety and sustainability benefits on site, with Raj Mathiravedu, Vice President of Digital Solutions, saying such a tie-up enables the company to think of the blasting value chain in a much more holistic manner.

“Orica Digital Solutions’ purpose is to develop and deliver a suite of integrated workflow tools to enable the corporate vision of mobilising Earth’s resources in a sustainable way,” he said. “A key attribute to delivering this workflow is the journey that we need to incorporate from data to insights to intelligence.”

Mathiravedu says the company is looking to go beyond the traditional solutions pairing software and IoT devices for a discrete product to – with the help of Microsoft Azure capabilities – building “answer products” focused on improving workflows.

“These workflows can benefit from understanding how geology within the orebody intelligence space can help us determine the optimised energy required for blasting in a real-time production workflow,” he said. “We have started this journey and are already delivering value to our customers by integrating workflows from orebody to processing.”

One example of this is the company’s FRAGTrack™ suite of solutions, devised to provide blast fragmentation data with auto-analysis capability.

Delivered as part of the company’s BlastIQ Digital Optimisation Platform, FRAGTrack is able to capture real-time fragmentation measurement data for optimising drill and blast operations, improving downstream productivity and tracking of operational performance.

Originally developed for measurements on both face shovels and conveyors, the solution was expanded earlier this year with the launch of FRAGTrack Crusher for automated pre-crusher fragmentation measurements.

FRAGTrack Crusher installation at Stevenson Aggregates

There are several vendors offering fragmentation measurement tools throughout the industry, but Mathiravedu says Orica’s solution can carry out such analysis consistently and accurately – day or night – in extremely dusty and dynamic environments like mining.

“The FRAGTrack image processing technology can handle extremely dusty and lighting-affected conditions beyond any solutions in the industry,” Mathiravedu said. “It is also able to learn and adapt to specific operational environments like the dumping habits of different truck operators using artificial intelligence technology. Together with the integration with fleet management systems, it can provide a fully autonomous and integrated measurement solution.”

On conveyors, the FRAGTrack solution can reliably measure fines with increased accuracy compared with conventional systems that leverage curve-fit algorithms, according to Mathiravedu, with the advanced image and 3D processing techniques providing the ability to measure fragments down to 5 mm in size.

The combination of FRAGTrack Conveyor and Orica’s ORETrack™ solution can provide not only particle size distribution information, but also critical information on ore grade and hardness for the milling operations in real time.

“The FRAGTrack platform architecture has been designed to be scalable to incorporate different sensor inputs along with its high-performance GPU compute capabilities,” Mathiravedu said, explaining that there could be further analysis solutions down the line.

BHP to receive ‘world’s first carbon neutral conveyor belts’ from China’s Wuxi Boton

China’s Wuxi Boton has announced the world’s first carbon neutral conveyor belts for delivery to BHP’s Spence copper mine in Chile in August as part of an exclusive pilot project between the two companies.

The two companies jointly developed this pilot project, under which the conveyor belts were verified by SGS, a leading testing, inspection and certification company, as meeting the requirements of PAS 2060:2014 (specification for the demonstration of carbon neutrality).

SGS awarded the world’s first certificate of “Achievement of Carbon Neutrality for Steel Cord Rubber Conveyor Belt” to a batch of belts produced by Boton for BHP. The conveyor belts will be shipped to BHP’s Spence copper mine, where they will be used in the production and transportation of Spence mining products to customers around the world, including China.

The scope of the pilot project was for Wuxi Boton, as the incumbent contractor for BHP’s operations at both Minerals Australia and Minerals America, to select the conveyor belts to be ordered by BHP and identify how to offset the estimated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the production of those conveyor belts using high-quality carbon offsets prior to delivery.

BHP’s Group Procurement Officer, James Agar, said: “Wuxi Boton have been a reliable partner to BHP for over eight years, supplying high-quality conveyor belts to our assets in Australia and Chile. Both companies are committed to mitigating climate change in accordance with their respective climate targets and goals. This shared vision of a better world led Wuxi Boton, in December 2021, to extend the offer of an exclusive pilot to deliver a carbon neutral conveyor belt to BHP.

“The partnership with Wuxi Boton has been invaluable in helping BHP verify the feasibility of using high-quality carbon offsets to GHG emissions in our supply chain (Scope 3) and grow the potential demand for supplying ‘traced’, ‘low carbon’, or ‘carbon neutral’ products amongst our suppliers.”

Wuxi Boton’s Chairman, Zhifang Bao, said: “It is difficult for any enterprise to achieve low-carbon transformation on its own. Only by building a global platform, co-operating with the whole industry chain, and jointly exploring low-carbon technologies and road maps can we reach the other shore.

“Therefore, joint innovation is an inevitable choice. Instead of passively accepting, it is better to take the initiative to lead, which is a very important choice faced by enterprises all over the world. We are pleased to see that the partnership between BHP and Boton has expanded from a single business level to a strategic synergy level. In the journey of global energy transition, leading companies, including Boton and BHP, are jointly working towards building a more sustainable future.”

Weba Chute Systems wins retrofit design work at Mpumalanga coal mine

When a coal mine in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province needed to replace its high maintenance conventional transfer chutes, it looked to Weba Chute Systems for the best custom-engineered design, the manufacturer says.

Weba Chute Systems is currently busy with designs that will pave the way for the retrofitting of over a dozen chutes at the mine. Eight of the units are silo discharge chutes, transferring coal from the operation’s run-of-mine feed to its coal processing plant. Another four chutes are to be replaced in the plant itself, while there is another chute located between two related feed conveyors.

“The main objective of the new bespoke chutes is to ensure stable supply to the plant, and from there to the nearby power station,” Dewald Tintinger, Weba Chute Systems’ Technical Manager and Designer, says. “The existing equipment is demanding too much maintenance, leading to unacceptable levels of downtime.”

The key to improved uptime and extended chute lifespan is the company’s flow control principles in its designs. The chutes in the plant, for example, must deal with oversize material of between 150 mm and 500 mm in size.

“Handling these large particles, chutes are exposed to high levels of impact and wear,” Tintinger says.“With the controlled flow philosophy of our Weba ‘cascade’ chute system, we control both the velocity and the impact.”

Commenting on other aspects of the custom designs, Tintinger says the transfer points will include features such as dead-boxes to create a lining from the mined material itself. This reduces the wear on the chute’s metal surfaces, extending the maintenance intervals and delivering more uptime. He highlights that the processing plant feeds the power station directly through two overland conveyors.

“This is a highly efficient model for delivering coal, but it demands that all elements of the materials handling system are working together,” he says. “Any disruption of coal flow caused by a transfer chute can cause costly delays, and render coal delivery unreliable.”

He notes that the mine has had good experience from the many other Weba chutes already installed at this operation, and is now standardising on this internationally accepted transfer point design for better results.

Designs and engineering are conducted in-house by Weba Chute Systems’ experienced team, using the latest software and finite element analysis tools for testing.

The design work is expected to be completed around the middle of 2022. Thereafter the mine will be in a position to contract the fabrication and installation work.

Martin Engineering cleans up conveyor operations with DT2S, DT2H

Martin Engineering, a leader in bulk material handling technologies and training, has announced the availability of two rugged secondary conveyor belt cleaners, both engineered for fast and easy maintenance.

The innovative design of the DT2S and DT2H reversible cleaners from Martin Engineering reduces system downtime and labour for clean up or service, while helping to prolong the service life of other conveyor components, the company says.

The models feature a unique split-track blade cartridge that slides in and out on a stainless steel mandrel, meaning the cleaners can be serviced or replaced without stopping the belt when on-site safety approvals are in place, Martin Engineering claims.

Dave Mueller, Conveyor Products Manager for Martin Engineering, says: “Even when the cleaner is encrusted with material, one half of the split frame can be removed so the cartridge can be changed in just five minutes. This allows users to have a spare cartridge on hand and quickly change it out when the blades need replacement. Then they can take the used cartridge back to the shop, clean it up and change the blades so it’s ready for the next service.

These secondary cleaners serve a wide variety of applications, including miningBoth products significantly reduce material carryback, and arr engineered to accommodate reversing conveyors to avoid damage to the belt or splicing, the company says. With steel blades and tungsten carbide tips set into a flexible base, the DT2 cleaners offer simple, effective solutions that can solve a number of carryback-related problems.

Martin DT2H Reversing Cleaner XHD

Designed for particularly demanding conditions, the DT2H Reversing Cleaner XHD is suited for heavy material loads on belts ranging from 400 to 2,400 mm wide that operate at speeds up to 6.1 m/s. 

The company explains: “Carryback accumulations along the return run of the conveyor can occur when the cleaning systems on a conveyor fail to remove most of the material that adheres to the belt after unloading its cargo. Increased build up results in unnecessary labour costs for clean up, and can lead to premature failure of conveyor components if left unchecked.”

Mueller said: Carryback can have an extremely sticky texture and abrasive nature, which can muck up conveyor components and contribute to premature failure. One key to the success of these cleaners is the blade’s negative rake angle (less than 90 degrees). With a negative angle, you get a ‘scraping’ action that mitigates potential belt damage, while delivering outstanding cleaning performance.”

Martin DT2S Reversing Cleaner

Like its larger counterpart, the Martin DT2S reversing cleaner can be installed on belts ranging from 400 to 4,800 mm wide. But, unlike the DT2H, the DT2S is designed for a lower maximum belt speed of 4.6m/s on belts with vulcanised splices. Mueller pointed out that this is primarily due to the difference in applications:The DT2S has a slim frame that allows it to fit in spaces as narrow as 7 in (178 mm). As a result, the DT2S can be attached to belts that may be too small for primary cleaners.”

Both of the DT2 cleaners can be used in medium- to heavy-duty environments, providing a lasting solution to a diverse array of complex problems that are caused by carryback and minimising  fugitive material, the company says.

Pueblo Viejo case study

An example of the cleaners’ performance can be found at the Pueblo Viejo Dominicana Corporation (PVDC) mine in the province of Sanchez Ramirez, about 89 km northwest of the city of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Operators at the operation, majority owned by Barrick, were experiencing excessive carryback and dust on its conveyor systemresulting in expensive equipment failures, unscheduled downtime and increased maintenance. Production is 365 d/y, but, between April and October, moisture can cause cohesion in fine clay particles, causing the cargo to become sticky. The substance had the consistency of thick toothpaste, which was also able to adhere small chunks of aggregate to the belt, causing destructive carryback that damaged pulleys and headers.

In just two weeks, Martin Engineering technicians replaced the existing belt scrapers at 16 locations with Martin QC1 Cleaner XHD primary cleaners fitted with low-adhesion urethane blades specifically designed for tacky material loads, along with DT2H secondary cleaners. The secondary cleaner blades can endure hot summer temperatures, high moisture content and constant production schedules, according to the company.

Following the upgrades, operations are now cleaner, saferand more productive, giving executives and stakeholders more confidence in the sustained operation of the mine, which is projected to be profitable for the next 25 years or more.  

BEUMER completes acquisition of conveyor systems provider FAM Group

BEUMER Group says it has completed the acquisition of the FAM Group of Magdeburg, Germany, in the process, increasing its conveyor system and loading technology offering.

BEUMER, a leader in the manufacture of intralogistics systems for conveying, loading, palletising, packaging, sorting and distribution, signed the purchase agreement in early May, with the transaction legally concluding on June 9, 2022.

The BEUMER Group has held a stable position in the bulk materials technology market for decades and, with the acquisition of the FAM Group, the systems provider has significantly strengthened its market position in the minerals and mining sectors, it said.

The FAM Group is a manufacturer of conveyor systems and is an internationally operating, medium-sized group with 750 employees. The company is one of the world’s leading full-range bulk handling and processing equipment suppliers, able to plan, design and manufacture turnkey plants and systems for mining, extracting, loading and storing minerals, raw materials and goods.

In addition to expanding the BEUMER Group’s portfolio, FAM’s know-how and global positioning also complement BEUMER’s competence in the project planning of plants, BEUMER said. FAM brings not only planning and engineering, but the entire value chain to the BEUMER Group, including aftersales service.

The company concluded: “The BEUMER Group offers FAM a long-term perspective anchored on the highest possible quality, sustainability and innovation: for almost 90 years now, the BEUMER Group, a family-run and wholly self-financed company, has been developing customized system solutions for the mining industry, among others.”

Earlier this month, Rudolf Hausladen became the new CEO of BEUMER Group, succeeding Dr Christoph Beumer, who had led the group as CEO since 2000.