Weba Chute Systems’ Wade Vandenberg says mines across Africa are recognising the value of the company’s custom-designed chutes in controlling material flow, extending wear life and reducing maintenance downtime.
The South Africa-based company’s transfer point solutions have made their way into mines across Africa, from platinum to diamond operations, to gold, coal and copper mines.
In addition to mining hotspots including Ghana, Mali, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana, Weba Chute Systems have been installed in countries like Tanzania, Mauritania and Eritrea, it says. Authorised Weba Chute Systems agents are deployed to support customers in key countries, while technical experts from the company’s head office in Germiston, Gauteng, South Africa, are on call to assist.
Vandenberg, Weba Chute Systems’ Technical Advisor, Africa, said: “Not only do these operations gain the benefits of controlled material flow in their operations, but they experience, first-hand, how our engineering design extends wear life and reduces maintenance downtime.”
He highlighted that better dust control – a key part of health and safety policies in the mining sector – is another important benefit Weba chutes bring to an operation.
“Our state-of-the-art digital engineering design facilities and expertise makes use of the latest technologies to simulate the specific material flow conditions in each customer’s application,” Vandenberg said. “This allows us to apply our philosophy that no two chute designs are identical, and to scientifically accommodate exact flow characteristics into our design.”
Discrete element modelling allows close control over the flow of material through the chute. This minimises turbulence, reducing the levels of dust created in the working area. It also cuts spillage levels, which, in turn, means a saving of valuable material and less time spent on cleaning activities.
Izak Potgieter, Systems Manager at Weba Chute Systems, said: “We work towards the ISO dust management standards, supporting our customers in managing health and safety in this critical area of transfer points. Our testing measures dust down to 0.03 micron particles, to make sure that our designs meet stringent health-related targets.”
Flow control also creates more material-on-material movement to reduce wear on chute liners, according to Weba. This ensures longer liner life when compared with that of conventional chutes. Custom design and use of simulation technology allow for the wear life to be carefully predicted, based on operating conditions, the company says.
Vandenberg said: “Our technical expertise and solutions-oriented approach mean that customers can always rely on us. When we commission one of our chutes, it is part of an ongoing productivity journey with our customer, no matter where they are located.”