Modern Mining February 2019


Chute mechanism saves costs at diamond mine

Challenging materials handling appli- cations are the norm for Weba Chute Systems, and the company’s recent solu- tion at a diamond mine in Botswana tackled the issue of large particle sizes to ensure more uptime for the customer’s operation. Themine had been facedwith replacing transfer chutes almost every three months, as they could not withstand the arduous operating conditions. Run-of-mine mate- rial with lump sizes up to 1 200 mm is fed via an apron feeder onto a grizzly feeder, with the oversize material reporting to the jaw crusher. The large size

application – as well as material being uncontrolled – posed an ongoing chal- lenge to the transfer system. Another challenge in this primary circuit is that the conveyor receives material from the grizzly underpan and jaw crusher discharge, and lack of material control had resulted in high impact onto the conveyor belt. This damaged the conveyor and caused con- siderable spillage, resulting in unplanned downtime as the conveyor belt had to be replaced just about every quarter. The added expenditure and lost pro- ductivity meant increased operating costs for the plant and eventually led to a deci- sion to address the total material transfer system. The technical team from Weba Chute Systems assessed the challenges being faced and, in close collaboration with the mine, engineered a material handling solution. “With innovation as our watchword, we were able to apply our extensive experi- ence gained over the past 34 years,” says Dewald Tintinger, Technical Manager at Weba Chute Systems. According to Tintinger, standard solu- tions for transfer points do not consider factors such as lump size and material velocity, or the general arrangement of the transfer point and the relationship between the equipment that feeds and receives material. “Custom-engineered transfer points, be had by combining the data models used in Mine Planning with the systems and pro- cesses applied in Mine Operations. “The orebody knowledge and character- istics have an impact on mine performance well after the planning stages are complete, but there has been little ability to refer to and make decisions with the benefit of that orebody knowledge in a tactical, opera- tional decision support capacity in a mine production environment. “MinLog has been very successful at developing and deploying reliable, robust, operational data models of operational environments. The technology enables us to start delivering these integrated mining systems across the planning and execution divide,” he said

on the other hand, are designed to deal specifically with individual materials hand­ ling applications,”he says.“They offer major advantages to a plant, but these often only become apparent after the basic chute sys- tems have failed.” In Weba Chute Systems’ purpose- designed solution for the diamond mine, the transfer chute that moves material from the apron feeder to the grizzly feeder incorporates an innovative patented mechanism that overcomes the challenges of handling the 1 200 mm lump sizes. “An integral swing mechanism – engi- neered to guide these large lump sizes through the transfer point at a controlled velocity – reduces the impact on down- stream equipment,” says Tintinger. “The next chute in the process flow therefore no longer has to deal with excessive impact, as this has been addressed through the swing mechanism in the first chute. The material then flows through the grizzly dis- charge chute and reports to the crusher.” The combination of an engineered transfer point – with the swing mechanism in this position – has drastically reduced high impact and excessive wear previ- ously experienced. The chute’s longevity has been dramatically improved, and the unit has not required replacement since its installation over a year ago. Weba Chute Systems, tel (+27 11) 827-9372, website: Under the new arrangement, MinLog will continue to operate, with current man- agement and staff. Speaking about the investment, MinLog MD Karel Gilliland said: “MinLog leverages flexible service bus integration and a cloud or server hosted data lake containing a validated and contextualised digital record of all equipment and mining fleet being tracked. This enables us to deliver a pow- erful range of production management functionality across the whole supply chain in a mine. “In addition, MinLog develops advanced DSF technology, allowing near real time data acquisition from fixed and mobile equipment underground for reliable, cost effective and flexible deployment.” Maptek, tel (+27 11) 750-9660, website:

of the lump kim- berlite in this

Weba Chute Sys- tems supplied a custom-engi- neered chute to a diamond mine in Botswana.

Maptek announces further investment in MinLog Maptek has announced further investment in MinLog, building on a long-standing partnership that bridges the gap between mine planning and mine production.

Maptek has been involved with MinLog and its Production Management and Management Information Systems technol- ogy for many years. This latest investment will see Maptek increase its ownership of the business and the products to 100 % over the next 18 months. Production Management data is considered a key component in delivering on Maptek’s com- mitment to add significant value to the data available to mining companies. Commenting on the investment, Maptek MD Peter Johnson said: “There is a huge gain in performance and efficiency to

44  MODERN MINING  February 2019

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