In-pit Crushing and Conveying Bench Operations

Assessing the truckless Mining Option

03/29/2012 | Autor / Editor: Timothy Atchison, David Morrison / Marcel Dröttboom

Fig. 1: The selection of the most appropiate materials handling system for a given mining operation must consider economic, social, environmental and technical issues. (Picture: Geomartin / Wikimedia Commons)
Gallery: 9 Pictures
Fig. 1: The selection of the most appropiate materials handling system for a given mining operation must consider economic, social, environmental and technical issues. (Picture: Geomartin / Wikimedia Commons)

As an alternative to traditional truck and shovel mining, in-pit crushing and conveying systems are attracting global interest for their sustainability benefits and potential to reduce operating costs. The selection of the most appropriate solution for a given operation must consider economic, social, environmental and technical issues.

In-pit crushing and conveying (IPCC) systems have come under growing scrutiny as a perceived mitigation to fuel and equipment price fluctuations, labour shortages and the need to move ever-increasing volumes of material. Individual vendors and delivery organisations are now offering a sometimes confusing array of systems, particularly for the dig and dump side operations.

One system does not suit all operations. This article seeks to document the factors that should be considered in assessing the suitability of different IPCC systems, with a focus on dig side equipment layouts in particular. These factors include the productivity of the systems, interactions with the drill/blast and bench operation sequence, the ease of relocation, flexibility to changes in the reserve, scalability and compatibility with other elements of the system.

Introduction

In-pit crushing and conveying (IPCC) or ‘truckless’ systems have come under growing scrutiny as a perceived mitigation to fuel and equipment price fluctuations, skilled labour shortages and the need to move ever-increasing volumes of material. Individual vendors and delivery organisations are now offering a sometimes confusing array of systems, particularly for the dig and dump side operations.

There is an abundance of claims regarding the potential advantages of IPCC systems, yet working installations and projects in active development beyond the study phase don’t necessarily match the hype.

Despite the trend towards ‘off-the-shelf’ offerings from the market, one system does not suit all operations. The selection of the most appropriate materials handling system for a given operation must consider economic, social, environmental and technical issues. Attempting to apply an existing design of sizer or transfer conveyor to a new operation without considering all relevant issues is unlikely to provide the best solution.

Of paramount importance is understanding and acceptance of the system by the operating team that will eventually have to make it work. The best design and delivery of an IPCC system will count for little if the operating and maintenance teams, for whatever reason, do not adequately understand the issues that influence production.

This article seeks to document the technical and economic factors in particular that should be considered in assessing the suitability of different IPCC systems, with a focus on pit equipment layouts. These factors include the productivity of the systems, interactions with the drill/blast and bench operation sequence, ease of relocation, flexibility to changes in the reserve, scalability and compatibility with other elements of the system.

Whilst providing examples of responses to some of these issues, this paper does not seek to promote a particular solution. An argument is made instead that the appropriate IPCC system for a specific operation cannot be selected without consideration of a wide range of site specific factors.

Content of the Article:

»1 »2 »3 »4 »5 next Page

Leave a comment

This article is protected by copyright. You want to use it for your own purpose? Infos can be found under www.mycontentfactory.de (ID: 32198500) | Fotos: Picture: Geomartin / Wikimedia Commons