Home > Australian Mining Prospect Awards Finalist: Minerals Processing of the Year

Australian Mining Prospect Awards Finalist: Minerals Processing of the Year

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The shortlist for the 10th Annual Prospect Awards Minerals Processing of the Year.

Anglo American Moranbah North's CHPP

For the amazing achievement of operating for six years LTI free, Anglo American's Moranbah North CHPP has been nominated for Minerals Processing of the Year.

In January, 2012 a major restructure of the Moranbah North operation was undertaken, resulting in high longwall and development operational times and corresponding record tonnages and metres. Furthermore, the business risk mitigation processes were reviewed, leading to stringent guidelines, systems and leading edge innovation introduced to the operation to ensure the Life of Mine integrity is under no circumstances compromised.

The improvements have been delivered across a number of areas, but fundamentally, they have been produced by strong leadership, a clear vision and increased accountability.

A lot of work has been completed, including improving time to first coal and time to last coal. This means getting the workforce safely to the face as soon as possible after beginning their shift to start producing coal as early as possible. The workforce keeps the longwall cutting until the absolute end of their shift which leads to more tonnes on the belt and throughput. Improvements made to the standard and reliability of the coal clearance system, the main conveyor system that transports coal out of the mine, have played a large part of the success at the mine.

Orontide for BHP's Leinster mine


Orontide and BHP have been recognised for the development of a safer orepass system.

Orontide was engaged by BHP to design, supply and install a new underground orepass system for their Leinster underground operation. The underground orepass system is used to break nickel ore into smaller sizes through a rockbreaker, filter it through grizzly panels and into a 20 metre deep orepass.  The orepass was comprised of a series of 40 tonne liner cans made from quenched/tempered Hardox steel.

Orontide Group is pleased that the success of its new innovative design and method of installation not only achieved excellent safety results with no injuries recorded during the installation, but it also halved the time required to shut down that section of the underground mine resulting in a significant operational benefit to BHP and reducing the exposure of its workers to hazards.

Rio Tinto's Clermont mine


Rio Tinto has been recognised for its minerals processing technology implementation for the in pit crushing and conveying system at its Clermont coal mine.

The Clermont mine uses an IPCC to crush and convey waste to overburden dumps at cheap rates and has realised 12Mtpa production levels by using the highly innovative in-pit crushing conveyor technology in combination with an efficient truck and shovel fleet to cheaply move waste and produce one of the lowest free on board (FOB) costs in Australia.

Approximately 40 per cent of all waste is planned to be handled via this system. Operating philosophies and maintenance tactics on this important process of the mine assisted in achieving availabilities above 70 per cent; allowing for maximum waste removal.

Newcrest's Ridgeway mine



For increasing its crushing circuit availability, increasing it nearly 20 per cent year on year, Newcrest's Ridgeway mine has been nominated as a finalist for Minerals Processing of the Year.

In November 2011 the mine was experiencing an 82 per cent daily availability on the crushing and conveying circuit,additionally the mine was experiencing 24 days of planned full shut-down per year to maintain this system. In June 2013 the mine was experiencing 92 percent daily availability and ten days of planned full shut-down per year. This is a 17 per cent improvement in hoisting and crushing capacity over the year.

The step change in performance in this area started by analysing why the system was achieving less than perfect availability and then working on solutions to the issues that were resulting in failure or unplanned stoppages. In every case, the solutions to the problems big and small were brought forward by the workforce.

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