WEIR Engineering says its composite mill lining system at Western Mining's Phosphate Hill mine near Mt Isa, has exceeded expectations after 49 weeks of operation.
The company said initial estimates for the installation were for a service life of up to 37 weeks, but continual monitoring and on-site improvement recommendations have led to a revised estimation of a 62 week service life.
The installation of the Phosphate Hill overflow ball mill was completed in March 2001, and Weir claims the recent inspection has revealed that service life under the high wear conditions associated with phosphate mining and processing has been “exemplary”.
Phosphate processing is recognised as a particularly aggressive environment requiring constant inspection to ensure efficient and effective operation. Phosphate Hill's maintenance superintendent Kevin Hemmett said: "Through regular monitoring, maintenance time has been slashed and the need for short term replacement parts is virtually unheard of.”
The composite linings are a combination of rubber and metal mouldings incorporating wear-resistant alloy inserts. These inserts are used to strengthen those areas of the lining that are subject to maximum wear. Weir recommended the installation of a composite mill lining system with additional design features tailored to site-specific and environmental requirements.