Metals accounting system to provide checks and balances of conveyed ore

1st June 2012 By: Reggie Sikhakhane

The loss in yield owing to inefficien- cies, such as leakages and spillages at silos during individual processes relating to materials handling by mining houses, as well as theft of more valuable mined materials, has prompted materials handling company Clyde Bergemann to actively promote its pneumatic conveying system solution.

“This system allows us to provide our clients with information on the use of the materials supplied to their processes at multiple points to ensure that there are checks and balances between indivi- dual operating processes. This enables the client to understand whether there are operational inefficiencies that are occurring at any particular process point,” explains Clyde Bergemann MD Jeremy Kirsch.

He says the equipment and technology used by the pneumatic conveying system provides mining houses with a holistic product-cycle accounting system that measures ore from the time it is concentrated to when it leaves the mine site.

“The system monitors the general throughput of material from the supply side to the point where it enters a core process. It also assesses the output from the core process and, ultimately, the delivery of the product to systems that move material off-site to assist with material mass balancing and the accounting process.”

Kirsch notes that the pneumatic conveying system primarily monitors fine crushed particles.

He explains that, once the ore is mined, it passes through the primary and secondary crushing stages, where the ore is crushed into a fine powder, preparing it for the concentration stage.

“This process is aimed at concentrating the valuable components of the ore into greater proportions per unit value and separating nonessential and nonvaluable components,” explains Kirsch.

He says the pneumatic conveying system is used towards the end of the concentration process, when the slurry exits the hydraulic processes through the filter press, mechanically removing liquids. “We really get involved at this stage with our system at this point.”

Kirsch points out that the pneumatic conveyor system is able to measure movement of material in various processes, including the flash drying process, which is traditionally used to dry the claylike materials coming from filter presses. He explains that, during this process, coal must be supplied to a hot gas generator, and the system monitors the supply, as it pneumatically conveys the coal from a coal silo down the pneumatic conveying pipes.

“Using our system, we are able to moni- tor and measure exactly how much coal is transferred from the storage silo to the hot gas generator. The amount of coal that is burnt is a direct measurement of the energy used to dry the concentrate,” says Kirsch.

Meanwhile, he says Clyde Bergemann’s outlook is optimistic, in spite of the uncertain activities of global economies. “Although it is difficult at this moment to provide a concrete economic and business outlook, I am positive that things will start picking up.”

He says the positive outlook can be attributed to inquiries from clients regarding project-related services. “The amount of inquiries from clients suggests that there are positive developments in the pipeline.”

However, Kirsch warns that Clyde Bergemann is approaching the projects outlook with caution, as it is aware of the indecisive elements in current global markets.