Solutions for the Handling of Bulk Solids in the Supply Chain
Today raw material transport over great distances is a standard procedure in the minerals and metals industries. Industrial minerals are now shipped across the globe in vast volumes demanding efficient logistics to minimise both the cost of transportation and the carbon footprint. Especially under these circumstances, ingenious solutions for the handling of material during storage and transshipping can help save the pivotal dollar.
(ed. WoMaMarcel - 25/6/2015)
Where the mine is close to the processor then this is the end of the external logistics story but in many operations there is a huge disconnect between miner and processor requiring complex logistic operations in between involving any combination of road, rail, barge and coastal or deep sea freight. Of course where the mine and processor are both either rail connected or close to suitable sidings haulage by rail is by for the better solution being both more economical and much less polluting with a very low carbon footprint. At the mine site railcars may be simply loaded using a silo and loading chute system mounted to a suitable supporting structure above the rails.
However many mine sites are not rail connected although there may be existing rail sidings close by. In this situation the mobile Samson Stormajor developed by Samson Materials Handling offers a unique solution allowing railcars to be loaded direct from road trucks at an existing rail siding without the need for fixed plant or infrastructure. Typically, a recent installation at Poznan, Poland, where Melafyr rock (similar to Basalt) is delivered to the Stormajor by articulated dump trucks and loaded at a rail siding close to the mine.
The Stormajor may equally be utilised for loading to barges for distribution on inland waterways, such an operation is on Lake Onega (Russia) where Gabbro rock is delivered to the lake side from the adjacent mine and loaded to barges of around 5000 DWT for distribution to Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Loading Melafyr (Basalt) via Storemajor to railcars at Posnan, Poland.
The equipment operates on a simple berth using the long cantilevered outloading boom of the Stormajor to load the barges moored just off shore in deeper water thus avoiding costly dredging and an expensive permanent concrete dock. Samson has pioneered the concept of direct loading from truck to railcar, ship or barge.
Of course for deep sea shipment the concept is similar but larger equipment is required to load larger vessels: two examples are covered herein showing a project in Peru handling copper and gold concentrate and another project in Liberia handling iron ore.
Bay Way of Example
In Peru the Goldfields Company operate from an existing port jetty and receives material direct from tipping trucks coming from the Cerro Corona Mine situated in the highest part of the Andes in northern Peru. The project involves the production of gold and copper by conventional open pit mining methods, and the copper-gold flotation concentrate is trucked to the Port of Salaverry for shipment to smelters in Japan, Korea and Europe. In this operation the concentrate is transferred direct from truck to ship using an integrated Samson style feeder mounted to the Shiploader chassis as a single and fully integrated one piece machine.
In Liberia, Arcelor Mittal mine iron ore in country close to Yekepa town which is transferred by rail some 280 km down to the port at Buchanan. In the port the ore, mainly fines, is extracted from the railcars by excavator and stockpiled in a covered storage for export on Panamax vessels. Samson supplied a mobile shiploader including twin mobile tracked Material feeders offering a loading rate in excess of 2000 tons per hour, limited only by the wheeled loaders. Using a combination of mobile equipment such as in Buchanan offers a relatively fast track and economical solution to start exporting ore with the minimum of fixed port equipment or infrastructure. Such equipment offers a long term solution for exporters or, thanks to the equipment inherent residual value, an effective answer for short term situations or pending installation of a permanent rail mounted alternative.