Unearthed Perth 201720 May - 22 May
From Idea to Prototype on Resource Challenges in just a Weekend
This competition has finished.
Can you increase gold production?
Trucks from the open pit deliver ore to two crushers at the Newcrest Telfer mine, which then crush the ore in preparation for delivery to the processing plant. The conveying circuit is theoretically designed for 2,500 tonnes per hour, but actual results tend to be lower.
This crushing circuit is currently the site bottleneck, therefore it is important to run it at maximum capacity. The problem, however, is that the faster you put ore through, the more likely you are to get blocked chutes.
The frequency of these blocked chutes varies according to the several factors:
- The type of ore being fed. Eg. the size distribution and characteristics of the ore.
- The configuration of the stacker – the greater the angle of “luff”, the more likely we are to get blocked chutes.
- Whether or not it's raining or there is too much moisture in the ore.
The current average ore throughput rate through the crusher is 1,890 tonnes per hour and we experience over 700 hours of downtime per crusher per year due to chute blockages. As every additional tonne of ore crushed provides a benefit of $8.60 the benefits to Telfer can be obtained by:
- Decreasing downtime – at 1,890 tonnes per hour the benefit is $16k per hour of downtime ($11.7M total opportunity per year)
- Increasing throughput – increasing from 1,890 to 2,200 tonnes per hour the benefit is $3.3k per online hour ($11.9M total opportunity per year)
Therefore the opportunity is in maximising the total ore through the crushing circuit by balancing the downtime and throughput.
Potential areas to consider
• There are two crushing circuits that may be designed the same, but may yield different optimum set points.
• Which of the four chutes (2 on each system) cause the most problems?
• What ore is the most problematic?