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Glencore Xstrata 1000 tonne bulk cement handling system project 2014 (dense phase pneumatic conveying)


Glencore Xstrata required a 1000 tonne bulk cement handling system complete with automated silo control system, aeration system and dust collection system for their new plant at Mount Isa, Queensland.

 

About the Glencore paste plant

 

The paste plant, manufactured by a different company, transforms the delivered cement powder to a cement paste to be then pumped underground. This cement paste would fill mine stopes (openings made within the mine used to extract ores) so that they would be able to continue to economically progress the mining operation.

 

Glencore Xstrata dense phase pneumatic conveying and bulk material handling project summary

 

This is an extensive project which includes the design and construction of the following:

  • Capital cost estimates
  • Front end engineering design
  • Engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM)
  • Bulk cement loading and unloading system
  • Conveying and storage systems

 

Systems and equipment added to the cement
silos and bins

 

Pneuvay Engineering also added the following systems and equipment to the cement silos and bins:

  • Dust collector system
  • Automated silo control system
  • Aeration system
  • Safety relief valve
  • High and low level indicators

 

Distinct parts of the bulk cement handling system project

 

Finding the most efficient bulk cement handling, aeration system, and automated silo control system for the storage and transport of cement had become increasingly important for many plant owners due to the increased demand for a:

  • High service life
  • Minimal interruptions (downtime)
  • High throughputs
  • Lowest possible power consumption

 

Below is the bulk cement handling system parts Pneuvay Engineering had completed for the Glencore Xstrata project.

 

Unloading arrangement from pneumatic tankers (twin trailer) to any of the three storage silos

 

With three (3) silos holding 300 tonnes of cement and a common docking area, an efficient cement unloading system had to be installed. It should allow trucks carrying up to two tankers to simultaneously unload cement into separate silos (pneumatic tankers using a twin trailer set up).

Pneumatic tanker with twin trailer set up unloading arrangement for the Glencore Xstrata project

Pneumatic tanker with twin trailer set up unloading
cement from the 3 silos

 

Cement conveying system from the silos to a paste plant approximately 100m away

 

The image below shows the three silos connected to the paste plant that has a 100m conveying distance using a customised pneumatic conveying system. From here, cement is transformed into a cement paste that is pumped underground to fill the mine stopes with cement.

 

Cement conveying system from silo to the paste plant

The Glencore Xstrata plant at Mount Isa operating in the evening

 

Two different modes of cement bulk materials handling and dense phase pneumatic conveying systems

 

The following are the cement bulk materials handling and dense phase pneumatic conveying system operations performed at the Glencore Xstrata project.

 

The pneumatic tanker twin trailer unloading system

 

In many cases, pneumatic trailers are supplied with ancillary compressors and hoses as well as aeration and fixed piping in place. However Glencore's road tankers have no ability to power themselves during the cement unloading process.

 

Implemented bulk cement unloading system solution

 

Pneuvay Engineering designed and custom-made a system that transferred cement simultaneously on both tanks into two different silos from pneumatic tankers with a twin trailer set up when unloading cement.

 

The bulk cement unloading system could also deliver cement to the paste plant while unloading cement from the pneumatic tankers and vice versa. It had been designed to ensure there would be no need to shut down anything during the operation.

 

Bulk cement unloading system result

 

The process and logistics produced minimum time on-site and reduced the total cycle time to less than one hour at rates in excess of 50 Tonnes per hour.

 

Pneuvay Engineering integrated the entire cement conveying process via a unique automated silo control system. It used an advanced smart logic controller to monitor and control the filling process.

 

This complete automation system fires the needed operation to feed the three working silos with cement without the need for an operator. This greatly reduced costs of operation and increased workers safety.

 

Automated silo control system for
bulk material handling

 

There are three 300 Tonne silos each discharging with the Pneuvay pressure pot and common pipeline. The silos deliver cement to the paste plant situated approximately 100m away. Discharge from each of these silos is through Pneuvay's purpose designed pressure pot system.

 

 

Pneuvay Engineering integrated the entire cement conveying process via a unique automated silo control system. It used an advanced smart logic controller to monitor and control the filling process.

 

This complete automation system fires the needed operation to feed the three working silos with cement without the need for an operator. This greatly reduced costs of operation and increased workers safety.

 

Pneumatic conveying line using Pneuvay's Rhino bends

 

The conveying line is designed using heavy wall pipe and Rhino bends, also designed by Pneuvay. The start and stop procedure is an on-demand basis from either the paste plant or the batch plant. The silos have shut off gate valves that can be closed for maintenance if a pot had to be isolated and worked on.

 

Pressure pot transfer system for the
dense phase pneumatic conveying

 

The Pneuvay pressure pot is installed under each of the the three existing silos. These dense phase pneumatic conveying pressure pots are designed with fluidized cones to provide smooth and aerated transfer. Each of these includes a Pneuvay discharge injector that enables the compressor to keep running between batches.

 

Pressure pot system positioned under the silos for efficient conveying of materials

Pressure pot system from our 1700 to 1800 litre design positioned under the silos for efficient conveying of materials

 

The pressure pot system is supplied with its own active operating panel with auto and stop buttons. The pot incorporates fluidization similar to the tanker. This ensures a smooth flow of material from the pot into the common conveying line.

 

The design of this system means that each silo can deliver product in an automated cycling sequence (1-2-3, 2-3-1, 3-1-2) thus eliminating the need to stop/start the compressor or unload the compressor. This reduces energy consumption and increases pneumatic conveying throughput.

 

More about Pneuvay's unique dense phase pressure pot system

 

The Pneuvay pressure pot system built for the Xstrata plant is the most economical and efficient for bulk cement handling in this type of situation. It has been developed through extensive research, experience and development. It is considered world's best practice in the field of pneumatic conveying technology.