New Poke-In delivering results

The West Angelas Supplementary Ore Project, also affectionately known as the ‘poke-in’, has delivered an average additional 11,000 t/day since it began in February.

The project resulted from a review of opportunities to increase the through-put of the existing West Angelas Plant and to process/ upgrade a large stockpile of low grade ore.

West Angelas plant operations and maintenance manager Ian Austin said the output of the project thus far put it on track to reach its target of increasing plant output by a nominal 3.5 Mt/a (up to 28.5 Mt/a total SOP).

“The idea behind the poke-in was to use the spare nominal capacity on conveyor CO07 and feed the upgraded ore into the back half of the existing plant, hence reducing the materials handling cost and improving lump recovery,” he said.

“The project required a combination of a newly constructed front end loader hopper building, relocation of a redundant conveyor (CO06) and modifications to an existing transfer station above conveyor (CO07).

“Two locomotives have also been purchased to allow the extra ore to be transported to the port operations.”

Under the new system, the supplementary pre-crushed ore is delivered via front end loader into the feed hopper that loads the ore though two new vibrating feeders onto conveyor CO50, which then feeds onto C007.

A medium-sized crushing and screening plant owned and operated by CSI contractors is used to crush and screen the low grade stockpile to remove the waste fines.

Batches of high grade ore are also processed through the CSI plant to enable grade control to maintain quality as required.

The upgraded ore is then trucked across to a pad at the “Poke In” ready to be fed into the hopper by the front end loader.

This article was first published in Coastal News [September 2007, Issue No. 3] – Rio Tinto’s Coastal Division Newsletter.

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