Grange Resources is moving closer to producing higher quality iron ore pellets at the Savage River magnetite iron ore operations in Tasmania.
The company is in the process of installing and commissioning a steel pan conveyor system at the site, which will produce pellets that can withstand higher compression strengths.
This will take hot pellets from the furances and discharge them out of the plant for stockpiling.
By carrying the hot pellets at over 600 degrees Celsius, they are cooled more slowly by air which improves their strength.
The installation was completed within 23 days, which was well under half of the recommended installation time according to company chief executive officer Honglin Zhao.
“Our downstream processing and engineering team (is) successfully installing and commissioning the steel pan conveyor system in a shorter time than planned,” Zhao said.
“This enables higher quality pellets with higher compression strength to be produced, reduced down time and less maintenance and more effective use of energy.”
During the December quarter, Grange focussed on mining ore from the main ore zone in Savage River’s north pit while movement from the first stage of the centre pit continued.
In this period, Grange mined 3.2 million bank cubic metres of iron ore, down from the September quarter’s 3.5 million due to remediation works undertaken in the north pit to reduce the risk of rock falls.
Production was also down at 632,817 tonnes of concentrate, compared with September’s 649,084 tonnes due to scheduled maintenance and a plant shutdown in November, to make way for the new steel pan conveyor.
Grange is seeking approvals from the Environmental Protection Authority for subsequent mining in the centre pit, with the review process expected to proceed throughout the first quarter of 2021.
The company is also working on the redesign and rebuild of the fifth furnace at the nearby Port Latta project, which was designed during the December quarter, with the review of key components being completed this quarter.