Minerals Processing Plant of the Year – finalists revealed

Anglo American's Moranbah North CHPP

For the amazing achievement of operating for five years Lost Time Injury (LTI) free, Anglo American's Moranbah North coal handling preparation plant has been nominated for the Minerals Processing Plant of the Year award.

Part of the Moranbah North underground longwall, it processes around 4.5 million tonnes of coking coal annually.

In early July this year, the CHPP crew celebrated the milestone of five years LTI free.

CHPP manager Clinton Vanderkruk, general manager Glen Britton, and CHPP electrician Carl Brown explained that this achievement was not simply luck, but a result of effective communication, team work, and a focus on working to get the job done safely.

"The CHPP team keeps the plant operating at its best, fixes issues as soon

as they arise, follows the correct processes before carrying out any task, and most importantly, looks out for each other every day," Vanderkruk said.

The site "really believes if you get safety right, production will follow.

"My advice is always double check. When we walk around we ask people about their Job Safety Analysis, their SLAMs (Stop, Look, Assess, Manage) and why they're carrying out a task in a particular way," CHPP process engineer Sam Spear said.


Xstrata's Newlands CHPP

For its innovation in safety and work to mitigate risk, Xstrata Coal's Newlands' surface operation's coal handling preparation plant has been nominated for Minerals Processing Plant of the Year.

It began in 2008, following a fatality at the site when a bin discharged its load while the cabin of a vehicle was in the drop zone.

In an effort to eliminate the chance of this happening again and remove the risk of a potentially fatal hazard of a serious crush injury Xstrata's Newlands surface operations began reviewing a number of different solutions. 

It focuse don minimising risk, as well as minimising the change to the coal handling preparation plant's infrastructure.

It eventually chose a tag reader system, which is able to determine when it was safe for the reject truck to proceed under the rejects bin.

Working closely with Logicamms, an extensive testing and commissioning process has now proven that if a trailer is not detected then the system will now not allow the bin to discharge, totally eliminating the prior hazard.

Importantly the system does not use optics or radar that may be affected by the environmental conditions, and automatically disarms the reject dump bin control the moment the truck leaves the drop zone.


Anglo American's Capcoal CHPP

As a part of its wider push to be recognised as Coal Mine of the Year, Anglo American's Capcoal mine has also seen its coal handling preparation plant nominated for Minerals Processing Plant of the Year.

At the Capcoal site there has been a drive to rapidly expand operations and its coal handling preparation plant has played a major part in this.

It recently saw the installation of a new CHPP module with a five million tonne capacity, added product stockpiling and train loading capacity, and managed to increase the coal types and improve blending capability to meet demand – including hard coking coal, PCI, and thermal coal, Anglo American says.

Since 2009 it has increased throughput year on year.

In a single month the coal handling preparation plant was able to achieve almost 1.5 million tonnes of coal processed in a single month.

Capcoal's coal handling preparation plant manager Luke Dimech said "a huge amount of effort, focus, and defect elimination had been put in by the whole CHPP team to achieve these results.

"The team has taken a significant step towards fully realising the total capacity of the Capcoal CHPP, achieving continual success in 2012."


Ausenco & Newcrest's Cadia East SAG Mill

For innovation and Australian first technology implementation at a semi autonomous grinding mill, Ausenco and Newcrest's Cadia's processing team have been nominated for the Minerals Processing Plant of the Year award.

The two are working together at the Cadia East project, which will be the world's deepest panel cave and Australia's largest underground mine.

As part of the project Ausenco was required to upgrade the existing low grade concentrator at the original Cadia Hill project to enhance throughput and recovery of the plant, but with minimal energy consumption from its operation.

To do this Ausenco designed a new communition circuit for the existing concentrator which allowed for the treatment of the harder ores forecast to come from the new site.

It created an innovative circuit incorporating High Pressure Grinding Roll (HPGR) technology prior to the Semi-Autogenous Grinding (SAG) mill to improve efficiency of throughput.

This design is the first use of high pressure grinding roll technology used to do this, and will not only reduce carbon emissions, but has increased efficiency by around 25 per cent, according to Ausenco.

The changes are set to increase mine life expectancy, and will result in greater profits for the site.



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