Dynamic Chute Application
Transnet’s iron ore export terminal at Saldanha, South Africa, has undergone a series of phased expansions over the past few years. Phase 1A, which ramped up capacity from 29 to 41mtpa, was largely completed prior to Hatch’s involvement in 2006. Hatch, as part of a joint venture, was appointed to manage Transnet’s expansion programme of projects and carried out the finalisation of phase 1A, phase 1B: 47mtpa (2009) and phase 1C: 60mtpa (2011), as well as various phase 2 studies to investigate further expansion options.
The terminal’s stockyard consists of four stacker reclaimers and related stockyard conveyors, designed for capacities of up to 10,000tph. Ore is reclaimed from stockpiles by the stacker reclaimers and transferred to the shiploaders via a number of conveyors and transfer chutes. The terminal handles 13 grades of iron ore with varying properties, some of which have high fines and clay content and are highly abrasive.
The majority of the existing terminal’s materials handling equipment was outdated and replaced during the phase 1A expansion. However, various problems were experienced, with some of the new equipment during its initial operation. One such problem was the stockyard conveyor discharge chutes, which experienced regular blockages and spillage, resulting in excessive plant downtime.
As part of the phase 1C and phase 2 studies, alternative designs were developed. Two stockyard conveyor discharge chutes were subsequently upgraded to new ceramic lined dynamic or free flow chutes.