In an article dated February 21, 2014, Engineering and Mining Journal reporter Russell A. Carter gives readers a look into the future of productive and efficient mining by suggesting that an “ultra mine” capable of extracting 1 million tons-per-day may not be too far off.
At last year’s annual meeting of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, a paper addressed that exact possibility, noting that: 1) it could happen within 10-15 years; 2) it would be technically feasible using either conventional truck haulage or in-pit conveyors; and 3) moving 1 million t/d of ore out of a single pit with a strip ratio of 3:1 or 4:1 would actually involve a total removal rate of 4–5 million tons of material each day. […]
However, no matter what the final transport scheme may be, the prospect of that many tons of generally abrasive— and possibly corrosive—material moving through mine and plant systems would be a daunting proposition for maintenance departments charged with the responsibility for equipment upkeep. Material movement volumes in today’s mines alone are problem enough when it comes to wear and corrosion repair.
The article continues on to discuss technological advancements in wear protection as applied to pipelines for the transportation of materials both on the surface and underground.
Wear Resistant Castings
Mining companies must invest in efficient wear resistant castings from companies like Wabi Iron & Steel Corp. for their pipeline operations, especially in relation to pump casings, impellers, sideliners and other wear parts. They should ensure that the impact and corrosion resistance characteristics of such equipment can effectively meet their requirements.
Many systems also involve coating the pipes in various materials that could keep the abrasiveness of minerals passing through them at bay. One such system involves coating with a lining of polyurethane with a high performance property. This also helps ease the burden of maintenance and constant repairs.
Pipeline materials themselves must provide excellent resistance to wear and corrosion. Today’s technology often depends on hard steel weld alloys for superior wear rate improvement over most solutions available to the market.
As mining productivity in Ontario and across North America increases, so does the importance of maintaining efficient methods of underground material conveyance. Choosing experienced Ontario foundry services, like Wabi Iron & Steel Corp., for high-quality wear resistant parts and equipment can boost the effectiveness of a mine’s material transportation system.
(Source: Progress in Pipe Wear Protection, Engineering and Mining Journal, February 21, 2014)