Engineering & Mining Journal

JUN 2019

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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66 E&MJ • JUNE 2019 COMPANY PROFILE-PAID ADVERTISEMENT Heap leach mining operations contin- ually seek greater capacity, continuous material flow and reduced downtime. In any precious metal application these challenges are ongoing top-of-the-mind initiatives, particularly due to the com- plexity of stacking plans. Material han- dling equipment must be highly mobile and extremely flexible. And, for optimum performance, more and more operations are utilizing integrated conveyor systems, which can be custom-engineered for the specific pad design. At the core of Superior's system is their Mine Duty TeleStacker ® Conveyor, which is engineered with an internal stinger conveyor that maintains constant motion along a cell, distributing material evenly to achieve a flat top to each heaped pile, while also piling more material per move. "Its stinger conveyor, longer than those supplied with conventional radial telescop- ing units, allows for greater flexibility in complex valley fill applications," said Matt Hanson, a mining project manager with the manufacturer. The TeleStacker Conveyor is equipped with the FD Series axle assembly, a technology that allows a quick transition from radial to linear mode, enabling move- ment along the leach pad cell centerline. Also, the unit features the patented FB ® Undercarriage support system, which is constructed of durable steel and a tubular braced structure that prevents any twisting and shifting. "This level of stability is required for the uneven ground and the constant movement typically seen in the heap leach environment," he said. Regarding additional mobility options, Hanson said operations may utilize radi- al travel tracks and/or a track-mounted mobile pivot base in conjunction with the telescoping conveyor. "Radial travel tracks are a cost-effective method to gaining optimum flotation and traction. When combined with the mobile pivot base, operations can achieve free-ranging onsite and transfer point mobility as well as radial travel capability," he said. Integrated with the telescoping radial stacker is a horizontal index conveyor (HIC), a fully skirted unit with a frame that mounts to the stacker. "For greater heap leach site mobility, the track drive on the unit is designed to move itself and the radial stacker along the cell centerline—and for maximum flexibility, the HIC can be fed at any point along the length of the conveyor," said Hanson. He added that when combined with portable jump or grasshopper conveyors, the HIC minimizes the frequent removal or adjust- ments of the jump conveyors along the material transfer line. Hanson explained that a horizontal feed conveyor runs perpendicular to both the HIC and the grasshopper conveyors. "It transfers material from the grasshop- per conveyor to the HIC to maintain a consistent, steady material flow," he said. Multiple grasshopper conveyors com- prise a substantial length and are com- bined consecutively to transfer material to the stacking conveyors. Hanson said retreat stacking will move in increments of the grasshopper conveyor length by removing one at a time, while advance stacking requires the insertion of a jump conveyor upon moving forward. While a total systems approach to heap leach conveying may seem an unwieldy proposition to some operations, Hanson stressed that adaptability is made easier when the systems provider also takes a total approach to the design/build factor. "Today it's common for manufacturers to subcon- tract to others for both large and small components. At Superior, we manufacture all our components and conveyors, and engineer our systems as a whole to ensure such things as smooth material movement at all transfer points, as well as the neces- sary electrical integrity required for the inte- gration of multiple conveyors, for example. Our approach also allows greater control over lead times and delivery," Hanson said. Mobile Heap Leach Conveying Solutions From Superior

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