he world’s largest iron ore deposits are to be found in Australia. Thanks to the mobile combination of plants from Kleemann, up to 600 tons of iron ore are processed per hour in the “Ridges Iron Ore Project” in the Kimberley region.
The Ridges Iron Ore Project: More than 67 million tons of iron ore remain untapped in this mine in Western Australia. In response to the rising demand for steel worldwide, it is now being mined at full steam. Since the mine was opened in July 2011, the Kimberley Metals Group (KMG) has extracted up to 1.5 million tons of iron ore per year here. The subcontractor SJ Crushing was hired to process the material for the Australian ore producer.
Meanwhile, the provider of mining services looked around for a suitable partner to meet the high demands set by KMG: up to 22 hours of production per day, seven days per week, and a targeted production output of 150,000 tons per month. Another important point was that the ore is being mined on a small ridge, from a deposit that will presumably have been exhausted by 2015. Using stationary plants would hence have been uneconomical from the outset. Only the mobile crushing and screening plants built by Kleemann fully met with all the requirements.
Steve Crabbe, Director and proprietor of SJ Crushing, first became acquainted with the German specialists for mobile plant construction at bauma Munich 2007. When KMG invited bids for the Ridges Iron Ore Project, Steve Crabbe knew immediately that he could only win the contract with Kleemann as his partner. Neil Fitzpatrick, project manager at SJ Crushing, recalls the decision-making process: “Steve Crabbe needed a clear advantage for his bid, one that he saw in the Kleemann plants with their robust design and diesel-electrical drive concept,” says Fitzpatrick. “The big challenge for us was to achieve a stable production output of 500 tons per hour very soon after submitting our bid.”
SUCCESS THROUGH MOBILITY AND OPTIMIZED PROCESSES
Precisely that was achieved with the Kleemann machines. In close collaboration with Kleemann experts in Germany, SJ Crushing tailored a solution specifically for the Ridges Iron Ore Project. Together, they decided to employ a mobile jaw crusher of type MOBICAT MC 125 Z and three mobile cone crushers of type MOBICONE MCO 13 S. The advantage of this solution is that, if the requirements or local conditions change, all units can be relocated without difficulty – a factor of decisive importance in a project such as the Ridges Iron Ore Project. Neil Fitzpatrick was very pleased with the international cooperation during the planning phase: “We remained in close contact with Wirtgen Australia and Kleemann and worked together as a team. This assured the project‘ s success within a very short space of time.”
A closer look at the mining process shows just what has been achieved (see box on page 32). The iron ore reclaimed in the “Ridges Iron Ore Project” mine is extracted on a ridge using one of two methods: either it is cut from the surface layer by layer by the surface miner or it is extracted by drilling and blasting. The material is then centrally stockpiled by dumper trucks and processed. The iron ore recovered by the surface miners measures no more than 200 millimeters. The material obtained by blasting, on the other hand, measures up to 1,000 millimeters in length and has a compressive strength of well over 300 MPa in some cases. Despite this, it is effortlessly crushed by the MOBICAT MC 125 Z to yield an intermediate which measures no more than 160 millimeters. This is then further processed by the three mobile MOBICONE MCO 13 S cone crushers to a final particle size of just 10 millimeters. The triple-deck screening unit in the cone crusher forwards some of the material to the next plant. The hourly output of up to 600 tons demanded by KMG can only be assured by this in-line system with its perfectly synchronized processes.
RELIABLE AND COMPREHENSIVE SERVICE FROM THE VERY BEGINNING
For over a year now, the Kleemann plants have been running almost round-the-clock in two shifts. Even after production started, the Wirtgen Group provided continuous service including technical support as well as regular training to ensure that production would continue to run smoothly in the future. According to Neil Fitzpatrick, reliable after-sales service was the deciding factor for awarding the contract to Kleemann, in addition to the plants‘ mobility. The Wirtgen Group‘s Australian branch is optimally equipped to provide such a service, for it attends to several major customers whose surface miners are in operation 24 hours a day in Western Australia. This service is greatly appreciated by Fitzpatrick: “The experts from Kleemann and Wirtgen Australia are always ready to help and advise us. The service provided by the Wirtgen Group could not be better.”
FACTS AND FIGURES
|Iron ore mining in Australia|
|Total deposits (EDR, 2010):||34.5 Gt|
|Production output (2010):||433.5 Mt|
|Exports (2010):||401.9 Mt|
|World market price per tonne (October 2012):||US $ 117|
|Ridges Iron Ore Project|
|Operating Site:||Ridges Iron Ore Project, Kimberley, Australia|
|Mined material:||Iron ore|
|Existing reserves:||67,000,000 t|
|Annual output:||1,500,000 t|
|Expected end of production:||2015|
|Machines on the job:||1 x MOBICAT MC 125 Z
and 3 x MOBICONE MCO 13 S