Weba Chute Systems are successfully transferring crushed ore at Tshipi Borwa Mine and based on the successes achieved by these custom engineered transfer points the company has received an order to design another forty chute systems.
Tshipi Borwa Mine, located in the Kalahari Manganese Field in the Northern Cape, is a modern low cost open pit manganese operation has been exporting ore since 2012.
Wesley Hunkin, designer at Weba Chute Systems, says that in total nine transfer chutes were supplied to the mine late last year and include an apron feeder/discharge grizzly feed chute, a crusher feed chute, a grizzly underpan chute and a dribble chute.
“As an OEM recognised for our engineering skills we are able to leverage this technical expertise and provide transfer point solutions that are suited to arduous applications such as the one at Tshipi Borwa,” Hunkin says. “In addition to manganese being recognised as a heavy material, the large lump sizes being handled at this plant called for robust chutes that would provide extended wear life.”
Commenting on the large lump sizes being handled, Hunkin says that particle sizes up to 800 mm by 800 mm enter the primary crushing circuit and have posed challenges. The Weba Chute Systems technical team is working closely with the mine personnel to solve these.
The transfer points after the primary crusher cater for lump sizes of up to 350 mm and crushed material is transferred via conveyor flowing through inline chutes before it reaches the stockpile. Included in these chutes is a fixed tripper conveyor chute capable of splitting the flow of material to whichever side of the stock pile required. When material feed direction is changed it is obviously necessary that the flow of material through the chute does the same.
It was necessary to ensure that the fines would not report to the primary stockpile and this was accomplished by incorporating a scraper fines dribble chute within this section of the transfer tower.
The chutes are equipped with the Weba Quick Release Lip which facilitates quick changeout when the chute lip has become worn, saving on maintenance costs. A major advantage of this innovative wear resistant component is that only the worn section needs to be replaced and this further reduces costs. All chute systems are equipped with inspection hatches allowing the mine maintenance team to do visual inspections thereby preplanning such replacement.
“The order received to engineer the additional forty chutes can be attributed to the success being achieved with the chutes already installed, and our ability to custom engineer chute systems for both greenfields and brownfields projects,” Hunkin says.
“It is always preferable to be involved in a project from the beginning as this allows the complexity of chute performance to be taken into account at the plant design stage, and material transfer can be optimised by defining the geometry of the chute to reliably convey material from one point to another,” Hunkin says.
In reality this is not always possible, and Weba Chute Systems is often required to engineer systems for retrofit where existing transfer points have proved inadequate. The company’s depth of experience and technical skill have ensured that workable solutions can be applied in the case of replacement chutes.
Weba Chute Systems can point to an installed footprint of more than 4500 operational chutes worldwide. Transfer points are manufactured at the company’s Wadeville facility which is ISO 9001:2015 accredited.