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Review of the in-pit crushing and conveying (IPCC) system and its case study in copper industry

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The material transport system in an open pit mine significantly affects the capital and operating costs. All truck haulage is the most common and is a reliable and flexible transport system. On the other hand, this system is very expensive and can cost up to 50% of total mining costs. Its costs are continuously increasing due to the inflation of the fuel, tire and labour expenditures. In-pit crushing and conveying (IPCC) is an alternative transport system which requires a higher initial investment but gives substantial saving in operating cost. IPCC is the superior technology for large open pit mines with high outputs. The main purpose of this review is to describe and compare IPCC system types. Afterward, their advantage, disadvantage and reasons for applying have been demonstrated. Finally, their case studies in copper industry have been accomplished.
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1
Review of the in-pit crushing and conveying (IPCC) system
and its case study in copper industry
Mohammad Reza Tavakoli Mohammadi1, Seyed Ahmad Hashemi2,
Seyed Farhad Moosakazemi3
Abstract
The material transport system in an open pit mine significantly affects the capital and operating costs. All truck
haulage is the most common and is a reliable and flexible transport system. On the other hand, this system is very
expensive and can cost up to 50% of total mining costs. Its costs are continuously increasing due to the inflation of
the fuel, tire and labour expenditures. In-pit crushing and conveying (IPCC) is an alternative transport system which
requires a higher initial investment but gives substantial saving in operating cost. IPCC is the superior technology for
large open pit mines with high outputs. The main purpose of this review is to describe and compare IPCC system
types. Afterward, their advantage, disadvantage and reasons for applying have been demonstrated. Finally, their case
studies in copper industry have been accomplished.
Key words: Crushing; Conveying; IPCC; Copper.
1 PhD student of mineral processing, Tarbiat Modares University
2 MSc of mineral processing, process manager of Kani Faravar (Middle East Mineral Processing Eng. Co.)
3 BSc student of mining engineering, Sharood University of Technology
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1. Introduction
Currently the mining industry is increasing its focus on operational excellence and safety
performance toward zero-harm levels. Factors driving this increased focus include the need to
obtain greater efficiencies not only to address the rising capital costs for mining assets such as
equipment, fuel, tyres, and manpower, but their overall operation as well, and in-pit crushing and
conveying is an important part of this [1].
In 1956, the first mobile crusher was installed in a limestone quarry in Hover, West
Germany. The crusher enabled the quarry operator to take advantage of continuous belt conveyor
haulage and eliminated a problem of high-cost road construction and maintenance in wet soft
ground, with resultant cost savings. Since that time, the number of mobile in-pit crushing and
conveying operations has increased to over 1000 [2].
2. Definition of in-pit crushing and conveying (IPCC) system
A continuous processing system that includes the shovel, crusher, spreader and all appropriate
conveyors that reduces rock of mine (ROM) to a conveyable size. In fact, IPCC is the use of fully
mobile, semi-mobile or fixed in-pit crushers coupled with conveyors and spreaders (for waste) or
stackers (for ore) to remove material from an open-pit mine. Following figures make a good view
of In-Pit crushing system [3,4].
Fig 1: Different parts of IPCC system [3].
3
Fig 2: Crushing arrngement of IPCC system [5].
3. In-pit crushing system
In-pit crushing and conveying is an alternative system for transport in open pit mines. Depending
on individual parameters, it can achieve full or partial replacement of trucks for material transport
within and out of a mine. If a mine provides two conveyors, both ore and waste are conveyed out
of the pit. By this way, the truk transport on long uphill distance is eliminated. When the mine
supplies only one conveyor, it conveys ore and waste on different shifts, or all the waste is
transported by trucks to the surface.
The in-pit crusher is moved down every one or two years, to keep the truck haulage to a
minimum. The relocation takes 2-3 days. For short moving times the processing plant can be fed
from a stockpile. In longer stoppages, usually in European operations, the move coincides with a
general mine holiday period.
The crusher is located next to an embankment, so that truks are able to dump the material
directly from the embankment into the hopper/feeder above the crusher. Under an alternative
arrangment, the crusher is located closer to the centre and has a separate feeder with the feeder
tail-end located in the recess in the pit floor. The trucks dump the material from the pit floor into
the hopper on the feeder. Belt conveyors can be one of the most efficient means of transporting
material out of the pit [4].
3-1. Types of in-pit crushing systems
Fixed or semi-fixed systems
Fixed systems are typically ex-pit and are designed to reduce haulage distance to the waste dump.
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Semi-fixed systems may be in-pit but fixed within a pit stage [6]. These are mounted on a
steel platform, which reduces the need for a concrete foundation. Any planned relocation would
not be for less than 10 years [2].
Fig 3: Fixed In-Pit system [3].
Semi-mobile systems
This unit works close to the mine face but is moved less frequently than a mobile crusher. The
transport mechanism may be a permanent part of the crusher frame [2]. Semi-mobille systems are
suited to harder rocks and higher capacities (up to 10000tph) [6]. In this method, trucks are used
to transport material from the mine face to the in-pit crusher, often moving between levels. As
mining advances, the hauling distance to the crusher increase, eventually requiring the crusher
and conveyors to be relocated [7].
Fig 4: Semi-mobile system [6].
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Fully mobile systems
Fully mobile systems are based on sizers and limited to softer rocks and the shovel capacity
( ̴ 5000 tph) [6]. These type of crushers work at the mine face, are directly fed by an excavator,
and move in unison with the excavator on them own transport mechanism as mining progresses
[2]. High-angle conveyors can be used to avoid overly long mine conveyors to transport material
from the pit [7].
Fig 5: Fully mobile system [5].
Fig 6: High-angle conveyors [7].
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Fig 7: Comparsion slope of ramps in conventional & in-pit system [3].
Relocatable systems
This term is used in Europe for crushers with temporary support foundations. The crusher plant is
moved in sections. In the United States, this term refers to units that can be moved on an highway
with a minimum amount of dismantling [2].
Movable systems
A movable crusher is centrally located in a mine near the same level as the mine’s working face.
It is relocated every 1 to 2 years, as required, to maintain the relationship between distance and
elevation from the face [2].
3-2. Comparison of in-pit crushing system types
Conveyor transport requires a smaller size distribution than truck haulage. While some marginal
ores may be processed by dump leaching without crushing, the majority of ore mined for
conventional processing generally requires crushing. On the basis, it is logical to consider that the
primary crusher may be located in the pit in order to condition ore for conveyor transport.
Waste, on the other hand, does not require crushing for truck transport, but does require a
size reduction for conveyor transport, and this is an additional cost burden of waste conveying
[8]. Comparison of different in-pit crushing system are as following tables:
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Table.1.A: Comparison of different in-pit crushing system [8]
IPCC Crushing Options Fully Mobile Semi Mobile Fixed
Throughput <10,000 t/h <12,000 t/h <12,000 t/h
Truck Quantity None Low Intermediate
Crusher Type Sizer, Jaw/double roll crusher Any Any
Unit Crushing Cost Higher Intermediate Lower
Table 1.B: Comparison of different in-pit crushing system [8]
Type Specification
Fixed
High Capacity
Typical Gyratory/Jaw Crusher
Rarely Relocated
Commonly Associated With Transport Tunnel
Semi-Fixed
High Capacity
Typical Gyratory/Jaw Crusher
Relocated Every 3-5 Years
Commonly Associated With Transport Tunnel Or Wide Truck Ramp
Relocatable
Medium Capacity
Typical Twin Roll Crusher Or Sizer
Relocated Every 6-18 Months
Multiple Crushing Station With Conveyor Ramp And Conveyor Distribution Point
Not Common In Deep Hard Rock Mine
Movable
Medium-Low Capacity
Typical Twin Roll Crusher Or Sizer
Relocated As Required To Follow Shovel
Commonly Feeds Onto Bench Conveyor Or Conveyor Bridge
Multiple Crushing Station With Conveyor Ramp And Conveyor Distribution Point
To Date, No Application In Large Scale, Hard Rock Mine
4. Conveyor systems
The size, weight, and physical characteristics of the material, transport rate, and horizontal and
vertical distances the material must be carried determine the type of conveying system to be used
to handle the material [2].
4-1. Types of conveyor systems
For each of the IPCC system options there are ways the conveyor can exit the pit:
A tunnel
A dedicated (generally steep) conveyor ramp
An existing haul road [6].
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4-1. Comparison of conveyor system types
The conveying system has most impact within the open pit environment due t the space required
for installation, its permance, low mobility and its impact on other unit operations. While fixed
conveying systems are frequently with fixed crusher installations, more mobile systems have
found limited application in large hard rock open pits, and a greater emphasis is put on this type
of system in this analysis [8]. Comparison of different conveying system are as following tables:
Table 2. A. Comparison of conveying system [8]
IPCC Conveying
System Dedicated Ramp Conveyor Tunnel Conveyor on Haul Road
Conveyor Angle <180 <100 <60
Capital Cost Intermediate Highest Lowest
Flexibility Intermediate Lowest Highest
Table 2. B. Comparison of conveying system [8]
Type
Typical capacity
(kt/hr)
Typical speed
(m/s)
Typical width
(mm)
comments
Fixed 5-12 4-6 1800-2400 Tunnel covered or open, Not flexibility
Relocatable 5-12 4-6 1800-2400 Poor flexibility, high relocatation cost,
stoppage of month for relocation
Shiftable 5-12 4-6 1800-2400
Pontoon or crawler mounted drive stations,
medium flexibilty but impact on other unit
operations, frequent downtime for
conveyor shifting
Crawler Mounted
Piggy-Back
2-4 3-4 1200-1800 Slow relocation time, multiple systems,
interruptions at transfers, common in leach
operations
Tyre Mounted
Piggy-Back
0.5-2 3-4 1200-1800 Application in quarries, good floor
conditions required
Crawler Mounted
Belt Wagon
5-12 4-6 1800-2400 Used with shiftable conveyors, high cost,
short length (60-80 m)
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5. IPCC system advantages
Energy efficiency - conveying is more efficient than other forms of material transport.
Mine life, up to 50-60 years of operation - need at least four years to pay back capital and
+10 is ideal.
Material movements - need at least 10 Mt/y (prefer 25 Mt) per stage.
Electricity cost versus diesel cost – electricity costs ($/kWh) less than 25% of diesel price
($/litre).
Number of material types - co-disposal makes dump development difficult but not
impossible.
Rock strengths - if < 70 MPa then use of sizers or double rolls crushers (DRC) makes
IPCC cheaper in both capital and operating costs but new hybrid DRC can process up to
150 MPa.
Space for operation - at least 100 m needed for IPCC.
Dumping restrictions - any height restrictions? (IPCC dumps can otherwise be formed
much higher in a single pass, with less ancillary equipment needs).
IPCC lends itself to easy automation.
Timing - IPCC is ideally suited to new operations or an expansion, rather than steady state
operation. It is also, generally, capex neutral compared to trucks when taking into account
replacement schedule and operating expenditure is less.
Vertical advance rates - moving crushers more than say twice a year creates a lot of
system downtime at seven days per move.
Gravity - conveyors can generate power on downhill runs.
Truck cycle times - in a mining operation IPCC may not work well below 25 min cycle
times. In a quarry where IPCC is processing ‘ore’ this can be much lower [9].
Minimal dependency on weather.
Ability to adjust to economic changes quickly.
Lower maintenance cost.
Highly reduced road preparation.
Major environmental advantages due to:
- Electrically driven motrs versus burned fuel.
- Prevention of dust on the haulage route.
- In total less consumption of energy and consumables [10].
Substantial saving in civil works.
Lower installation cost than stationary crushing plants.
Flexibility to alter the primary crusher location and conveying scheme as the mine
develops.
Safe mine operation due to less moving equipment [5].
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6. IPCC system disadvantages
The initial cost of system is normally higher than that of the truck haulage system,
because the complete conveyor and crusher are bought to start production whereas the
truck fleet can be bought in stages to set up production.
The mining operation is completely dependent on availability of the conveyors. This
availability is over 95% but a shutdown of one belt can stop the entire production [3].
Relocation of the crusher and extension of the conveyor is expensive and requires a
shutdown of the mining operation for a period from 2-3 days.
Material must be crushed to a size of minus 250 mm before loading onto the conveyor [4].
IPCC and shovel do not operate together [3].
In-pit crushing required for conveying (hard rock) even if not needed (overburden).
Less flexible in mining layout.
Less flexible in capacity [11].
7. Reasons for applying
Size of mines getting larger.
Labour shortages and need to keep manning levels low.
Strip ration increasing.
Fluctuating fuel cost.
New environmental regulations.
Greater Pressure to reduce operating cost.
Need to quickly respond to changing market demand [3].
Maintain flexibility.
Ore may go to number of destinations.
Ore blending and priorities may change.
Higher mineral prices support and justify the development of larger, deeper pits with
higher waste and/or material movements.
Soaring oil prices drive shift to less expensive electric power.
The supply of large truck tires remains difficult.
Carbon emissions will result in increased mining costs and create an environmental
impact.
There is an opportunity to improve safety with fewer moving vehicles.
Mining costs are currently escalating rapidly.
Mine production per man hour can increase dramatically.
IPCC realizes fully integrated automation processes.
Less logistics and handling of fuel, oil and parts result in lower costs [2,4].
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8. Is IPCC righ for a special case?
IPCC could work at such operation if at least some of the following apply:
You have a long mine life (more than 10 years).
You have laden uphill hauls or long distances. Large and steady tonnages of material are
being moved.
Electricity price ($/KWh) is less than 40% of diesel net price ($/liter).
No more than three material types.
Your cutbacks can be reasonably wide (>150m/164 yards).
Manpower issues prevail.
Reducing carbon and dust emissions is important.
You want lower operating costs! [2,3,4].
9. Case studies in copper industry
This technology has been developed from starting capacities achieved 25 years ago of 300 to 700
t/h, and is operating successfully, with major benefits for the user [10].
9-1. Twin Buttes
This open pit operation in Pima County, Arizona uses an overburden handling system, consisting
of three 1.5 m wide belt conveyors, with a capacity of 7200 tonnes/h each. The mine also
employs a few kilometers of conveyors to move crushed ore from two in-pit crushers to
stockpiles on the surface [12].
9-2. Duval Corporaation – Sierrita Copper Mine
This large open pit in Sahuarita, Arizona, 150000 tonnes of waste. During 1982-83, the mine
developed an existing haulage system based on stationary in-pit ore crushing and conveying into
movable in-pit crushing with extendable conveying for ore and waste. The new system consisits
of three movable 1.5 * 2.2 m (60-89 in) gyratory crushers, transporter unit, movable stacker, and
7.3 km of conveyors with installed power of 14000 kw. The total capital investment was
estimated at 32 million U.S. dollars. Average cost savings are $0.32/tonne at a nominal mining
cost of $1.10 tonne. This new system allowed the mine to reduce the truck fleet by 25%.
Moreover, average truck requirements were reduced by 37%, which eliminates all truck capital
expenditures over the next ten year period. It is estimated that a reduction in a vertical truck lift of
only 30 meters can save one million dollars of operating costs per crusher annually [13].
9-3. Bingham Canyon Copper Mine
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This open pit in Utah, U.S.A is currently under modernization to achieve a production of 70000
tonnes of ore per day using in-pit crushing and conveyor transport. The system consisits of a
semi-mobile 1.5 * 2.7 m (60-109 in) gyratory crusher and six belt conveyors.
The crusher weighs 1200 tonnes and is installed on concrete foundatios in a recess on a
bench at the conveyor tunnel portal elevation. It is fed by 154 tonne trucks from two sides. Total
height of the installation is approximately 30 m. Ore is crushed to a size of 250 mm at a
throughput rate of 9000 tonnes per hour. The feed hopper has a capacity if 600 m3. The discharge
belt is 3 m wide and 26 m long, with infinitely adjustable speed between zero and 0.5 m/s. the
plant is equipped with a hydraulic crane of 110 tonne lifting capacity and a hydraulic rock
breaker.
The mine uses six conveyors of a total length of about 8.5 km. The longest conveyor, which
is 6 km long, runs through a tunnel excavated in the pit wall to the surface. All conveyor belts are
1.8 m wide. Total Installed drive power is 12900 kw [14].
9-4. Gibraltar Mines
This open pit mine in McLeese Lake, B.C. produces 37000 tonnes of copper-molybdenum ore
daily from four pits. In 1980, an in-pit crushing and conveying system was installed in the East
Pit. The system comprises a 1.4 * 1.9 m (54-74 in) gyratory crusher and three flights of
conveyors of a total length of about 10 km and lift of 145m. crushed ore is loaded onto a slow
speed 2.13 m wide discharge conveyor, then transferred onto a 1.5 m wide two-flight overland
conveyor transporting ore to the processing plant. Average capacity of the system is 1800 tonnes
per hour, and during the last five years the system handled 45 million tonnes of ore [15].
9-5. Island Copper Mines
This open pit at Port Hardy, B.C. Canada produces 43000 tonnes of copper ore daily at a
stripping ratio of 2:1. It is a mine which converted its all-truck system into in-pit crushing and
conveying. The new system, installed in 1985, employs a portable crusher station, and out of pit
conveyor which transports ore through an inclined tunnel to the surface facilitates. Waste is still
handled by trucks. Total investment in the entire system was 24.3 million CDN dollars, with
expected saving of $0.19/tonnes. The payback period is 4 years and the truck fleet was reduced
from 25 to 14 units [16].
9.6. Highland Valley Copper
This open pit mine, located in the Highland Valley, B.C., produces 120000 tonnes of
copper/molybdenum ore per day from two pits. Recently, the company has installed two in-pit 1.5
* 2.2 m (60-89 in) gyratory crushers for ore crushing, at a cost of $20 million. Each crusher has a
capacity of 6000 tonnes/h and has its own conveypr system transporting ore to the Lornex mill
over a distance of 2.5 km [17].
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9-7. Mao Moh Mine
The large in-iit crushing, continuous haulage and spreading system with high capacity for
overburden was commissioned in 1984 in the open-pit mine Mae Moh of the Thai Electricity
Commission EGAT in Northern Thailand [10].
9-8. Syncrude Mine
The largest double roll crusher currently in operation is in an oilsand open-pit mine at Fort
McMurray at Syncrude Canada Ltd. This was supplied by ThyssenKrupp Fordertechnik and has a
capacity of 5,500 t/h. In 1997, two more double roll in-pit crushers from ThyssenKrupp
Fordertechnik, each with a capacity of 7,500 t/h for oilsand, were installed at the Syncrude open-
pit mine [10].
9-9. Chuquicamata and Escondida Mines
Figures 8 and 9 show the large open pit mines of Chuquicamata and Escondida in Chile [10].
Fig 8: Chuquicamata mine – chile [10].
Fig. 9: In-pit crushing continuous haulage and spreading system at Escondida mine/chile [10].
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These are circular copper ore mines where the copper is covered by a very hard material. Before
installation of the conveyor the waste material was transported along the circular ramps: a very
expensive operation. ThyssenKrupp Fordertechnik has supplied in the last decades In-Pit
crushing continuous haulage and spreading systems for both of these mines, which have
drastically reduced the costs of operation.
ThyssenKrupp Fördertechnik’s In-Pit crushing continuous haulage and spreading systems
in Indonesia, China, Chile, Brazil, USA, Canada, South Africa, Zaire, Thailand, Australia,
Europe etc. prove that this technology is suitable for large open-pit mines and operates at high
performance levels with a very long service life under any climatic conditions [10].
10. Conclusion
While each mining situation needs to be independently evaluated, in-pit crushing and conveying
systems are increasingly cost effective in the following circumstances:
High capacity
Long mine life
Deeper pits
Longer haulage distance
High fuel cost
High labour cost
Remote controlled operation.
11. Refrence
[1] In-pit crushing and conveying-gathering momentum, 2011, International Mining.
[2] Frizzell, E.M. & Martin,T.W. 1990, In-pit crushing and conveying, Chapter 13.5.
[3] Scot Szalanski, P.E., 2009, Optimizing in-pit crusher conveyor performance, P&H Mining Equipment.
[4] Radlowski, J.K., 1988, In-pit crushing and conveying as an alternative to an all truck system in open pit mines,
The University of British Columbia.
[5] Koehler, F., 2010, In-pit crushing looms the way into Australia, Mining Magazine Congress.
[6] In-pit crushing and conveying (IPCC), 2010, Alan Cooper-Principal Consultant, Snowden Group.
[7] Bulk materials handling in mining, 2007, Sandvik Mining and Construction.
[18] Tutton D. & Streck, W., 2009, The application of mobile in-pit crushing and conveying in large, hard rock open
pit mines, Mining Magazine Congress.
[9] IPCC innovations, 2009, International Mining.
[10] Schroder, D.L., 2003, The use of in-pit crushing and conveying methods to significantly reduce transportation
costs by truck, Coaltrans Asia, Bali International Convention Centre.
[11] Oberrisser, H., 2009. Fully mobile crushers as part of total IPCC solutions, Sandvik Mining & Construction,
Mining Magazine Congress.
[12] Argall, J.G.O., 1976. Twin Buttes pit gets bigger, 550000 tones moved out of pit each day. World Mining, PP.
72-75.
[13] Anon., 1979. Pit crushers and conveyors move Sierrita ore and waste, PP. 279-28.
[14] Kaerst, D., 1987. Modern equipment for Kennecotts Bingham Canyon copper mine, Bulk Solid Handling, Vol.
7, No. 2.
[15] Engineered Solutions for Material Handling, 2010, Synergy Engineering Ltd.
15
[16] Anon., 1984. Island copper: in-pit crusher and conveyor system under construction. Island Miner, Vol. 11, No.
1, pp. 1-2.
[17] Valley copper mines ltd., Vancouver, B.C., 1980. Valley copper project, Stage II Study, Vol. 1, Mining Plan.
... In case of ore material, conveyor can be connected with stackers (stockpile formation) or can transport material directly to the processing plant. Since these systems have two basic parts, a crusher and a conveyor, their categorization is usually based on the characteristics of these two parts [8]. ...
... These systems are directly fed by shovel (loader/dragline) and can move simultaneously with the progress of active benches. For this reason in terms of reducing operating costs, it has significantly greater potential than other types of IPCC systems ( Figure 5) [5,6,8]. A complete comparison between different types of IPCC systems are shown in Error! ...
... Reference source not found. [6,8]. One of the newest innovative technology that is developed by MMD supplier (Mining Machinery Developments) in 2019, is using continuous mining and existing truck fleet together without the need to install capital-intensive conventional conveyers. ...
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Article
Full-text available
A significant cost in the operating budget of most mining operations arises from purchasing and maintaining haulage trucks. Recently, in-pit crushing and conveying (IPCC) has been subject to research because of its potential to reduce haulage costs. The objective of this study is to identify early on in a project, by means of a decision-making method, whether or not the semi-mobile IPCC (SMIPCC) is an appropriate alternative to the conventional truck haulage method on the loading and hauling approaches. This method is based on cost analysis and the evaluation of environmental impacts, being successfully tested at an existing open-pit mine, where the results indicated that the IPCC was the most cost-effective option for the operation. Although the IPCC's initial CAPEX was 60% higher than the conventional approach, the IPCC's OPEX was 43% lower, resulting in a 28% reduction of the life-of-mine net present cost (NPC).
Chapter
A material handling system in mining aims to move mineral materials/products timely, safely, and economically viable. Therefore, transporting material within the mine and outside requires a heavy dose of mechanization and machinery. Furthermore, there are different types of mineralization styles and geometries. Consequently, there is a great diversity of different machines/systems that serve the transport function in the mining industry. This chapter reviews some of those transportation options, and where appropriate, identifies opportunities for the application of advanced analytics within the domain. Mainly divided into surface and underground, there is a similar division provided in the chapter. However, other systems used outside the mine site are also discussed: pipelines, railways, and ships. These seem to have a significant impact, particularly in the relationship between a mine and the communities affected directly or indirectly by their presence. Finally, the chapter concludes with a small case study illustrating one specific technique used in mine transportation studies. Without going into great detail, the section attempts to give the reader an idea of how those analyses could contribute to their decision-making in material transport situations.KeywordsMaterials handlingAdvanced analyticsMachine learningDiscrete event simulationSurface miningUnderground mining
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In open-pit mines, the traditional truck-based haulage system has consumed large amounts of energy in the haulage sector for many years. The use of continuous in-pit crushing and conveying (IPCC) systems is a viable option to significantly reduce energy consumption in this sector. Considering the relationship between the energy data and the amount of mineral extracted in the haulage sector of an open-pit titanium mine and the production of open-pit iron, copper and coal mines between 2013 and 2017 and 2028, this paper estimated the energy consumption in the haulage sector using a continuous system and a traditional system and also the potential for energy savings in case of using an IPCC system instead of the truck-based system in the mines. It was estimated that a continuous system consumes, on average, 303.94 GJ and a traditional system consumes, on average, 471.48 GJ to transport the minerals under study. In addition, it was estimated that in 2028, the use of IPCC system instead of the truck-based system in the haulage sector to transport 3482, 28.7 and 9746.4 million tons of iron, copper and coal minerals will save energy consumption in this sector by 28.26, 0.23 and 79.90 MMBTU, respectively. Finally, the use of IPCC systems instead of the traditional system was economically examined and the superiority of continuous systems over traditional systems was demonstrated from the two perspectives, operating costs and energy costs.
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Mining trucks are sophisticated equipment that must operate continuously under difficult environmental conditions at the limit of their capacities. Hence, any tool that helps to evaluate the stress of mechanical components and/or overloading of electrical components will be of great benefit. This paper presents the development of an integrated electric-mechanical model of a hauling truck capable of determining all the variables of interest of the powertrain, traction and retarding systems. The developed model is first evaluated on idealized uphill and downhill routes, providing a clear view of the performance of each component. These results are then applied to the analysis of a complete downhill-uphill truck cycle in a copper mine. Finally, selected sectors of the mine road are evaluated in order to compare field records with the corresponding signals of the developed model. Results show a good agreement with errors between 2% and 5%.
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As the exploitation of an open pit mine is evolving, the depth and therefore the distance traveled by the mine haul trucks increases. As a result, the operational cost of mining operation increases due to the higher consumption of fuel and tires. This work presents the evaluation of the performance of a truck fleet when using a trolley assist system. A model of the trolley system is developed using an AFE converter, which in combination with the integrated electric-mechanical model of a mining truck, allows quantifying the production increase, fuel savings and net energy consumption during an up-down cycle of the truck. A set of evaluations are presented, first on idealized uphill and downhill routes, and then using the coordinates of a route of a copper mine located to the north of Chile. Results show a 44% increase in the upgrade speed, a 16% reduction of the travel time, and a fuel saving of over 85% on each up-down cycle. The tool developed allows evaluating the performance of a truck fleet in any mine facility, just knowing the coordinates of the mine routes and the models of the trucks.
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In order to maintain and/or increase in the economic viability of their companies, mining operators are therefore being forced to adopt rationalization programs, particularly in high-wage-level countries. In the surface mining industry, particularly as far as hard rock mining is concerned, such ratonalization measures generally signify a transition from purely discontinuously functioning extraction and conveying equipment to continuously operating equipment or to a combination of these two modes. An up-to-date project is illustrated in this article. A large contract was recently awarded to PHB Weserhuette AG, Bad Oeynhausen Works, Federal Republic of Germany by Kennecott Corporation, Salt Lake City, Utah which is presently being implemented. The contract concerns the conversion of ore transport to the preparation plant from a railway to a conveyor belt operation at the Bingham Canyon Copper Mine.
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