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Post at 15 Mar 2017

Background

Arrium Mining is an exporter of hematite iron ore and also supplies iron ore feed to Arrium’s integrated steelworks at Whyalla. The business currently exports approximately 9-10 million tonnes per annum of hematite ore, primarily to China.

Iron Knob is located in the Middleback ranges approximately 60 kilometres north west of Whyalla, South Australia. It is said to be the birthplace of Australian steel with commercial mining dating back to the 1890s. The site is an entire pit to port operation, including mines, crushing and beneficiation facilities, rail, trucking and port facilities.

Arrium engaged Striker Australia to prepare infrastructure to access the ore reserves in the Iron Knob mine. Striker provides quality, reliable and tough crushing, screening and materials handling equipment to the mining and related industries.

The task at hand was to design, supply, assemble, install and commission modular crushing and screening equipment to process hematite iron ore sourced from the Iron Knob Mining Area for rail transport to Arrium’s port facilities with minimum ground works and in a short on-site construction timeframe.

The company is committed to deliver the highest technical solution and customer service, leading with Rockwell Automation technologies and this project was no exemption.

SAGE Automation was contracted to supply the control system and visualization together with the complete electrical design, construction and installation works for the new crushing and screening plant.Arrium Mining is an exporter of hematite iron ore and also supplies iron ore feed to Arrium’s integrated steelworks at Whyalla. The business currently exports approximately 9-10 million tonnes per annum of hematite ore, primarily to China.

Keeping It Mobile and Modular

The Iron Knob crushing and screening plant was designed to have a 10 year life expectancy, making the use of mobile crushing and screening equipment as a more cost-effective solution compared to a fixed infrastructure solution. “The plant was originally estimated to cost approximately $40 million, but by using mobile equipment, this cost was able to be reduced by half,” said Christopher Poetsch, Senior Electrical Engineer at SAGE Automation.

Poetsch knew that the control and visualisation solution from Rockwell Automation would provide the required flexibility and reliability for this application.

As a result of the maintainability and easy integration of the solution into the systems at the site, Rockwell Automation is the control and visualization vendor of choice for Arrium Mining.

According to Greg Schultz, executive account manager at Rockwell Automation, “By having the crushing in close proximity to the mine, the requirement for transport and materials handling is reduced dramatically.”

The modular design of the plant made integration easy and also delivered the flexibility required to adapt to changes. “The new plant has had a number of design revisions but because it is modular and mobile, it has been easy to adapt to changes,” explained Jonathan Deluao, Principal Control Systems/Maintenance Engineer at Arrium Mining.

 

Challenge

To design, install and commission modular crushing and screening equipment to process and stockpile hematite iron ore with minimal downtime

Solutions
  • Allen-Bradley® ControlLogix® GuardLogix®
  • 75 Allen-Bradley PowerFlex® FactoryTalk® View SE
  • The DLR network topology with Stratix™
Results
  • Using mobile equipment reduced plant costs by 50%
  • The plant processes approximately 5 million tonnes of ore per annum
  • The high availability of the control system results in minimal downtime for the plant