AUMUND Transport Solution with Bucket Elevator and Bulk Material Receiving Unit at Nickel Mine in New Caledonia

With a combination of a chain bucket elevator and a
Samson® bulk material receiving unit, AUMUND Fördertechnik GmbH persuaded the people in charge at the French ERAMET Group, the supplier of the Doniambo nickel mine (Fig.). ERAMET is a world leader in alloying metals, particularly manganese and nickel, and in high-quality metallurgy. In addition, ERAMET has major research and development projects in new business lines with high growth potential, such as titanium dioxide, zircon, lithium, niobium and the rare earths, as well as recycling. The group employs about 14 000 people in 20 countries.

The AUMUND bucket elevator with an axis-centre distance of approximately 40 m and the Samson® bulk material receiving unit 800 (CC 11.5 m) resume the transport of pit coal with a capacity of 300 t/h. The Samson® bulk material receiving unit 800 was completely assembled at the AUMUND production line in Rheinberg. Afterwards it was sent on the approximately 16 000 km sea voyage to New Caledonia.

With the explosion protected version of the AUMUND bucket elevator, the roller bearings were moved to the exterior. For a controlled discharge of the pressure to atmosphere, decompression units like blow-out disks and Q-boxes have been installed. The blow-out disks have been installed with a distance of six metres in between and provide for a controlled discharge of the pressure building up in case of an explosion. That way they protect the load bearing casing construction of the bucket elevator. Since the movement of people cannot be avoided entirely at the foot of the bucket elevator, Q-boxes were installed there as decompression units. They eliminate flames and heat in case of an explosion pressure relief and thus make an ideal placement of the machines possible.

The Q-box is a cost-efficient protection of units with little stability and large areas of pressure relief. The rectangular connection profile is adjusted to the dimensions of the standard blow-out disks. The system functions maintenance-free and without running costs. In case of interior installation of conveyors, the Q-box is the more economical alternative compared to blow-off channels.

The Samson® bulk material receiving unit provides a more economical alternative to fixed units. The machine is capable to receive the bulk material directly from excavator shovels or tipper trucks. The conveyor with a wide design has a very low loading height, enabling a truck to unload the bulk material directly into the receiving area. The material can be unloaded directly without intermediate storage and will be transported by conveyor directly from the truck to the installation. It can either be conveyed continuously to a downstream conveyor system – in this case the chain bucket elevator – or it can be stockpiled within the installation.

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