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Hydraulic Hoisting at the Kristineberg Mine: A Conceptual Study of Increasing the Hoisting Capacity in the Kristineberg Mine Hydraulically
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The Kristineberg mine in the Skellefte field in northern Sweden is planning to increase production from both existing ore bodies and the recently discovered Rävliden North ore body. The planned increase in production puts the current shaft hoisting beyond its capacity and other alternative methods need to be evaluated. Sinking a new shaft would not only allow for greater hoisting capacity, but also cater to future production areas. However, studies by Boliden have shown that sinking a new shaft may not be economically viable due to it being a large investment and uncertainty of the size of the Rävliden North mineralisation. However, several studies and experience from operations have shown that hydraulic hoisting; the pumping of ore slurry; can provide a large hoisting capacity at low investment and operational costs. Therefore, hydraulic hoisting could be an alternative for the Kristineberg mine and this conceptual study aims to evaluate the feasibility of implementing this technology in the mine. In this application, hydraulic hoisting would hoist approximately 30 % of the ore while the remaining ore would be hoisted by the current skip hoisting. Ideally, the pumped material should be fine (few mm top size max) and due to limitations at the current crusher, it is necessary to screen off the finer fraction for pumping prior to the primary crusher. Since the ore in the Kristineberg mine has a lot of fine material after blasting, only screening may be an option. Nevertheless, a crushing step may have to be introduced to generate sufficient amount of fine ore for pumping. An extensive literature survey was performed to review past operations and design considerations of hydraulic hoisting systems. The findings include an overview of past and current technology, as well as methods to calculate pump pressure with limited experimental work (sieving, density measurements and image analysis), which is desired due to the limited budget of this type of study. The results indicate a pump pressure of 12-16.5 MPa depending on max particle size (3-8 mm) to pump a slurry from the current crusher station (-620 m) to the surface at 30 % concentration by volume. A pump capable of this is the piston diaphragm pump, which is currently the most suitable pump for this type of application, although there is a limitation in particle size and distribution depending on the valve. Furthermore, no past- or current operations have had similar parameters (pump type, vertical height, pressure and particle size), but both literature and pump manufacturers indicate it should be viable. Finally, the economic evaluation shows that an increase in hoisting capacity could be achieved by hydraulic hoisting to a considerably lower investment than a new shaft, and only a slight increase in operational costs. These costs are based on quotes from manufacturers, Infomine and other studies by Boliden and are adjusted by capacity factoring and inflation. However, the lack of information of the ore and slurry comes with the consequence of a lower accuracy in terms of costs due to incomplete engineering. However, the results should be in line with that of a conceptual study (defined by The Australian Institute of mining and metallurgy (2012)) and to a greater detail than typical conceptual studies carried out by Boliden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-127OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-127DiVA, id: diva2:971386
External cooperation
Boliden
Educational program
Geosciences, master's level
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2016-09-26 Created: 2016-09-15 Last updated: 2016-10-03Bibliographically approved

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