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Reduction of particulate material emissions in Dry Area

Faena: Antucoya Mine

Deadline 03/04/2023

Closing Time 4:00 pm

Minera Antucoya’s Dry Area, which has 2 primary crushers, 3 secondary crushers, 12 tertiary crushers and an agglomeration area, currently processes 32 million tons per year with grades of 0.35 % CuT. These high treatment levels allow meeting the fine copper requirements, but represent a stress condition for the crushing plant facilities, where any leakage or spillage, added to low ore humidity (0.7%), climatic conditions (wind) and design features (open buildings, ore transfers at height, among others), cause particulate matter emissions that are difficult to control and mitigate with the current dust suppression systems.

The objective of this challenge is to identify technological solutions to avoid and/or mitigate fine particulate matter emissions at different points and equipment of the crushing plant, such as crushers, screeners, chutes and material transfers between conveyor belts.

  • Minimal or no presence of people during operation.
  • Minimal or no intervention in the plant infrastructure.
  • Minimal or no water consumption
  • Should not involve changes in the process or in the characteristics of the ore that feeds the plant.
  • In the case of chemical products, they should not generate problems in subsequent leaching, solvent extraction (SX) and electrowinning (EW) processes.
  • It is desirable to consider quantification of particulate matter generated before and after implementation of the solution.
  • Minimum maintainability requirements and high system availability, greater than 90%.
  • Dust suppressants and dust collectors in operation are insufficient to mitigate current condition.
  • Minor maintenance, replacement of screen covers, pressure relief pipes and stone beds in material drops.
  • Surfactant testing
  • Reduce the accumulation of material on the structures of the ore transport system and stacker bridge.
  • Decrease risk exposure of cleaning, operations and maintenance personnel.
  • Increased availability of the ore conveying system and stacker bridge.
  • Operational continuity.
  • Increased plant productivity.
  • Index of suspended particulate matter (SPM).
  • Particulate matter generation in transfers (ton/hr).
  • Plant stoppage times for cleaning tasks (operational interference).

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