Ore slurry spills are common in mineral concentration plants as a consequence of overflows, filtrations and cleaning of
equipment during maintenance tasks, even remaining solidified in some points. This material must be permanently removed, thus maintaining order, cleanliness and clear areas
to provide easy access for operations and maintenance personnel, avoiding substandard conditions that can cause accidents. This work is currently carried out with forced
vacuum equipment, pressurized water and a considerable number of support personnel.
The objective of this challenge is to identify integral cleaning systems that consider technological solutions to facilitate the removal and recovery of mineral pulp from flat, inclined and uneven surfaces in milling, copper flotation (rougher and scavenger) and molybdenum flotation plants. Through innovative technologies, we seek to minimize or eliminate the
exposure of people to risky work, reduce cleaning time and operational interferences generated by these activities.
The required integral system must meet at least the following
• Decrease the duration of cleaning tasks, thus minimizing equipment downtime.
• Minimal or no presence of people in the cleaning areas.
• Minimal or no water consumption for cleaning tasks.
• Facilitate the removal of slurry from the sectors of interest and its handling outside the facilities for final disposal.
• Energy autonomy to ensure the continuity of the cleaning tasks.
• Robustness to withstand humidity conditions, particulate matter and eventual material spillage.
• Take into consideration access to narrow places and the presence of obstacles in the plant layout (see Annex 1: Concentrator Plant Layout).
• Maturity level of the integral system component solutions must be greater than or equal to TRL 5 (prototype validated in complex or relevant environment). The overall design of the end-to-end system may have a lower maturity level to be validated in pilot testing.
• High vacuum suction truck.
• Low-profile loaders and human-operated mini-loaders.
• Electric forklifts.
• Hurricane Vacuum Cleaner.
• Reducing the risk of personnel in charge of tasks.
• Decrease cleaning time and operational interferences.
• Cleaning time prior to maintenance work.
• Presence and exposure of personnel inside plants or areas affected to cleaning.
• Plant stoppage times for cleaning tasks (operational interference).
• Ability of the system to remove and reincorporate spilled material back into the process.