Solutions to reduce cleaning times in the pre-crushing plant


Solutions to reduce cleaning times in the pre-crushing plant

General aspects

At Teck CDA the ore extracted in the open pit mine is sent to three pre-crushing plants, with a total capacity of 58,000 tonnes/day. One of these plants, with a capacity of 20,000 tonnes/day, is fed with high moisture content mineral. This, together with the addition of water as a dust suppressant, produces accumulation and compaction of fine ore in different equipment and plant structures.

Objetive and Scope

Identify technological solutions to:

  • Avoid the accumulation of compacted mineral in structures (chutes) and mobile equipment (feeder, conveyor belts, screens and crushers).
  • Cleaning of structures and mobile equipment to avoid or minimize plant shutdowns.

Solution requirements

  • Minimal operational interference for installation, operation and maintenance of the cleaning systems.
  • Minimum or no number of workers on-site.
  • No major changes in the design of the equipments.
  • Prevent plugging and/or accumulation of high moisture content fine ore in transfer points.
  • High-availability cleaning systems.
  • Meet the safety and environmental standards of Teck CDA.


Excluded solutions

  • Consulting or engineering studies.
  • Proposals that generate major changes in the design of structures and equipment.
  • Proposals that resolve the root cause (moisture content or presence of fines in ore).


Equipment cleaning takes around 30 minutes and is performed 3 times a day, which represents 12% of the total shutdowns of precrushing plant with a capacity pf 20.000 tonnes/day. The aim is to reduce cleaning shutdowns by at least 50%.



  • Risk associated with rupture or damage of structures and equipment due to accumulation of fine ores.
  • Risks associated with ore plugging.
  • Production losses due to repeated shutdowns for cleaning.
  • Health‐related risks.


When does the problem occur?



How is it currently resolved?

Plant is shutdown and a team of workers perform a manual cleaning.


Tested technologies

Technological solutions have not been tested.