Posted by Paul Moore on 1st March 2021
Cementation Canada Inc (CCI) and Terra Nova Technologies (TNT) have successfully completed their first joint project as a consolidated team for the Newmont ConRamp conveyor project located at the Musselwhite gold mine at Lake Opapimiskan, Ontario, Canada, some 500 km north of Thunder Bay. The statement said that the consolidated team approach involved excellent collaboration as all parties had a vested interest in project success. The project scope was to replace the main ConRamp conveyor system that was severely damaged in 2019. This conveyor system and material handling systems work in association to efficiently move material from deeper mine levels to the surface. Haul distances are reduced as the ore crushed at depth is hoisted from the underground crushers to the conveyor system and brought to the surface for processing.
The main components of the system include conveyor CV 102, transfer tower and discharge chute, and conveyor CV 103. This was a general replacement “in kind” along with requested safety and performance enhancements. “This was a typical brownfield project which presented the usual challenges for engineering and construction. CCI and TNT were responsible for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) for the entire project. The Integrated EPC team allowed for seamless project delivery and reduced schedule time and cost. This was recognised by Newmont and was one of the reasons for the award to the CCI/TNT team.”
The engineering involved the conveyor tables and associated components, main conveyor drives, conveyor pulleys, transfer tower between the two conveyors, prefabbed electrical room, gravity take up (GTU) units and the overall system integration. Suppliers of the main components included DSI dust solutions, Sumitomo gear reducers, PPI pulleys, Teco motors and Rumelca idlers and frames, and ABB drives. As the design continued, a 3D model was completed to showcase the conveyor layout, which helped with the final design client approval. This layout provided a good visual for the construction crews to better understand the construction requirements.
Early in the construction, a 3D LiDAR scan was completed of the entire ConRamp for engineering to optimise the elevation of the conveyor tables and associated curvature of the system. This ensured that there was no interference between the wall and the conveyor tables during the final installation. To help improve the system, a monitoring system was installed to monitor the temperature of the conveyor idlers and bearings. This system consisted of four fibre optic cables along the length of the conveyor and strategically placed close to the bearings for quick sensing.
The construction utilised all in-house workforces with sub-contractors for specialised tasks throughout the project. “The project experienced the onset of the COVID-19 virus, which suspended site activities for 2+ months and reduced supply from many vendors and fabricators. The engineering and procurement work continued remotely and the plan for ‘return to site’ was developed in conjunction with Newmont. Upon return to site, the work force availability was limited due to strict protocols instituted. This presented challenges with obtaining the large experienced work force required to complete the work.”
The project started with a ‘zero day’ float schedule as time was of the essence since the conveyor system is part of the main material handling system for the mine. Overall, the project was delivered safely with 120,000+ personnel hours with no Lost Time Injuries (LTI). Construction and commissioning were completed as per the schedule and integrated into Newmont’s full ramp up for returning back to full production.
In December 2020, Newmont reported the commissioning of the new conveyor and materials handling system. “I am extremely proud of the work that has been completed by the team at Musselwhite to safely deliver these two critical projects, whilst managing through the unprecedented challenges caused by COVID-19,” said Newmont’s President and CEO Tom Palmer. “Musselwhite is an important part of our North America region, and with the commissioning of these two projects is positioned to contribute to Newmont’s portfolio for many years to come.”