Not our world famous DSI Snake Sandwich High Angle Conveyor, but an overland conveyor this time. I’ll just go ahead and cut to the chase. Diamonds got me last time. So what goes best with diamonds? Well of course the precious metals that holds those gorgeous stones. The stuff that’s going to diversify your portfolio because it’s worth so much now. That’s right…GOLD!
So here’s what’s been going on. Dos Santos International is currently finishing up the Los Filos Project that was awarded in cooperation with M3 Engineering of Tuscon, AZ. Goldcorp’s Los Filos Project is in the Nukay mining district of central Guerrero State in southern Mexico. It promises to be one of the largest open-pit mines in the country. It reminds me of our diamond mine project in Canada. Those systems are contributing to projects that are projected to overtake South Africa as the new primary source of diamonds for the world. See, we like to do things bigger and better around here!
Originally, there was a system that conveyed the ore from the crushing plant to the leach pads via a glory hole ore pass and an underground conveyor, through the hill. An agglomeration drum mixed in the agglomerate before final delivery to the leach pads. The system experienced material flow problems right from the start, especially during heavy rains. The sticky ore tended to plug up the ore pass. Geological instability ultimately collapsed the ore pass, putting the transport system out of service after only four months of operation.
So to keep it worth its weight, Goldcorp had to find another alternate to truck haulage which is way too expensive. That’s when they asked M3 Engineering to develop an alternate conveying route. M3 put their trust in DSI and we figured out the most logical, most direct and of course economical path. Instead of going under that hill, we planned to go right over it because….well…frankly…WE CAN! That path required a down-hill high angle conveyor. We called it the DSI G.P.S. (Gently Pressed Sandwich) High Angle Conveyor. We were ready in March 2009 to proceed, but wouldn’t you know it…the instability on that hill wouldn’t allow it. Back to the drawing board!
This time a conventional conveyor system was developed, following the already developed truck ramps. DSI expertise proved particularly advantageous on this project. The original ten-conveyor-flight system was rationalized to only seven flights by amalgamating with horizontal curves. The third conveyor flight is specially engineered to accomplish the agglomeration by mixing through five intermediate tripped transfers. This route agglomeration, conceived by Goldcorp, resulted in substantial savings by eliminating the need for the additional agglomerating drum.
The overland conveying path is mostly downhill. While this presents the normal controlled starting and stopping problems, it also creates great savings opportunities. The downhill flights are decisively regenerative. Also, the drive motors, now generators, will feed power back into the grid which can be used to power other mine equipment. These carefully engineered conveyors will be equipped with variable frequency drives to ensure operations at maximum efficiency (by pryor). There we go being “green” again!
So my interests have gone from diamonds to gold and Dos Santos International continues to hold my attention into 2010. Can’t wait to see what they do next!
If you want more technical information on this project, visit our NEWLY UPDATED web site at www.dossantosintl.com.