M&J Engineering is close to completing an order for the supply and installation of 29 of its innovative Weba Chute Systems at Assmang Manganese’s Black Rock Mine Operations, about 80 kilometres north-west of Kuruman in the Northern Cape. The company is undertaking all the site surveys as well as the design, fabrication, removal of the existing chutes, installation of the Weba Chute Systems and commissioning these units.

At the same time, M&J Engineering is about to enter the fabrication phase on a separate order for Black Rock Mine for nine Weba Chute Systems of varying configuration as part of an upgrade to the mine’s tippling conveyor and silo feed system.

The 29 new Weba Chute Systems are replacing the mine’s existing conventional transfer points. These have been in operation for about two years, but are not performing to the required specifications.

“The Black Rock team called us in to survey all 29 transfer points and our design consequently reflects throughput increases and greatly reduced potential for blockages,” M&J Engineering project manager, Ted Cruikshank, says. “Close co-operation between our team and Black Rock is ensuring that the chutes are installed at specific times to achieve minimum downtime.”

The Weba Chute Systems will carry ROM material ranging in size from minus 150 mm. On the 900 mm ROM conveyor, bulk density is 2.4 tons per cubic metre at an average of 900 ton per hour with a conveyor speed of 2.7 metres per second. The conveyor is moving maximum size slabs up to 300 mm.

The transfer points vary in operation from bin discharge, silo discharge, plant feed, primary feed and discharge, secondary feed and discharge, tertiary feed, desliming screen discharge and product bin chutes. The product bin chutes will handle material with a maximum size of minus 75 to plus 6 mm, and this size distribution is all saleable products.

M&J Engineering first supplied a skip discharge Weba Chute System to Black Rock 12 years ago and Cruikshank reports that the chute is still working well. The company has also supplied Weba Chute Systems to other Assmang operations including Khumani, Beeshoek, Machadodorp and Cato Ridge.

Regardless of belt speed, belt width, material size, shape or throughput, the Weba Chute System eliminates the problems associated with conventional transfer chutes and provides cost effective, productivity enhancing and environmentally friendly solutions.

Recognising the many benefits associated with Weba Chute Systems, market acceptance has reached a high point with over 3000 chutes currently doing duty in the bulk materials handling industry worldwide. Although certain technology is common throughout Weba Chute Systems, each is contextually fine-tuned and hot commissioned to achieve optimal results at each customer site.