Solving a Dust Dilemma with a Big Earth Mover

BACKGROUND

  • Company: Tier 1 Company
  • Location, Cape Lambert, Western Australia
  • Flow rates: 115,200Am³/h and 334,800Am³/h
  • Temperature: 35°C
  • Industry: Mining – iron ore

PROBLEM

The wharf of Cape Lambert, in remote northern West Australia, holds or shares every Australian bulk handling record. It is the tallest wharf in Australia, and handles around 40% of the annual iron ore production from the Pilbara region. So when it became time for this Tier 1 Company to expand its iron ore operation in the region with a brand new port facility, it was important to bring in the very best solutions. When planning began to build the new port facility, engineers considered the huge amount of dust that loading of iron ore would generate. The Tier 1 Company has to comply with very strict environmental conditions to protect local towns and the sensitive coastal environment, so tight dust control was essential.

SOLUTION

Solving the dust dilemma required significant dust management experience, which is why Luehr Filter was brought in to provide the answer. Luehr Filter designed a complete end-to-end dust management system, tailor-made for the gruelling conditions of the Cape Lambert facility. Because of the volume required, and transport considerations, Luehr Filter settled on their ‘SDF’ model filtration system, which is a compressed air-pulsed ‘online’ cleaned fabric filter. Each of these specially made filter units included the unique Luehr Filter flat bag design, with a series of flat bags mounted vertically.

To prevent the bag collapsing during operation, each bag is provided with an innovative bag frame, designed to provide optimal fabric support to minimise fatigue during the cleaning cycles. For maximum fabric life and optimal flow distribution it is important to ensure correct spacing of the bags at all times. To achieve this, the flat bag and frame is designed to be retained both at the bag plate and the base of the bag. This design has the additional advantage of ensuring that the bags do not touch and therefore prematurely wear during pulse cleaning which can happen with freely hung bags.

With the Cape Lambert facility sitting in an extremely remote location, it was important that the filters were fully functional on arrival, and ready to be installed in minimal time. The large bag filters were therefore shop fitted including the bags and tested prior to shipping, ready to be installed as soon as they arrived on site. The filters were successfully installed in early 2013.

RESULT

The expanded port facility will increase the capacity of the port by 53Mtpa, with the capacity for further increases in future years. Luehr Filter was pleased to be able to help the Tier 1 Company, and to support Australia’s mining industry.

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