MechProTech | MPT

Gigantic SA-made ore scrubber destined for Sierra Leone mineral sands mine

Mechanical process equipment and solutions provider MechProTech has completed the manufacture of one of its largest pieces of mining process equipment – the multimillion-rand Titan 3596 mineral ore scrubber – which will be delivered to a mineral sands mine in Sierra Leone.

MechProTech focuses on the design, manufacture, development, project management and after-sales service of mining process equipment and supplies original-equipment manufacturer items such as ore scrubbers, grinding mills, barrel screens, roll crushers, thickeners, industrial mixers and reagents plants.

The company’s internally designed and manufactured ore scrubber is used to wash and break up alluvial gravels, clay and sand.

The Titan ore scrubber, which is 3.5 m in diameter and 9.6 m long, will be shipped to the mine this month, MechProTech sales manager Wynand Boshoff tells Mining Weekly. He notes that this is the second scrubber to be delivered to the mine in two years, following the successful commissioning of the first unit installed in 2016.

The Titan ore scrubber is a girth-gear-driven machine mounted on two hydrodynamic plastic composite bearings. It is skid-mounted to form part of a mobile mining unit and has a nameplate feed rate of 700 t/h, explains MechProTech project engineer Louis Venter.

The scrubber, once assembled, weighs 90 t.

It further has an installed power capacity of 660 kW, owing to the addition of a 3.0 m × 3.4 m Titan trommel screen.

The design of the scrubber is based on the company’s mill design for high-attrition power, which means it can run on increased charge volumes of around 30% and at 70% of critical speed.

The MechProTech in-house scrubber model is based on power transfer and energy consumption, along with particle size distribution, rather than the traditional retention-time-based model. “This can result in a smaller footprint scrubber, which can handle a larger volume, as opposed to the traditional retention-time-based model,” Boshoff says.

The Titan range of mills and scrubbers is further fitted with hydraulic jacking cradles, which makes the use of large mobile or overhead cranes unnecessary when performing maintenance.

The advantages of the scrubber include bi-directionality. Venter explains that the design allows for the reversing of the drive direction of the rotation. This allows for a longer life of the scrubber rubber lifter bars, shell plates, gears and pinions.

The scrubber further has its own lubrication system, which manages hydrodynamic lift and gear system lubrication.

While Boshoff notes that demand for the scrubbers has been increasing, Venter adds that the scrubbers are used at several newer diamond mines across the African continent.

“We are designers and suppliers of mechanical process equipment and we are constantly looking at ways to improve our products and provide cost-effective innovative solutions for our customers,” Venter says.

MechProTech has supplied equipment throughout Africa and Central and South America and is expanding its market to Eastern Europe and Russia. The company shipped a complete modular gold plant, including a ball mill, to a gold mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at the beginning of this year and a thickener to South America in the past three months. It aims to deliver a ball mill to a gold mine in Guinea by the end of October.

Further, the company is currently manufacturing two reagent plants for a client in the DRC, with one of the plants to be manufactured entirely from stainless steel, Venter says. 

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