Khumani Mine

MinLog develops beneficiation plant and load-out solution for Assmang Khumani Iron Ore mine

COMMODITY: Iron Ore
OPERATION: Iron Ore Beneficiation Plant
TYPE OF ENVIRONMENT: Beneficiation plant for on-grade and off-grade screening and beneficiation
SOLUTIONS DEPLOYED: Assmang Production Performance Management System, comprising of MineSuite MIS configured for Beneficiation Plant and Load Out

 

Background

Assmang’s Khumani Iron Ore Mine is located in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province where it produces approximately nine million tons of iron each year. The mine is undergoing a second phase expansion to increase annual production to 16 million tons. The ore mined from the open pits is loaded into trucks and hauled to the ROM tips from where primary and secondary crushers crush the ore before it is conveyed to the relevant stockpiles at the beneficiation plant. Here ‘on-grade’ material is washed and screened and crushed to produce the final product while ‘off-grade’ material is beneficiated by the jig plants for the removal of contaminants. Three different products are produced at the beneficiation plant and leave the plant via rail to Saldanha Bay on the West Coast of South Africa, where it is exported.

Requirement

Khumani’s existing technology infrastructure includes a number of process level systems that successfully address the company’s requirements related to specific business processes. They also employ an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and are introducing an Enterprise Information System (EIS) that will satisfy their business metrics reporting requirements.

The requirement was for the integration of operational information across processes and systems. The Khumani project is supported by a wider initiative (Project RIFA) which has amongst its objectives providing a corporate standard for the Production Performance Management Information Systems requirements across all ARM sites.

In essence, what Khumani required was a means of deriving coherent information from the process level business process systems and for the MineSuite MIS to make validated information available to management, decision support systems and their EIS and ERP environments.

Challenges

While in-shift and end of period reporting was a key requirement at Khumani, a challenge was to accurately represent the business process flow, in a manner that is independent of process, system or discipline.

Over and above the capturing of processing plant data via SCADA, LIMS and Geoscan interfaces, MineSuite had to be configured to provide for the load out station and railing requirements as well as for utility systems interfaces such as power and water reticulation.

It was essential that product flow and related quality information be collated from various process level systems to present a picture of what product is being produced and placed at which intermediate location. This information not only had to be reported on but was also required for providing third-party decision support systems with the information they required.

Solution

With MineSuite designed to model the beneficiation plant and load out from a process, mode, event and location perspective, MineSuite MIS was configured to represent the operation and to associate operational information in context within a data warehousing environment. The configuration provided not only for process and plant performance but also for associating stacking and reclaiming events with Geo-scan results and for reporting and disseminating quality parameters against tonnages at various locations.

For this particular client, it was important to track load-out processes and events and to reference these against the railing plan and schedules. To achieve this, the system was configured to provide for product associated consignments, rakes and trains, with MineSuite registering RFIDs via an InSQL interface for the purposes of reporting on the dispatching of product against plan and schedule.

With MineSuite configured for distributing in-shift and end-of-period information across the mine-wide LAN, Khumani’s management has instant access to information by means of interactive drill down reports via the MineSuite Active Web Viewer.

The MineSuite MIS was also interfaced with their corporate EIS system so that accurate validated operational information could be combined with corporate information to deliver useful business metrics.

Outcome

The Khumani implementation is another example of a MinLog project that was implemented on time and within budget, ultimately providing the mine’s management and corporate systems with accurate, on-time information pertaining to the beneficiation plant product flow and process performance.

Following the Stage I implementation, MinLog recently expanded the implementation footprint and functionality and will soon embark on the implementation of MineSuite MIS as part of their Khumani Expansion Project.

MinLog is also working closely with ARM to integrate MineSuite with the various applications that ARM has standardised on, such as, LIMS, ERP and planning systems.

“I have worked with MinLog since they started out and it is evident that they are growing as a company. They have a solid understanding of the mining environment and have brought the industry a good solution in MineSuite. They have always had an honest, realistic and extremely practical approach to tackling the client’s challenges.

ARM has enjoyed a partnership with MinLog since 2003. The solution they implemented for our environment has met expectations and we believe the measurable benefits can be quantified in rand terms. We now need to take it to the next level.” – Johan Pistorius, Chief Information Officer: ARM