Conveyor belt cleaning equipment designer and manufacturing company Brelko Conveyor Products has been working closely with gold producer Centamin at its Egypt-based Sukari gold mine in standardising a complete conveyor belt solution at the mine which is fully complemented by technical and aftersales support, writes CHANTELLE KOTZE.

Brelko’s relationship with Centamin began in 2015 following a site visit to conduct a conveyor audit.

On completion of the audit, the company proposed a Brelko product test, which mine management agreed to.

This article first appeared in Mining Review Africa Issue 1, 2020

Read the full digimag here or subscribe to receive a print copy here

For the product test, which took place in 2015, Brelko was awarded the contract to install its products, where needed, on an entire conveyor belt section at Sukari to solve the problems being experienced at the mine at the time, which included spillage, belt damage and downtime within the conveyor network.

According to Brent Weller, Brelko area manager for USA & Africa, the initial test installation which Brelko carried out over one week proved to be extremely effective.

“This led to the ongoing standardisation project which still continues to date,” he says.

The project scope included the installation of Primary and Secondary Conveyor Belt Scrapers, along with V-Ploughs to eliminate spillage from the transfer points.

Brelko also installed Keyskirt to seal transfer chutes at transfer points as well as a self-aligning Belt Tracking System to ensure the conveyor belts remain aligned.

Read more about gold mining

Moreover, the installation of the company’s Hi-Impact Idler System was undertaken to address the damage that was occurring to the conveyor belts due to inadequate impact management.

Addressing inadequate impact management

Brelko’s Hi-impact Idler System was specifically designed to address areas along the conveyor belt system where significant impact from particle sizes in excess of 150 mm causes damage to the conveyor belts, rollers and structure, while also being extremely heavy duty and robust but at the same time serviceable, says Weller.

“Our main focus in designing the system was to incorporate our proven torsion mount system. This enables the system to immediately absorb any impact, thereby minimising damage to the belt and extending the life of the conveyor belt.”

As part of its ongoing research and development into product improvement, Brelko significantly improved its Hi-Impact Idler System when it included the unique polyurethane rollers into the design of the units.

Read more about mining in North Africa

“This product improvement was able to extend the life of the systems while also guaranteeing a shorter lead time for manufacture,” Weller notes.

The installation of Hi-Impact Idler Systems help to significantly reduce damage caused by large particle sizes being transferred onto conveyor belts.

“The longer the belts remain in good condition, the more effective all the other related products on the conveyor perform, thereby extending run times and increasing productivity,” Weller explains.

Also part of the company’s impact management range is its universal and combination Feedboots, which further enhance the sealing benefit of the company’s Keyskirt.

The Feedboots, which operate at the various transfer load point of the conveyor belt, are designed for fine and lump sizes up to 100 mm.

Since 2015, Brelko has sold around 1 800 Hi-Impact Idler Systems and significantly more Feedboots – about half of which have been sold into Africa alone.

These two products, form an integral part of Brelko’s product offering and have also been installed around the globe.

Ongoing support

As part of Brelko’s ongoing support, the company’s service technicians visit the mine during planned shutdowns to install new products as well as to maintain the existing installations.

The company’s senior service technicians also conduct regular on-site training for all the maintenance crews involved at Sukari.

“We expect the scope of our work to eventually transition into more of a fully-fledged proactive inspection and maintenance offering,” says Weller.