If designed and engineered correctly, transfer points play a vital role in increased throughput and productivity
If designed and engineered correctly, transfer points play a vital role in increased throughput and productivity

Numerous successful installations of Weba Chute Systems in the diamond-mining industry have proved that the correct application of the company’s scientific approach to the dynamics of bulk materials handling can completely eliminate the problems associated with conventional transfer chutes.

This results in significant cost savings in the diamond-mining industry, founder Werner Baller says. The Weba Chute System is based on the lined ‘super tube’ or cascade system that results from those occasions when material runs on material.

Apart from being specified for long-term refurbishment contracts at some major diamond mines, Weba Chute Systems has also introduced specific innovations for the diamond-mining industry. These include a slurry screen splitter distributor system that allows for a nominal belt capacity of 600 tph, with a water and effluent addition of 1 080 m3/h at a particular diamond mine.

“This was a very interesting application whereby the scrubbing process takes place within the actual chute itself, which was designed in such a manner that it caused a change in direction, resulting in turbulence and therefore a scrubbing action within the material being transferred,” Baller explains. In order to facilitate the scrubbing process, water is introduced at strategic points inside the chute.

Bulk materials handling poses a significant challenge in the diamond-mining industry, where conveyor systems have to deal with belt speeds from 2.5 m/second to 5 m/second. Baller says that Weba Chute Systems has accumulated significant intellectual capital about “the perfect transfer point”, which includes conveyor to conveyor, conveyor to stockpile and conveyor to screen applications.

Weba Chute Systems has pioneered the development of transfer-point technology in the mining industry, with more than 4 000 of its systems installed globally to date. “The Weba Chute System is applicable to any situation where bulk materials handling is required, from cement to the mining of all commodities and minerals, including diamonds,” Baller says.

Diamond-mining companies tend to focus on the infrastructure related to their kimberlite pipe mining operations, often at the expense of their bulk materials handling systems – and in particular transfer points. If designed and engineered properly, taking into account the overall system, transfer points can play a vital role in increased throughput and productivity.

“We consider a holistic design that does not only focus on the entry and exit points, but which also incorporates the control of the flow, volume and velocity of the material being transferred at all times,” Baller says. By custom designing each transfer point, individual Weba Chute Systems can be configured to control the direction, flow and velocity of the calculated volume and type of material processed in a particular application. The end result is a transfer point that substantially reduces maintenance expenditure in the diamond-mining industry.”

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