Dewatered Nickel Laterite Tailings Truck Load-Out Bins
When a large nickel mine located in the South Pacific purchased two side-by-side truck load bins to handle a sticky, high-moisture content dewatered tailings, the mine chose Kamengo to design and deliver both the storage bins and Feeders because of our expertise, special equipment and long history of designing storage and feed arrangements handling very sticky and cohesive bulk solids.
The formula for designing a reliable truck load out system handling a cohesive material is to pair a correctly designed storage bin with a feeder that withdraws material evenly from its entire opening. The storage bin geometry, including bin shape and angle of sloping walls, must be chosen such that the stored material will discharge in a mass flow or a first-in, first-out discharge pattern. Further, the storage bin should discharge via a sufficiently wide and long opening, such that the material cannot bridge over the feeder. Finally, the feeder must withdraw material evenly from the full length and width of the bin discharge opening otherwise the whole bin/feeder arrangement will be susceptible to chronic rat holing.
Kamengo’s Approach and Solution
Prior to starting equipment design, Kamengo conducted material flow testing using a sample of the dewatered nickel laterite. The testing includes a series of bench-scale tests that are used to derive the minimum geometry (angle of sloping walls, sloping wall material, discharge opening) required to reliably discharge a bulk solid. The standard that Kamengo uses, is that if the feeder were removed from the storage bin, it should completely self-empty with only the aid of gravity. If it cannot self-empty, then there is something wrong with the geometry of the storage bin.
To confirm both the geometry and suitability of the Kamengo Feeder, Kamengo conducted at-scale pilot testing. The testing included increasing the moisture content of the bulk solid until it was saturated to test the Feeder’s ability to discharge out-of-spec material.
In total Kamengo delivered two truck load out storage bins. Each storage bin is paired with a Kamengo Feeder. The strength of the Kamengo Feeder is that it withdraws material evenly from the entire width and length of the bin discharge opening. This is necessary when handling a difficult flowing material. A second advantage of the Kamengo Feeder is that it discharges over the length of the truck bed, allowing the truck to be filled without having to index it forward.
To learn more about the physics of storage bin and feeder design as well as the root causes of bin plugging, please download our white paper entitled: The Design of Reliable Storage Bins and Feeders for the Mining Industry.