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Dos Santos International starts up two sandwich conveyors at Buritica Project

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Dry Bulk,

Dos Santos International recently commissioned two Sandwich belt high angle conveyors for Continental Gold’s Buriticá project in Antioquia, Colombia.

The DSI Sandwich high angle conveyors will serve as transfer conveyors elevating crushed pebble ore, each at a rate of 135 tph, and operating at an incline angle of 45°.

These two systems were rationalised to be the same belt width, and to use the same mechanical equipment (idlers, drives, pulleys, belt, etc). However, the first unit achieves a higher lift and length than the other. Unit 1, adjacent to the grinding SAG mill, has a lift of 14 250 mm (46.8 ft) and a length of 34 100 mm (111.9 ft). It feeds a crusher, which then feeds the second Sandwich conveyor. That unit has a shorter lift and length at 6750 mm (22.2 ft) and 17 500 mm (57.3 ft), respectively. Unit 2 elevates the pebble ore outside of the building and discharges onto a conveyor which also delivers stockpiled material into the building.

Early in the commissioning process, Continental Gold determined that a conventional conveyor on the site (not supplied by DSI) would need to be modified from a simply supported structure to a cantilevered head end.

Continental reached out to DSI for their structural engineering expertise, and the additional task was completed quickly and economically. Though the new steel was procured by the site personnel, DSI ensured that the modifications could be made with minimal additional cost. The result was an elegant strut design that maintained the support at the head end, while also incorporating modifications to allow for access to important equipment.

This is the second gold project on which DSI has cooperated with M3 Engineering. DSI also executed a contract through M3 for an overland conveyor system at Goldcorp’s Los Filos Project in the Nukay mining district of central Guerrero State in Southern Mexico.

Buriticá is approximately a 2 hour drive from Medellín, Colombia‘s second largest city. Some highlights of the project include:

  • Maiden mineral reserve for the combined Yaraguá and Veta Sur vein systems total 3.7 million oz of gold and 10.7 million oz of silver (13.7 million t grading 8.4 g/t gold and 24.3 g/t silver).
  • Gold and silver recoveries of 94.1% and 59.9% are expected, respectively, over the life of the mine.
  • A 14-year mine life will produce approximately 3.5 million oz of recovered gold and approximately 6.4 million oz of recovered silver.

The long-hole open stopping mining method will be employed to extract high-grade ore from the underground deposit. Cut-and-fill method and shrinkage stopping methods will be applied to extract lower quality ore.

The underground ore body will be accessed via three ramps namely South ramp, Yaraguá ramp, and the Higabra valley tunnel. The mining rate will initially be 2100 tpd and will be increased up to 3000 tpd by the third year.

Buritica’s high-grade ore and hearty output estimates make it a rare find. It is shaping up as a key test for the future of large-scale underground mining in Colombia, whose mostly unexplored mineral riches have miners rubbing their hands.

Each DSI Sandwich Conveyor uses two standard, smooth-surfaced conveyor belts, face-to-face, to gently but firmly contain the product being carried. This not only makes steep angles possible; it also offers a spillage free, environmentally sound operation because the material remains secured between the belts.

A DSI Sandwich Conveyor is capable of higher conveying speeds and greater capacities than other high angle conveying methods. With the availability of wider belts and accompanying hardware, capacities greater than 10 000 tph can be easily achieved with a DSI Sandwich conveyor. High angles of 90° are typical, and lifts of 300 m are easily accomplished.

The use of all conventional conveyor parts ensures high availability and low maintenance costs, as well as interchangeability of components and fast delivery of replacement parts.

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