Mill Expansion at Heath Steele

Heath Steele Mines Ltd. operates a lead-zinc-copper mining and milling complex in New Brunswick.• During the past seven years, as ore reserves increased, the mill capacity was first expanded to 1,600 tpd and then to 3,000 tpd. In the last expansion, instead of building a completely new 3,000-tpd mill, or adding to existing installations, Heath Steele retained service facilities, buildings, ore bins, Jab, etc., and removed and replaced almost all existing process facilities. Requiring a complete mill shutdown, the expansion had to be carried out in minimum time. Also, new equipment had to fit into existing space. Critical path networks of the project were prepared, a tight schedule for construction was mapped out and progress charted daily to detect problems before they could interrupt the schedule. Heath Steele supervised the purchasing, handling and storage of new equipment, maintained liaison with the engineering contractor and became a sub-contractor, using its own staff to install all flotation equipment and process piping. The 1,600-tpd installation was dismantled and a 3,000- tpd unit was successfully put onstream in 5 months - on time and within budget. One benefit stemming from the expansion: production increased 87 per cent while operating and maintenance labour rose only 8 per cent.
Keywords: copper ore, plant, Wedge ore, zinc, Equipment, flotation, Grinding, Mill, Mills, Ore, Ores
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