The existing mill at the Northern Manitoba mining site was to be upgraded to re- start a zinc extraction process and expand the overall mill throughput for both zinc and copper. The expanded capacity would provide the needed extraction capabilities for the a new mine in the Snow Lake area.
The existing mill expansion was being undertaken to allow the client to delay the construction of a new mill for a few years. While some new and larger equipment was purchased (cyclones, filters, etc.), much of the existing mill equipment would be re-purposed within the expanded process. The mill downtimes were to be limited as much as possible.
Evaluate the status of the electrical and control systems for the existing equipment to determine how much could be re-used or upgraded. Where possible, implement variable frequency drives on pump systems to allow more precise control of extraction flows. Provide a new motor control center for new, larger equipment. Design a new emergency stop system for different plant areas, protecting both operators and equipment more effectively. Design and implement a new Ethernet network for the main PLC, field IO devices, variable frequency drives and operator interface stations.
By designing and providing the electrical and control hardware, Celco was able to select the most cost effective approach for the client. Celco's experience with previous mill mining projects allowed them to quickly assess the condition and operating functions of the older mill equipment and provide recommendations for migration approaches to meet current standards. For example, rather than running hundreds of feet of multiconductor cable, the Celco design utilized an Ethernet remote IO approach throughout the mill, reducing installation time and wiring cost.
Mill capacity was expanded to over 2.5 times the previous throughput levels (1500 to 4000 tonnes / day). Celco's part of the project was completed on budget and with minimal mill downtimes. the client will be able to delay a large capacity mill capital cost for approximately 4 years, resulting in higher short-term profitability.