Mill feed transfer points and scrubber feed chutes are traditionally considered high wear and high maintenance installations. However, according to Alwin Nienaber, technical director at Weba Chute Systems, says by engineering the transfer point to ensure the correct control of material feed into the mill or scrubber it is possible to significantly reduce wear and tear, and consequently maintenance.

Engineering a mill feed chute to ensure correct control of material feed will reduce wear and tear.

Nienaber explains that the transfer point into the mill or scrubber is critical with problems often arising due to the nature of this application. “This area of the plant is subjected to high velocity, which can cause excessive wear and tear and is linked directly to the speed of material being transferred through the chute.”

Large quantities of water required for the milling process are fed with the material into a mill or scrubber chute. In ball mill applications, steel balls are also fed through the chute into the mill itself. Traditionally, mills are lined with either cast high chrome, manganese or rubber liners, and even though mill feed chutes may have similar lining materials applied, these are not always sufficiently robust to counter the excessive wear caused by uncontrolled discharge of materials.

3D rendering of a custom engineered Weba mill feed chute for a platinum mine.

“Another challenge in this application is the interface between the stationary chute and the rotating mill,” Nienaber says. “Uncontrolled discharge of bulk materials and water will escalate the cost of maintenance, and could result in other related problems, all of which could add up to unnecessary expenditure and added aggravations for the engineers concerned.”

Weba Chute Systems & Solutions has decades of experience in assessing individual applications and providing a solution that will meet the operating parameters and contribute to achieving the lowest cost per ton for the mine.

Leveraging the Weba Cascade Chute design ensure the most appropriate configuration of the transfer point for a mill feed application at a platinum mine.

“By leveraging the Weba Cascade Chute design we can ensure the most appropriate configuration in the head section of the chute and achieve full control of the material with a significant reduction in wear,” he says

With this well-engineered design Weba Chute Systems customers will be able to limit the impact into the lined feed spout section where the water is introduced through a separate flood box. Here, again by controlling the product flow in the Weba chute, customers will significantly reduce the high wear rates that are traditionally experienced in a mill feed spout. This will result in a reduction in the associated costs related to transfer points.

Well-engineered Weba Chute Systems limit the impact in mill feed applications.

Significantly, Weba Chute Systems & Solutions has more than 5000 custom engineered chutes and transfer points operating successfully across of a range of minerals and applications globally. The company has local representation in all major mining regions internationally.