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Jan 25, 2019

Strong Services Support for two Ageing Thickeners at KCGM

Comprehensive support services, including initial audit, supervisory services during removal and installation.

Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines Pty Ltd (KCGM) is the management company of the Kalgoorlie Operations for Joint Venture Owners Barrick Australia Pacific and Newmont Australia. KCGM Operations include the Fimiston Open Pit (Super Pit), Mt Charlotte Underground Mine and the Fimiston and Gidji Processing Plants, located adjacent to Kalgoorlie-Boulder, approximately 600 km east of Perth, Western Australia. KCGM produces around 700,000 ounces of gold each year and has a gold reserve of 6.965 million ounces.

History

Outotec has a long history at KCGM. At KCGM’s Fimiston Processing Plant, for example, Outotec equipment includes flotation, thickening and automation, along with various site services over the years. 

Two of the Fimiston thickeners at KCGM were not performing optimally. Installed back in 1990, these two 27m diameter Outotec high rate thickeners were ageing and corroded. In 2017 KCGM decided to review the performance of these two thickeners.

Close collaboration and planning

Following an initial site visit and subsequent equipment audit, it was clear that new feedwells were required for both thickeners. So, apart from the delivery of new feedwells, KCGM also tasked Outotec with providing supervi-sory services during the removal and installation of these new feedwells. It was agreed to complete one thickener first and start on the second feedwell hereafter.

As site had implemented amends to the thickeners over the years, the original drawings varied significantly to the current thickeners. Therefore, to ensure a seam-less installation, Outotec engineering and installation personnel visited site at various times beforehand.

Installation - first thickener

Working closely with the customer and meticulously planning all details, Outotec arrived on site in March 2017. The new feedwell (including deflector cone and scrapers) was to be installed during a scheduled plant shutdown, due to last four days.

Despite various delays from other suppliers, Outotec ensured both the removal and installation of the new parts were completed on time. Pre-planning ensured the new segments were assembled with ease and, with the experienced supervision of Outotec personnel, the work crew often picked up some lost time with their organised teamwork during the four days.

Success and repeat order

Outotec was subsequently tasked with providing its services for KCGM’s second thickener. As with the first job, the installation was to happen during a plant shut. In August 2017 Outotec mobilised to site, and supervised the removal and installation of the new feedwell (again, including deflector cones and scrapers).

Installation complete and with some time to spare, Outotec also assisted other work crews in maintaining the shutdown timeframe (including assisting with thickener rake blade and tie rod changeout, amongst other things). This second installation was also a smooth process, with all equipment bolting together without modification first time round. As before, KCGM carried out the removal, installation and commissioning of the new feedwell and parts, partnered and supervised by Outotec.

“Not only are we very pleased with the thickeners’ performance, but Outotec’s services and trusted approach proved very beneficial” Neil Niemand, Senior Shutdown Planner at KCGM.
“Not only are we very pleased with the thickeners’ performance, but Outotec’s services and trusted approach proved very beneficial” Neil Niemand, Senior Shutdown Planner at KCGM.

Results

Communication between KCGM and Outotec during planning, supply and installation phases was excellent, all of which lead to both projects completed on time and on budget, with no LTI.

According to Neil Niemand, Senior Shutdown Planner at KCGM, “The Outotec team partnered closely with us in the planning phase and came up with a sensible, simple solution for our two thickeners. 

With Outotec personnel supervising the removal and installations, both projects were completed on time and on budget. Not only are we very pleased with the thickeners’ performance, but Outotec’s services and trusted approach proved very beneficial”.

 

*Metso Outotec was formed July 1, 2020 when Metso and Outotec merged into one company. This case study has been written prior to the merger under the old company name.

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