Mining Services

e3k have been providing services to the mining industry and their suppliers since 1999. As specialist mechanical engineers we conduct studies in a variety of applications from efficiency maximisation and failure analysis to design auditing and capital equipment reporting. Our engineers are skilled in design and analysis using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Further, we have completed projects using safety standards and experimental testing.

e3k mining services include the following:

  • Energy Efficiency Studies
  • Safety Audits and Inspections
  • Process Optimisation
  • Failure Analysis and Reporting
  • Design Audit for New Machinery
  • CAPEX Reporting
  • On-site Project Management

Mining Case Studies

Plant Engineering – Kazakhstan

e3k engineers have inspected, reviewed and performed detailed design and analysis of equipment and plant improvements to enable a reduction in maintenance downtime plus improved safety for key plant equipment at a copper mine in Kazakhstan. e3k engineers have also provided project planning and safety analysis for the installation of the plant upgrades.

Drill Rig Continual Maintenance – Western Australia

4 drill rigs were reviewed after a history of failures. A determination was made about the failures, and whether they were caused by design, manufacturer or operator error. Issues involving the pneumatic system, compressor shaft, cooling system and overheating were identified and detailed.

Ore skip passing through a mine shaft – Western Australia

An investigation of the lateral motion of an ore skip within a vertical mine shaft due to aerodynamic and other effects was carried out using CFD. This analysis looked at the forces on the sides of the skip as it travelled towards the surface. The model included details of the openings in the top of the skip and the air velocity down the shaft.

SAG Mill Life Cycle Analysis – Papua New Guinea

A 34ft diameter SAG mill developed cracks in a corner weld near the end of its service life. e3k inspected the SAG mill on site during the repair process to document the condition of the SAG mill. e3k then conducted FE analysis on the mill design prior to and after repair to determine the reduction in stress intensity at the repaired site and provided recommendations for operational practices during continuing use of the SAG mill. e3k also provided information on the potential remaining life of the SAG mill to enable a decision to be made concerning a time frame for replacement of the SAG mill.

Provisions Modelling For Large Mining Fleet Maintenance – Australasia

One of Australia’s largest operators of mining fleet vehicles, including haul trucks, excavators, graders, and tractor crawlers, engaged e3k to perform an analysis of the projected maintenance costs over the life time of the fleet to help determine how much cash needed to be set aside at any time to ensure sufficient funds were available to maintain their fleet. e3k analysed the current methods used and developed a computer program to automate the calculation process and reduce the volume of maintenance records needed to be processed.

CAPEX Reporting for Gold Mine – Papua New Guinea

A Copper and Gold mine in Papua New Guinea was undergoing a Mine Life Extension program and engaged e3k to review plant and equipment. e3k conducted on site reviews of cranes, mobile fleet, planetary gears, VSDs, pumps and new workshops. Extensive costings and reporting on over USD $8million of capital expenditure was performed.

Total Plant Shutdown Critical Path Repair – S.E. Asia

A stainless steel lined concrete tank was leaking acidic solution and required repair during a 5 day total plant shutdown. The repair of the tank was the most significant task to be undertaken during the shutdown and represented the critical path on the shutdown timeline. e3k were engaged to be lead contractors and perform the project engineering for the repair as well as the engineering design. During the Shutdown, e3k project engineers were onsite 24 hours a day to manage the operation and trouble shoot any issues that arose during the repair.

Crusher Feeder Lift and Repair – Papua New Guinea

A crusher Feeder had slid off its bearings and the ore flow was consequently creating uneven wear on the crusher’s wear plates. e3k were engaged to design hydraulic ram support columns to lift the 300 tonne feeder up approximately 25mm and reposition it on the bearings. An onsite survey was conducted on the feeder’s support structure to determine which parts were strong enough to support the columns. The design, fabrication and installation of the columns were project managed by e3k. The lift successfully repositioned the feeder on the bearings and columns remained in place for any future lift requirements.

Energy Efficiency Benchmark For Reducing Carbon Emissions

Leighton Contractors engaged e3k to create the Leighton Energy Efficiency Equations, or Le3 method for short, for benchmarking the energy efficiency of material transportation. Mr Steve McDonald, General Manager Plant for Leighton Contractors said the company needed a reliable measurement system that could be applied equally across all operations and within the operations, where the nature of the work undertaken varied frequently. “Together with e3k we have been able to develop a system which will enable us to lower our carbon emissions and fulfil our commitment of becoming a more sustainable company.”

Mine SAG Mill Design Review and Quality Assurance – USA, Turkey, China

e3k performed a design review of a new replacement SAG Mill for a Copper and Gold mine in Papua New Guinea. The review included independent FEA analysis and meetings with the design team in York, Pennsylvania, USA. e3k then provided independent onsite quality assurance during the manufacture of the new Mill components in Turkey and China and arranged material tests in a NATA certified lab in Australia.

More examples of Mining Services Performed by e3k

  • Design and project management of mine shutdown repairs
  • Third party QA review of new SAG mill manufacture
  • Failure analysis of undersea water intake pipeline
  • Investigation of truck chassis fracture
  • Monte Carlo mathematical simulation of plant maintenance costs for mining industry
  • Development of novel benchmark energy efficiency algorithms for mining vehicles
  • Design of ergonomic cost-effective access platforms for mining haul trucks
  • Girth gear analysis for lifetime extension
  • Two-axis servo-controlled stereo vision on a mine surveillance vehicle
  • Failure analysis of a gold mine SAG mill