NLMK's Stoilensky Improves System of Handling and Storing Iron Ore Waste
With the startup of this facility, the company will adopt a more efficient way of handling, transporting, and storing waste ore after beneficiation.
The new technology involves the pumping of waste ore and its placement in the tailing pit in thickened condition, with 80% of industrial water used for transportation being recycled and returned into the beneficiation process. The introduction of this technology is driven by the need to improve the throughput of the tailings transportation system, and their storage in locations where slurry cannot be delivered by the gravity system, and the transportation of the entire waste water volume would be unfeasible.
The project of transitioning to the new mode of handling, transporting and storing tails consists of three stages with phased commissioning in 2013, 2015, and 2017, respectively. Transition to the new tails transportation technology is to be completed by 2018.
Stage I of the thickening unit includes — alongside thickener No. 1 — the infrastructure facilities. At Stages II and III, three more thickeners and a slurry pumping station will be assembled, pumping station No. 3 will be expanded, and additional pumping equipment will be installed.
Production testing is being performed with the participation of an international team of experts representing the equipment manufacturers.
Investments into Stage I totaled RUB 3.1 billion.
Committed to its strategy of strengthening cost-efficient upstream integration, NLMK Group is implementing a large-scale long-term development program at Stoilensky; this program will ensure the Group’s 100% self-sufficiency in quality iron ore, including pellets and iron ore concentrate. The key project of this program is the construction of a 6 million ton per year pelletizing plant.
Stoilensky is the third largest producer of iron ore materials in Russia. In 2012, its share in Russia’s total iron ore production was over 15%. Its main products are iron ore concentrate and iron sinter ore. Stoilensky’s commercial reserves are about 5 billion tonnes. The plant is located in the area of the Kursk Magnetic Anomaly — the world’s largest iron ore basin. In 2004, Stoilensky became part of NLMK Group.