Commissioning of the Anglo American Minas-Rio iron concentrate pipeline

By J. Chapman, R. Lima, R. P. Cezar, G. A. Freitas & S. Magno de Figueiredo e Horta

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The Anglo American Minas Rio Pipeline carries iron concentrate 529 km from a mine in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais to the ocean port of Açu near Campos on the Atlantic coast of the state of Rio de Janeiro. The project was completed and started up in 2014 and is the longest distance operating slurry pipeline in the world. This work describes the pipeline system and its commissioning.

The system will transport 24.5 million dry tonnes of iron concentrate annually expandable to at least 26.5 million tonnes through a 26/24 inch pipeline. Two large positive displacement pump stations are needed to move the slurry, additionally other monitoring and pressure control stations are used to control the slurry as it moves along the varying pipeline terrain.

The project contains some special design concepts that are discussed, such as laboratory testing of slurry during design and commissioning, hydraulic modeling, operational philosophy, slack flow control, internal and external corrosion control, automation, telecommunications, and mechanical equipment.

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