Image: Improving plant throughput and efficiency at Moranbah North Coal Mine

Minerals & Metals2 min read

Improving plant throughput and efficiency at Moranbah North Coal Mine

Moranbah, QLD, Australia
Anglo American Metallurgical Coal
2018 - 2019

Anglo American Metallurgical Coal (AAMC) engaged Ausenco QCC from the outset to conduct several studies to identify and develop solutions to the bottlenecks in the Moranbah North Coal Preparation Plant (CPP). In 2018, following the success of these studies, AAMC entrusted the team to develop a detailed design for the project’s execution phase.

The Challenge

AAMC operates the Moranbah North and Grosvenor mine complex at Moranbah in the Bowen Basin, Queensland. Both mines produce premium hard coking coal with the production from both mines being washed in the Moranbah North CPP. As longwall mining production increased from both mines, the CPP became a limitation to overall output.

Productivity and efficiency were AAMC’s key requirements: The plant needed to achieve design capacity and operate efficiently under all types of coal feed.

The Better Way

Drawing on the team’s in-depth coal processing knowledge - and leveraging advanced digital solutions - we used process simulation in LIMN, a flowsheet processor software. Using LIMN, we were able to model each component of the process plant, under all feed types, to identify bottlenecks at the plant.

Ausenco QCC developed a delivery-efficient, detailed design which allowed pre-shutdown construction activities to be maximised, reducing both plant downtime and impact to existing production.

Collaboration was a key factor to the project’s success. Our team worked closely with AAMC to rank the criticality of the bottlenecks and prioritise the upgrades in line with AAMC’s business priorities. Throughout the detail design phase, the team liaised regularly with the construction contractor to ensure the efficient constructability of each component of the design.

The Outcome

The design throughput and performance were achieved within two days of load commissioning. In on-going operation, the plant’s throughput reliably increased to over 10% above design capacity.

Ausenco QCC’s process simulation expertise resulted in a close match between predicted and actual operation, accurately identifying the bottlenecks and prioritising the upgrades.