The Plant Process Starts With Mining Essay

1146 Words Mar 29th, 2016 5 Pages
The plant process starts with mining. The clay deposit is typically found to be three layers- the top “Form”, the middle “Sperse”, and the bottom “Bond”. The Form and Bond are mixed to target an iron value for the fiberglass customers. Mining requirements are driven by the need to have the (harder to find) lower surface area ceramic grade available for those customers as well as enough Form/Bond to satisfy the fiberglass sales. The main quality parameter for Sperse historically has been the surface area. The surface area needed for most customers is not readily available in all parts of the mine, so some blending is required. Form and Bond are almost identical clays in terms of particle size, but the Bond has higher iron due to the higher contamination level, which is reflected by the higher +325 mesh residue.
In the past stockpiles of Form and Bond have been created at different times due to the Iron content of the Bond .Previously the Iron content in the Bond was lower leading to a stockpile of Form. We started keeping track of the stockpile inventory in Opscon in 2011. See page MS-8 for a graph of the stockpile level at the end of each month. In 2014 due to high Iron Bond in the hayfields area of the mine this trend started to change and in late 2014 early 2015 a Bond stockpile was created. In April of 2015 the stockpile reached 139,000 tons. In May of 2015 added focus was put on reducing the stock pile and since then it has been slowly decreasing to…

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