the port before it is rotated into the bottom
of the ship’s hatch. Revolving the container at
the bottom of the hatch adds minimal energy
and creates minimal dust. The team has
added a further environmental protection
step, by sealing the ship’s hatch to stop any
escape of fugitive dust emissions by a hatch-
mounted dust suppression system.
FLEXIBLE, FAST AND LOW CAPITAL COST
Most of the equipment required to successfully implement a containerized bulk handling system already exist at the mine site and port. This includes forklifts, reach stackers and cranes. For ports that do not have their own mobile or ship-to-shore cranes, the revolver spreader also comes in a
lightweight version, so it can be used on ship cranes.
In the case of Puerto Angamos, it has two of the most
advanced harbor mobile cranes in the port industry.The only
major additional equipment required in this operation, is the
revolver spreader and the containers.This is a fraction of the
investment made in traditional bulk terminals.
The whole solution can be up and running within six to nine
months from the time a decision is made. The system has also
seen fast load rates with other projects using the revolver
spreader for iron ore, loading at 2,000tph (tonnes per hour) per
revolver. It is very cost effective indeed.
Puerto Angamos has implemented a dust suppression barrier,
fitted around the ship’s hatch as an additional measure, to protect
the environment and the port personnel’s health at the terminal while loading the vessel. The system completely covers the
entire top of the hatch with a fine fog. As any fugitive dust
particles rise up from the hatch, they collide with the heavier
water particles, then join together and fall to the bottom of the
Likewise, the misting system does not have any adverse effect
on the product been handled. This is a key and critical feature in
terminals where dust control is of the utmost importance at the
pier where other operations are being handled at the same time.
In most cases, the outside observer will not be aware bulk is
being loaded. On the financial side, in conventional operations
without a misting system, the loss of product over a length of
time is significant.
OTHER BENEFITS OF CONTAINERIZED BULK
A very important service Puerto Angamos can
provide by using this containerized bulk handling
solution is the ability to perform copper blending right in the hold of the vessel, creating a clean blend
of copper concentrate.
As some batches of containers may come into
the terminal with various degrees of moisture, they
can be segregated at the yard by a colour tag or numbering system and then loaded into the vessel as
desired, to meet customer requirements.
It is interesting to note that this system is fully
mobile. The port operator or the mine company can
move the operation (revolver spreaders and containers) to any other site within or outside its
borders. Investment is therefore not lost when operations end, it is enhanced and protected. Along the same
lines, this process may creatively add significant new cargo traffic
and revenues to the port. Puerto Angamos has implemented two
20-foot revolver spreaders with containers having a payload of 30
tonnes. With two mobile harbor cranes, 1,100tph is achievable.
All of this possible, using existing infrastructure and equipment.
In summary, containerized bulk handling system is a low
capital investment, with a faster time to market and virtually no
dust from the lid and misting system, and it caters for most types
of bulk products.
In essence, CODELCO has changed the way the bulk industry
works in the Americas. It has set up a benchmark to a more
efficient and environmentally friendly way of safely transporting, storing and loading copper concentrate into the vessels.