Even a reclaim feeder can help boost productivity at your site. At the Black Wattle Colliery in South Africa, the mine plant required feeding and sizing of its run-of-mine (ROM) coal at 350 tph nominal capacity. High rock contamination had a detrimental effect on the coal processing operation, and the company hoped an upgrade of the ROM crushing and handling system would enhance safety, reduce downtime and costs, and increase the coal processing efficiencies.

The business case was sound for an increase in productivity, resulting in the approval of capital expenditure for new reclaim feeders, sizers and conveyor. “We immediately realised the estimated 5% increase. However, that progressively increased to around 7%,” says Robert Grobler, Director of Mining at Black Wattle.


Designed for efficiency

When designing the latest series of reclaim feeders, the engineers at FLSmidth thought of efficiency and productivity in a wider perspective. Not only are the feeders efficient at the core task of feeding materials, they are also designed to be adaptable to almost any situation on site.

“For a start, they are modular. The format allows different discharge heights and loading decks of various lengths to suit the required application. They are designed to be fed by either truck, front-end loader or dozer without the investment in high concrete walls for such a tip facility. These modular reclaim solutions add value to any operation because they can be customised to meet specific requirements and tailored to improve productivity,” says PC Kruger, FLSmidth’s account manager for coal in sub-Saharan Africa.

We immediately realized an increase in our coal processing efficiencies, with an increase in saleable products, and an added benefit is the reduction in crusher blockages and plant stoppages – all of which have enhanced safety, increased productivity and reduced the plant throughput costs

Robert Grobler, Director of Mining Black Wattle
Customisable and cost-effective

The reclaim feeders fit in a standard container for shipping. They can be mounted on skids or wheels and are easy to relocate from one position to another with standard stock yard equipment, always keeping it close to the stockpile.

The motor control centre is located onboard the reclaim feeder, and only the power supply needs to be isolated before relocating the unit. The modular design also makes it fast and easy to replace individual parts, as the design features replaceable individual parts throughout the full length of the feeder.

“In terms of adaptability and flexibility these feeders are second to none. They are customisable and cost-effective, and designed for safe and easy maintenance,” says Kruger.


True fit-for-purpose solution

The design of the reclaim feeders make them optimal for soft non-abrasive material such as coal, salt, potash and gypsum. The adjustable breaker drum breaks lumps down to 150 millimetres, and material gets fed to conveyor belts at an adjustable rate of up to 2,000 tons per hour.

“A hydraulic take-up system ensures ideal and consistent chain tensioning on the shaft take-up assembly. And with auxiliary components such as wheel assemblies, lights, lubrications systems and safety features, this offering is a true fit-for-purpose solution,” Kruger adds.


At Black Wattle, the reclaim feeders did indeed fit the purpose.

“We immediately realized an increase in our coal processing efficiencies, with an increase in saleable products, and an added benefit is the reduction in crusher blockages and plant stoppages – all of which have enhanced safety, increased productivity and reduced the plant throughput costs,” says Robert Grobler.


Ideal backup for stacker and reclaimer systems

The FLSmidth reclaim feeder solution is optimal for medium-tier miners, but the adaptability also makes it a good option for larger operations.


“Our reclaim feeders and feeder breakers can be installed as free-standing units – with or without civil works – or as a multi-unit construction with hoppers or sizers. This presents an ideal backup system for stacker and reclaimer systems, and they can be implemented for side-tipping or back-tipping applications to reduce double handling of material,” Kruger says.
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