Reducing Downtime for Increased Efficiencies

The Client: Minara Resources

Minara Resources is one of Australia’s top nickel producers and operates the Murrin Murrin nickel cobalt site in Western Australia’s north-eastern goldfields. Conventional open pit mining techniques are used followed by ore processing (comprising pressure acid leaching, mixed sulphide precipitation, cobalt refining and nickel refining). Ammonium sulphate is also produced as a by-product.

The Background

During planned shutdowns, the site’s acid converter plant must be cooled down. It generally operates at approximately 400 degrees Celsius but during a shutdown the temperature drops to approximately 200-150 degrees Celsius over a number of days. Usually extraction fans are used for airflow but our Cat® technician discovered that this process actually provides airflow and moisture to the catalyst, making it active and increasing heat.

The Requirement

EPSA was directly approached by Minara Resources to provide a competitive quote for power generation, process cooling and compressed air supply to the Murrin Murrin site. Our initiatives, proven cost efficiencies and broad capabilities for service were integral to our success.

The Solution

Our contract is to supply 20kVA – 2000kVA power generation to the entire Murrin Murrin site for outages, planned shutdowns and maintenance. Temperature control equipment does not form part of the contract but we are given first right of supply. There is also a bi-annual requirement for 12MW of temporary power for the main power station during shutdown maintenance, a process that can last for up to three months.

The Results

EPSA provided the complete cost-effective solution of provide power generation, process cooling and compressed air supply to the Murrin Murrin site. The customer was pleased with the efficiency, allowing them to bring their shutdown to early completion.

Minara Resources

...Thank you for your promptness, efficiency, and willingness to help during our shutdown, which certainly was a contributing factor in bringing our shutdown to an early completion...

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