WHEN VDM Group was called upon to design and construct two sets of steel structures for the lifting and precision positioning of 12 of the biggest iron ore grinding mills in the world at CITIC Pacific Mining’s Sino Iron project, the company handled the task with ease.
The purpose-designed and fabricated structures incorporated the latest computer-controlled, synchronised hydraulic lifting technology.
The technology is capable of lifting, transporting and positioning pre-assembled 800t ball mills and 1200t autogenous mills onto their bearings 20m above the ground, to tolerance within half a millimetre.
According to VDM, lifting and positioning the world’s biggest mills to within half a millimetre tolerance was the most technically challenging part of the project. The company achieved the task with such accuracy by employing a well-engineered and fabricated fine positioning system operated by a highly skilful mill lifting crew.
VDM has extensive experience in the mechanical installation of grinding mills and associated structural steel works and lubrication systems.
The company has completed several structural and mechanical projects for Sino Iron, including the installation of ball mill and autogenous mill bearings, stockpile tripper cars, pontoon pump stations, and ball mill and autogenous mill lubrication systems.
Most of the projects involved highly sophisticated mechanical installation works that require specialised skills and equipment and very high accuracy. VDM’s project team has a reputation for completing difficult jobs quickly and accurately.
The company is now working on two new contracts for Sino Iron: the mechanical installation of production line 2’s ball mill and autogenous mill; and the bearing installation, mill lifting and placement for production lines 4, 5 and 6.
Given that CITIC Pacific Mining and the Sino Iron project’s engineering, procurement and construction management contractor China Metallurgical Group Corporation are both Chinese companies, VDM specifically sourced a number of Mandarin-speaking engineers for its team at Cape Preston. These staff played a crucial role in building and maintaining a harmonious working relationship with the client.