The February meeting of the Yorkshire Branch saw a change of venue to the Stables at High Melton, Doncaster for the annual joint meeting with the Mineral Engineering Society. The topic was the primary crusher move at Cliffe Hill Quarry by Midland Quarry Products (MQP). The large turnout of 46 members welcomed the MQP team of Managing Director Dave Bagshaw, Engineering Manager Bob Davies and Quarry Manager Paul Campion.The ambitious £3 million project to relocate Cliffe Hill Quarry’s Primary Crushing Station was completed successfully ahead of schedule. The massive task to uplift and transport the 860 tonne crusher building took two years planning and 12 months of quarrying operations to build stocks and prepare the route to its new location. This was a significant and unique project for Midland Quarry Products and Hanson, which was about optimising reserves and required a great deal of detailed planning and organisation over a long period from many people.
The specific work to quarry out the slot at the new location and build the haul roads forming the crusher’s travel route, to the necessary detailed requirements, was done by nine members of MQP’s Load and Haul team. This effort enabled the crusher’s relocation ahead of programme. Carried out simultaneously with their normal daily production tasks, the work was led by Quarry Manager Paul Campion and his assistant Geoff Ryan and done to designs produced by Hanson’s geological services manager Matt Uttley.
The preparation work was made difficult by many unforeseen geological issues and blasting problems but the team rose to the challenges and achieved the target outage date – with only hours to spare.
The welded steel structure, which stands 37 metres tall and 11 metres square at base, was installed at Old Cliffe Hill in 2005, housing a Fuller Traylor 54”x77” gyratory crusher. MQP knew at the time it would need to be relocated in one piece and the move increased the accessible mineral reserves by eight million tonnes from 33.6 to 41.6 million tonnes. The primary crusher structure was designed to be semi-transportable and its supplier, Takraf, moved it using an 81 tonne steel adaptor and support frame and 14 self-propelled modular tractors, known as SPMTs.
The planned 12 week outage to move the primary crusher included the quarrying of 200,000 tonnes of rock to enable the installation of a 500kW conveyor, to connect the old and new locations.
The Crushing Station was lifted and moved on the 14 SPMTs, arranged in four rows. It was transported about 850m to the new location, 40m deeper in the quarry, in a journey time of less than two hours on July 15th 2015 and finally landed on the new foundations on 16th.
The project was substantially completed and the first rock crushed at 5pm on August 24, reaching full production later that week, three weeks ahead of the planned schedule.
In leading the presentation, Dave Bagshaw said “Thanks should go to everyone involved, including those in the background who helped draw up the major Contracts, establish the insurance cover, procure the equipment and services and advised and assisted with the Health and Safety organisation for this exceptional task. This was the single most significant capital spend this year and a critical project to the future of Cliffe Hill.”
- Cliffe Hill is MQP’s largest quarrying and asphalt operation
- Operations at New Cliffe Hill, which houses the processing plant, started in the late 1980s
- The primary crushing station is at Old Cliffe Hill, where quarrying began in 1868, restarting in 2005
- Dump trucks tip in blasted granite, sized up to one metre, and the station can process 2,300 tonnes per hour, producing a 300-millimetre primary crushed rock
- Conveyors take crushed material though a 714-metre long tunnel to the processing plant in New Cliffe Hill