Australian Zircon - Mindarie Mine EPCM

Australian Zircon is a publicly listed company on the Australian Stock Exchange. The company's prime asset is the 100 percent owned and managed Mindarie Zircon Mine, located 148km east of Adelaide, South Australia. It is principally a zircon mine which also produces ilmenite, rutile and leucoxene. Capital invested in the project is approximately $75 million.

R.J. Robbins & Associates were awarded the Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management (EPCM) contract for the mining and refining operations as well as product packaging and rail loading facility. In turn R.J. Robbins & Associates contracted Industrial Control & Electrical to perform EPCM duties for the power system and process control and instrumentation aspects of the project.

The plant comprised:

  • Mining Plant including Pulping, Stage/Booster pumping and Tailing/Slimes stacking
  • Primary Concentrate Plant (PCP) including Primary Screening, Cycloning, Spiral Separation and Tails Pumping
  • Concentrate Upgrade Plant (CUP) including Hot Acid Leach and Mineral drying/storage Compound
  • Mineral Separation Plant (MSP) including Illmenite, Zircon, Rutile and Dust Collection Plant
  • Process Water including Pond Pumping, Thickeners and Flocculent make-up and storage
  • Reagent Handling and Preparation including Caustic Soda, Sulphuric Acid and Lime Neutralization Plant

Electrical assets include an 11kV overhead and underground distribution system comprising 1 off 11kV SF6 distribution board and 5 off 11kV/433V transformers ranging from 500kVA to 1500kVA. In addition, 220 off direct on line, soft starter and variable speed drives ranging from 0.37kW to 220kW. Installed cable length is approximately 90 klms.

Instrumentation assets include radar and ultrasonic level, hydrostatic pressure, magnetic flow, neucleonic density, impact and belt weigh transmitters. Level, pressure and flow switches. The total instrument count is approximately 400 instruments.

Control System assets include two control rooms each comprising redundant server, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems. In addition the system includes, five distributed programmable logic controllers (PLCs) connected by fibre optic, radio and wired ethernet backbones. The control system is uninterruptible power supply (UPS) backed to achieved ten minute supervision following loss of supply. The total control system IO count is approximately 3,000 IO.

The plant is now in production and shipping final products.


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