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Long Distance Pipelines

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Long distance slurry pipeline transport is a proven technology and is now widely accepted as a viable alternative to conventional bulk transport. Key to the success of a long distance system is minimizing operating costs by determining the optimum grinding requirements for pipeline transport. Our extensive laboratory services and in-depth knowledge of slurry flow behaviour means that we are able to determine the most efficient combination of material properties together with pump and pipeline requirements for long distance transport. We have completed numerous long distance slurry pipeline projects, from pre-feasibility to detailed engineering design, construction assistance and commissioning.

We have developed sophisticated simulation software used to determine the control requirements for long distance pipelines to ensure that overpressure due to transient events is minimised. With the software, control sequences such as start-up and shut down, are tested and the consequences of fault or trip conditions are simulated. The pumping system can be assessed with multiple slurry batches, covering a range of different densities and hydraulic properties including water batches in the pipeline to simulate the effect that batches may have on the system behaviour and the response of the system to varying slurry properties.

Within the Paterson & Cooke long distance pipeline group, the team have been involved in engineering many of the slurry pipeline systems operating throughout the world today. The multidiscipline LDP group undertakes all phases of pipeline engineering, from studies to detail design, construction support, commissioning and operator training.


Jorf Lasfar Phosphate Pipeline, Morocco

Detailed design, engineering and commissioning support of the 187 km long phosphate ore pipeline from Khouribga Mine to Jorf Lasfar and the feeder pipeline systems from the process plants to the pump head station. The system will transport 38 MTA of phosphate ore and is the highest capacity slurry pipeline in the world, providing a significant proportion of global phosphate demand.

Richards Bay Minerals, South Africa

Development of a 42 km heavy mineral concentrate slurry pipeline that comprises a main pump station and a booster pump station, each equipped with positive displacement pumps operating at 24 MPa.

Nkomati Mine, South Africa

Front end design of the 12.6 km pipeline system, including slurry test work, steady state hydraulic design, pressure transient analysis, PFD and P&ID development, control philosophy development, pipeline stress analysis and thrust anchor design, detailed design of the choke station and assistance with commissioning.

Sandpiper Phosphate, Namibia

Completion of a bankable feasibility study for the 25 km overland pipeline which transports mined marine deposits from the onshore buffer pond point to the process plant.

Ramu Nickel Laterite Ore Pipeline, Papua New Guinea

Review of feasibility study, supervision of test work in China and detailed hydraulic design for the 120 km long ore pipeline from the mine site to the process plant.

Pebble Mine, Alaska

Bankable feasibility study for the 140 km long proposed copper/gold concentrate pipeline from Pebble Mine to Anchorage.

Ambatovy, Madagascar

Bankable feasibility study, test work and route survey for the 234 km long Ambatovy nickel laterite pipeline.

Keywords: long distance, slurry pipelines, pumping system, transport.