Walkabout Resources has commenced commissioning activities at the Lindi Jumbo Graphite Mine in Tanzania. According to the company, the development is a step towards full operation and critical minerals producer status.
In its latest announcement, the commissioning process includes pre-commissioning, dry commissioning and wet commissioning and this process has commenced for the fully installed mechanical equipment.
The announcement further said a high-performance team comprising Jinpeng graphite processing specialists and senior technical staff from Lindi Jumbo’s operational team has been mobilised and is focused on safety and reliability of commissioning and start-up.
The company is optimistic the team members have a track record in graphite and process plant commissioning with competence in design, maintenance and operational analysis.
“The start of commissioning marks an exciting new chapter in the Lindi Jumbo story and is testament to the skill and exceptional work of our construction team and contractors. We are confident that the dry commissioning will proceed smoothly following independent QA/QC during Factory Acceptance Testing in China.
The Jinpeng team has done a wonderful job to date and the impressive commissioning team we have assembled puts us in good stead for successful go live and first graphite production in Q1 2024,” said Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Walkabout Resources, Andrew Cunningham.
So far, pre-commissioning activities have been underway for several weeks and include the inspection and confirmation of working parts, bearings, idlers, cabling, wiring, emergency stops, v-belts, pump and motor specs, installation and splicing of the conveyors, Motor Control Centre (MCC) connections, safety guards and the necessary corrections or modifications as deemed fit.
The current electricity generating capacity on site is sufficient to dry commission individual circuits or sections of the plant.
However, further electrical components (MV and LV switchgear and transformers) required for wet commissioning have been delayed for multiple weeks due to congestion at the Dar es Salaam Port. Once receipt of the transformers (outer anchorage in Dar es Salaam) and switching gear (currently being offloaded) has taken place, it is expected the full 5MW of grid power will become available to advance wet commissioning.
The full planned electrical capacity (including backup generators) is necessary before the commissioning team will feed ore through the entire processing circuit.
Dry commissioning of the front end (crushing circuit from the ROM Bin through to the Fine-Ore-Bin) has already commenced.
The Crushing Circuit MCC has been powered-up, enabling the direction checks of the various motors within the circuit and the running of the various conveyor belts. Once the commissioning team is satisfied that all is in good working order, and the conveyors are tracking as designed, graphitic ore from the stockpile can be fed into the crushing circuit.
The 19kt of high-grade graphitic ore on the stockpile will be used for the wet commissioning process. The entire stockpile will be put through the front end on a semi-continuous basis while the installation of the remainder of the equipment (Rotex screens (offloaded at the port) and burner (on 2 ships yet to dock)) is completed.
BY; THELMA MUCHEMWA