Quality Control at Hamersley Iron

Hammond J R, ; Ward T A,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1973
The Tom Price orebody, in the Hamersley Ranges of North West of Western Australia, is mined by Hamersley Iron Pty. Limited. The orebody is a folded sequence of hematite and shale bands capped with goethite, with a con- sequential variable iron content. The overall grade is below that required to yield spec- ification product, necessitating selective mining, 'Zone Plans' based on geological structure have been developed to yield forward information on material types and grades. Short and medium term mine plans - the initial stage of quality control - are based upon these 'zone plans'. Blasts are laid out to break to the grade boundaries, thus minimising dilution, and the samples taken from the blasthole cuttings provide blast grades. Blending of shovel out- put from different blasts forms the operational basis of grade control. Shales, being more friable than hematite, produce fines that are lower in iron grade than lump. Quality control in the mine centres around maintaining the target fines grade, compensation being applied in the mine if the fines grade lies outside the target range.
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