Coking Coal and Iron Ore Comparisons & Contrasts

Dave Osborne Global Coal Technologist Anglo Coal, Brisbane
20/10/2005 Iron Ore 2005 Conference, Fremantle, Sept 2005 1

Introduction
Although the products present themselves at opposite ends of the (beneficiation) spectrum….. ……numerous fascinating synergies exist in the preparation of (coking) coal and (hematite) iron ore products for their common export markets. A 5-year sojourn in WA with Hamersley Iron, following highly diversified coal experience provided the opportunity for comparing and contrasting the supply chains of both bulk products This presentation covers some of the more interesting of these synergies and raises some potential opportunities for the future.
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Topics of Discussion
Comparisons and Contrasts Resources ROM to Plant Beneficiation Product Assembly and Blending Quality Assurance Value in Use Next Steps Presentation Take-aways
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Comparisons and Contrasts
Comparisons include:
Resource evaluation (especially quality aspects) Run-of-mine handling & preparation Beneficiation Product handling, blending & transportation Quality assurance & customer awareness Supply Chain Management and systems Value-in-use & impacts on ironmaking

Inherent within these are several notable contrasts
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Comparisons and Contrasts
Contrasts include:
“Black and brown” Seams and Orebodies Minerals and Macerals Floats and Sinks Products and rejects Solid-liquid separation Oxidation and weathering Emissions and pollution Sales and marketing!
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Resources
Resources are “ore bodies” or “coal seams”

Iron ore
Iron ore deposits in the Pilbara are 2500M years old and iron mineralisation proceeded from sedimentary deposits of (laminated) banded iron formation

Coal
Coal deposits from Bowen basin and Sydney basin coal-fields are much younger (250-295M years) and comprise numerous distinctive seams of differing thickness and quality characteristics
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Resources
Iron ore
Iron mineralisation proceeded from sedimentary deposits of (laminated) banded iron formation (BIF) Collectively, known as the Hamersley province Composed of 5 major BIF units; 2 economic deposits
Marra mamba iron formation (oldest and 238m thick) Brockman iron formation (youngest and 620m thick),

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Resources
Iron ore.
3 main genetic groups & 5 major ore types. Genetic groups differ from each other in terms of origin.
BIF-derived iron deposits (BID) – primary deposits formed in situ. Channel iron deposits (CID) – secondary deposits in mesa and river courses, and. Detrital iron deposits (DID) - secondary deposits in basins. BID group includes 3 differing ore types: Low phosphorus Brockman ores (LPB) - P <0.05% (note: BIF has P~0.10%). High phosphorus Brockman ores (HPB) - P~0.12%, and. Marra mamba ores (MM) – P~0.04%.
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Resources
Iron ore
Photos of ore types A
A – Low Phosphorus Brockman B – High Phosphorus Brockman C – Marra Mamba D - Pisolite

B C

D
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Courtesy: Pilbara Iron

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Resources
Coal
Maceral content and characteristics determine quality
Vitrinite (grey) Inertinite (white)

Liptinite
(dark grey)

SemiInertinite (mottled grey)

Two main regions have high quality deposits and supply to metallurgical applications:

Bowen basin coal deposits Sydney basin coal deposits
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Resources
Coal.
Bowen basin coal deposits. 4 coal-bearing intervals comprising 10 formations, 5 commercially mined - oldest to youngest. Blair Athol coal measures (BACM); Collinsville coal measures (CCM), Moranbah/German Creek coal measures (MCM/GCM). Rangal coal measures (RCM).
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Resources
Coal.
Sydney basin coal deposits. Main coal-producing formations Illawarra coal measures (south and west). Newcastle coal measures. Tomago coal measures (east). Singleton coal measures in the Hunter Valley. Newcastle & Tomago coal measures. Singleton coal measures & Gunnedah sub-basin (40 seams).
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Bowen-Sydney Basin Coals Rank and Vitrinite Content
The Quinn Coking Coal Diagram
© 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30
NEWCASTLE CM GERMAN CREEK CM SINGLETON CM RANGAL & MORANBAH CM GRETA CM COLLINSVILLE CM ILLAWARRA CM SOUTH COAST ILLAWARRA CM WESTERN SHELF

Very Bright Coals Bright Coals

Zone of Thermal Coals

% VITRINITE

Intermediate Coals

Zone of Coking Coals

Dull Coals

1.0

1.5 Rv (max) %

2.0

2.5

Publish ed in: Callcot t, Callcot t & Quinn, 1990. Proc.Bowen Basin Symp osium.

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ROM to Plant Feed
Iron Ore.
Primary crushers (250 – 150mm), now mainly jaw (instead of gyratory) - a cost-based decision. Feeders need to be robust – apron types are preferred. Secondary crushers (150 – 100mm) are cone/gyratory types, but some attempts to use mineral (double-roll) sizers have had mixed success. Tertiary crushers (32mm) almost all are cone-type. Multi-slope screens with non-blinding/non pegging decks are mostly used for the ~6.3mm dry sizing. Sampling of resultant lump and fine ore strands normally carried out prior to treatment or stockpiling.

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ROM to Plant Feed
Coal
Primary crushers (to 300 -150mm), now mainly jaw or feeder/breaker types; A cost-based decision Feeders – apron and vibratory types preferred Secondary crushers (150 – 50mm) either rotary breakers (less common), or double-roll sizers, recent trend. Tertiary crushers (to 50mm) almost all double-roll type Multi-slope screens widely used for the ~50 x 10mm range dry sizing applications – roller screens are also used. Raw coal sampling is normal after crushing prior to beneficiation.

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Beneficiation
Density differential is a major contrast.
Iron ores:
S.G. ~4.5-5.0. Associated rocks and minerals - gangue/mineralised elements are: silica 2.7, alumina 3.2, shales, tuff and dolerite 1.8 – 2.4.

Coals:
S.G.1.3 to 1.6; Compared with sandstones, S.G. 2.5-2.7 limestone, shales and mudstones, S.G. 1.6 – 2.5.
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Beneficiation
Process selection.
Similar gravity equipment used for iron ore and coking/ thermal coal. Similar plant flowsheet designs exist, eg Mt Tom Price and Moranbah North, i.e. DM bath & cyclones, spirals, etc. Iron ore & coal applications have benefited from enhancements in design and scale. Gravity separators are still capable in iron ore to ~50mn. WHIMS has also been used for fines, but largely replaced. Spirals are common and hydro-separators now being tried. Flotation of hematite is technically feasible, but not applied Flotation in coking coal is widely practised and technology has advanced to use of columns for improved recovery and control.
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Beneficiation Plants
Application of beneficiation – another contrast
Iron ore – introduction of a hematite “concentrator” is rare and only justified by value of the (low phos. Hematite) resource.
Only Hamersley (Mt Tom Price 1976) and BHP (Mt Newman 1978 and port Hedland – HBI plant) have built them in Australia. Only other examples of wet processing are the Paraburdoo fines processing plant (1996) and barrel washing of pisolites (Robe River 1999)

Coal – comprehensive cleaning (down to zero) is the norm and a dense medium, spiral & flotation combination is common
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Beneficiation Plants
Dewatering is also a contrast
Iron ore moistures are generally low as most of the final product is a blend of mainly dry and some washed ore. Lump ores usually achieve ~3-4% TM & fine ores 6-9% TM Dewatering is by drainage screens and stockpiles Coking and thermal coals at 50mm top size need to be <10% TM to avoid penalty and handling problems Dewatering in iron ore is generally by screens plus solar Dewatering in coal will involve coarse, small and fine coal centrifuges and vacuum filters (mainly HBF trend) Some screen-bowl centrifuges are used. Most recently, recessed plate filter presses have been selected Iron Ore 2005 Conference,
Fremantle, Sept 2005 19

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Blending and Homogenisation
Similar methods are employed
Emphasis for blending is usually in product assembly Some raw coal blending is practised if yield optimisation is a goal Various stockpile types are used for both commodities Iron ore blending is essential to ensure grade targets are met Chevron stacking is most common, but some windrow stacking occurs Full-face reclaiming common in both applications

Courtesy: Pilbara Iron

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Quality Control
Moisture Ash level Calorific value Sulphur content Size distribution Ash constituents Moisture consistency Ash value consistency Calorific value consistency Sulphur consistency Free moisture Size distribution Fluidity and RoMax Hardgrove grindability Proximate analysis Ash elements Ash fusion characteristics Proximate analysis Ultimate analysis Ash elements Crucible swelling Sulphur forms Toxic elements

PREPARATION PLANT

STOCKPILE BLENDING

MINE PLANNING/OPERATIONAL

GEOLOGICAL DATABASE
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Supply Chain Control
“A fundamental need ..... large mining operations ..... to reliably measure real-time, on-line, quantitatively and qualitatively” Reliable “fit-for-purpose” feed / product sensors Reliable sampling/preparation On-line analysis

moisture - dust size analysis yield mass
Process & plant modelling Intelligent Plant!!
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Geological database Maintenance Transportation KEY ACTIVITIES Mine Planning Mining Coal Preparation Export Terminal User Sales Operations

Mine database

Production data Real time measurements

Customer Feedback

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Testing / Properties
Why test materials?
Impractical to use either the blast furnace or coke ovens to evaluate alternative coal purchasing options – too prohibitive in time and cost. Material tests are designed to characterise the behaviour of materials
Prior to charging In the lumpy zone In the cohesive zone

Ideal physical properties are those that allow all zones in the BF to best perform their respective functions as distributors of gas and liquids. This will translate to optimised costs, productivity, quality and campaign life.
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Product Quality Aspects
For iron ore
Direct charge (lumpy) ore must resist breakdown into fines during transit and inside the BF. Fines ores must comply with sinter production, to create properties that ensure strong sinter is produced. Both cold and hot properties are assessed for lump ores and sinter. Tumbler and Abrasion Indices are determined for cold strength. Decrepitation (DI) reduction degradation (RDI) indices are measures for inside the blast furnace. Reducibility is also tested. Standard tests are prescribed for these parameters.
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Iron Ore Quality
Lump Ore Physicals BHP- B Newman (Aus) HIP-L Blend (Aus) Carajas (Bra) MBR (Bra) Sesa Goa (Ind) Kumba / Sishen (RSA) Portman Koolyanobbing (Aus) ISO TI % 85.0 85.8 79.7 79.0 75.0 93.0 87.7 ISO AI % 9.0 5.7 20.3 10.0 16.0 2.0 7.7 RDI % 23.0 26.1 11.2 16.0 26.8 2.0 17.1 R% 56.0 53.7 43.0 49.0 59.0 38.0 60.6

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Product Quality Aspects
For coking coals
Products must contribute to producing coke that resists breakdown into breeze, whilst being handled in the works and later on whilst inside the blast furnace. Breeze is commonly used as the fuel in sinter production. Properties relating to cokemaking are; volatiles, fluidity, dilatation and crucible swelling. Coke is tested for both cold and hot properties in a similar way to lump ores and sinter. Tumbler and Abrasion (Micum) Indices are determined for cold strength, whilst coke strength (CSI) and coke strength, after reaction (CSR) indices are measures for inside the blast furnace. Standard tests are prescribed for these parameters.
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Coking Coal Properties
Coking Coal Physicals German Creek (QLD, Aus) Moranbah North (QLD, Aus) Moura (QLD, Aus) Hail Creek (QLD, Aus) South Blackwater (QLD, Aus) Oaky Creek (QLD, Aus) Illawarra (NSW, Aus) Line Creek (Canada) CSN 8-9 7-8 7.5 7 6 8 8 6.5 M40 87 80 78 87 76 78 85 75 M10 8 8 8 7.4 10 9 7 9 CSR 72 63 50 70 39 57 73 72 18 27 30 20 CRI Stab 62 56 55 61.5 64 58 62 56 70 Hard 65 61 64 64.2 61 64

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Quality Control
Sampling systems - similar standards.
increment mass & stages of sample preparation for a representative laboratory sample.

Iron ore sampling - upstaged coal by introduction of robotics that collect and prepare the primary sample to the final laboratory sub-samples.
In one case, stages of preparation extend to the final laboratory sample needed to prepare for XRF analysis.

In addition to achieving absolute values for product quality, producers strive for consistency targets. A reference is the JSM that ranked suppliers on Shipto-Ship variation, e.g.
Element “RANKING” is from A, B & C.
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Automated Laboratory
Sample reception and preparation at Dampier

Courtesy: Pilbara Iron

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Quality Assurance
Quality assurance governed by Statistical Process Control in both commodities. In iron ore - key parameters are Fe, Al2O3, SiO2 and P. Other parameters also important, i.e., trace metals & LOI & TM (surface moisture). For coking coal - plastometric (including swelling index), coke strength, proximate and ash analysis. For PCI coal - specific energy, ash content and analysis, as well as sulphur and phosphorus contents are important. For both commodities, sizing and moisture are significant in relation to freight and handling. Bottom line – ensuring consistency is of great importance!
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Raw Materials Consistency
Any Raw Material Properties Change (Worse / Better)

Cycle of Change
Burden / Gas Distribution Altered Smooth Operations Internal Conditions Altered

Gas Distribution Altered

Overall Response Time to stabilise after a disturbance Can be Several Days to Several Weeks
Burden Distribution Changed

Furnace Performance Changes

Consistency is a key raw material property !
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Value in Use
Understanding of factors affecting VIU is continually evolving as process knowledge advances. Comparison of VIU with delivered price provides an indication of the incentive for the steelmaker to use that material.
Applies to all the raw materials used. Procedure for determining VIU may differ, but methodology will be similar. Calculation of the cost/benefit impacts/unit input relative to a base blend, or reference material. Calculated fairly precisely for chemical characteristics. More difficult for physical / metallurgical properties. Impact of contaminants e.g. Sulphur, Phosphorus, Zinc, etc.

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Value in Use
Every supply chain is unique!
Numerous factors are affected by a change in raw material
Sinter (production/quality) Lump ore
O2
O2 Coolant (Scrap/ Ore)

Pellets

Flux

Fluxes Reverts

Sinter Plant

Fluxes

Blast

Furnace

HM (Production quality)

HM Hot Metal Pre-

BOF Slag

Steel Plant

Treatment

Fine ore
Coal

Coke breeze Coke Battery

Fuel (PCI)
Coke (quality)

BF Slag Liquid Steel (Production , quality)

Coke Oven Gas (fuel supply)

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Next Steps
For iron ore.
Diminishing reserves of lower P ores may drive interest in increasing recovery. Operators may look at methods of ultra-fine ore recovery perhaps introducing flotation. Lucrative reserves remain in deeper zones of ore bodies - increased efforts toward treating wet ores mined from below water table. Perhaps by further wet beneficiation plants? Most probable short-term focus with abundant reserves of pisolite and marra mamba - lower cost production. Some form of simple beneficiation process(es) to remove clays that impair handling and transportation. Blending is the key to ensuring value-in-use.
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Next Steps
For coking coal
Improved recovery of vitrinite-rich, fine coal to ensure that the products have good coke strength/reactivity. Marginal coals, move towards the high-energy market attractive to steel companies as potential coke blend component and/or PCI. Coal producers forced to address increasing trend of contaminants, especially Phos & Sulphur. Deeper cleaning needed, via crushing smaller top-size. Reducing top size (lowering mean size), will lead to higher moisture and risk of handling problems Moisture impact stretching limits of mechanical dewatering – need innovative methods/alternatives. Possible agglomeration or thermal drying.
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Presentation Take-aways
Still much to be shared and learned by both sides. Coal side.
Coal preparation engineers need to be more open to learning from all industries. Not be constrained by previous successes – actively seeking opportunities for innovation. Work with manufacturers/suppliers to ensure they tailor equipment to suit the application.

Iron Ore side.
Producers don’t have benefits of industry funded ACARP. Depend more on equipment manufacturers and R&D organizations, such as CSIRO/AMIRA, for innovation. Focus has been more on reduced “footprint” plants; and larger unit capacities.
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Presentation Take-aways
Corporate requirement for “risk averse” plants & solutions can potentially stifle innovation. The two industries can learn from each other.
There is much to encourage exchange of information Perhaps conference/workshop linking the ACPS with iron-ore producers and users would be mutually valuable?

There are more similarities than differences!
"That which has been is what will be That which is done is what will be done And there is nothing new under the sun“
Ecclesiastes 1:9
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Many Thanks To……

All of you Anglo Coal Australia AusIMM and CSIRO Rio Tinto Iron Ore

Any Questions?

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Iron-ore Concentrator Plant
• Mt Tom Price concentrator has an annual capacity of ~8Mt; ~ 2200 tph • High grade ore is not treated – crushed and screened. Contaminated ore is washed. • Product split is ~60% lump /40% fines sizing is 31.5 x 6.3mm; minus 6.3mM

PROCESS - Wemco drum, DMC, spirals

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Courtesy: Pilbara Iron

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Coal Preparation & Handling Plant
• Moranbah North washing plant has a nameplate capacity of 1300 tph • Raw coal blending, bridge-type reclaimer; Product reclaim 3200 tph. PROCESS
Twin 650 tph Modules; Teska bath (150x14mm), DMC 14x0.5mm and J-Cells (minus 0.5mm)

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Iron-ore Supply Chain*

HIP-L

HIP-F

HIP-L

HIP-F

HIP-L

HIP-F

HIP-L

HIP-F

HI-Y

HIP-L

HIP-F

HI-Y

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Courtesy: Pilbara Iron

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Coal Supply Chain

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Preferred Coke Quality
Required coke properties vary widely. Dependent on furnace size, levels of PCI & cost structures – guidelines are:
Mean size: 50 - 55 mm, “narrow” distribution.
Cold strength: ~80% M40; ~7% M10; DI ~85%; I10 ~18%; I20 ~78%. Hot strength: CSR 55 - 60 %; CRI 20 - 30 %. Moisture content: <3 % - higher causes more fines in BF. Gangue: ash 9 -12%, Sulf. 0.5 - 0.7% Phos ~0.05%, Alkalis ~0.3%.
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power plant

Integrated Steelworks
coking plant tar, benzene, sulphur coking gas

chemical industry

coke blast furnace gas blast furnaces CO-gas

rolling mill

steel plant electricity
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Anglo Coal in Australia

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