NIGER: successful maintenance at the COMINAK plant and a new sulfur filter

October 16, 2013

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New sulfur filter installed on a dedicated platform

At the end of September, COMINAK successfully restarted its ore processing plant after three weeks of scheduled shutdown for annual maintenance. During this period a new sulfur filter was also installed at the Contact sulfuric acid production facility. We look back at the excellent work carried out.


22 days of work

This year, COMINAK invested more than one billion CFA francs (approximately 1.8 million euros) in maintenance at the ore processing plant. Beyond the usual handling, cleaning, masonry, welding and mechanical work, the maintenance teams also replaced some equipment as part of preventive maintenance. Various parts of the mill, as well as the impregnator and the belt on the “reaction” conveyor, were also replaced.

The maintenance program was organized by teams from COMINAK’s Methods Department and all plant teams took part. For 22 days, all personnel mobilized took turns to carry out maintenance work. The employees worked in accordance with safety regulations and developed best practices, such as the election of a “safety man of the week”.

At the same time, the New Works teams also installed a new sulfur filter at the Contact sulfuric acid production facility. This new piece of equipment features several technical advances, meaning that filtering is more efficient. As a result, only half as many filter cleaning operations will be required.

A double success

According to Dominique GUBBINI, head of maintenance at the COMINAK plant, “Thanks to the engagement of the maintenance personnel, the scheduled shutdown at the plant was successful. Not only was it successful in terms of safety, with teams demonstrating a strong safety culture, but it was also technically successful, resulting in a smooth equipment restart. Congratulations to all involved.Let us continue to strive for quality while making a commitment to safety and compliance with regulations.”

*Reaction conveyor: conveyor belt on which the ore impregnated with chemical reagents is left for several hours in order for the chemical reaction to take place