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Maccaferri provides rockfall protection for the world’s largest iron ore mine

Known as the S11D Complex, the project employs Terramesh® and SteelGrid® products

Maccaferri’s Terramesh® and SteelGrid® products were used in the largest mining project in the history of the industry, the S11D Eliezer Batista Complex, in a rockfall hazard mitigation application to protect the mine railway infrastructure.

Opened in December 2016, the S11D Eliezer Batista Complex is the largest mining project in Vale’s history and in the mining industry. With this solution, Maccaferri adds to its portfolio another project worthy of international recognition.

Railroads are strategic for the transportation of minerals within a mining site. In the case of the S11D Complex, the iron ore is transported by the Estrada de Ferro Carajás (EFC), through a new 101 km-long railway extension.

Rockfall protection and rockfall mitigation are key elements in the security and safety of mine works, people and infrastructure. Even small rockfalls, or debris flows can block infrastructure and can have far-reaching economic effects beyond the immediate disruption.

Maccaferri’s solution to protect the S11D Complex railway infrastructure against rockfall included:

  • More than 20,000 square meters of SteelGrid®, which were used for rock slope containment and protection at different points of the new rail extension;
  • 1,413 units of Terramesh®, which were used for slope reinforcement along the tracks, and proved to be the most technically and economically viable solution.

MacService, the Maccaferri company in charge of installation, were awarded the project for their efficiency, quality and commitment to safety requirements. At the end of the project Companhia Vale do Rio Doce-VALE awarded MacService with the accolade of “Final Sprint -Together in the Achievement of Zero Harm”.

Located in Canaan dos Carajás, South-Eastern Pará, the S11D Eliezer Batista Complex has an iron ore production capacity of 90 MTPA (Million Tons per Annum). The project is at the forefront on several technologies, e.g. it includes a truck-less system, which replaces traditional off-road trucks with conveyor belts and reduces diesel fuel consumption by around 70%; it also uses a technique called natural moisture or dry processing, which cuts water consumption and does not require the use of tailings dams, thus reducing environmental impact.

For more on Maccaferri’s experience in mining, please contact us.

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