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This page was printed from www.nzsteel.co.nz on 8 Mar 2014
The Taharoa mine site covers an area of 1,300 hectares, segmented into three regions. The site is leased from the local Maori landowners.
Mining commenced in 1972. Since then, New Zealand Steel Mining has provided continuous supply to its North Asian customer base, with peak exports of two million tonnes in the late 1970s.
Sand is extracted from a pond by a floating dredge, then conveyed to an adjacent floating concentration plant for processing.
The concentration plant produces between 200 and 300 tonnes of magnetic concentrate an hour. The concentrate is extracted from the raw sand in a series of separation processes, then pumped in slurry form to a stockpiling area two kilometres away.
The slurry is pumped via pipeline to an off-shore single buoy mooring (SBM), where it is transferred to a bulk carrier fitted with special dewatering equipment. The delivery system to the SBM is capable of pumping 2,500 dry long tonnes per hour through two pipelines.
With only one vessel currently in operation – the 143,000 DWT bulk carrier mv Taharoa Express - New Zealand Steel Mining is investigating the addition of a second dedicated vessel to enhance the supply chain.