Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2876770 Summary

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(12) Patent: (11) CA 2876770
(54) English Title: IMPROVED OIL SAND MINING AND HAULAGE METHOD
(54) French Title: EXPLOITATION AMELIOREE DES SABLES BITUMINEUX ET METHODE DE TRANSPORT
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • E21C 41/26 (2006.01)
  • B03B 9/02 (2006.01)
  • E21C 41/24 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors (Country):
  • CUSITAR, WAYNE S. (Canada)
(73) Owners (Country):
  • CUSITAR, WAYNE S. (Canada)
(71) Applicants (Country):
  • CUSITAR, WAYNE S. (Canada)
(74) Agent: NA
(45) Issued: 2016-11-08
(22) Filed Date: 2015-01-05
(41) Open to Public Inspection: 2015-07-08
Examination requested: 2015-02-24
(30) Availability of licence: Yes
(30) Language of filing: English

English Abstract


The Improved Oil Sand Mining and Haulage Method described herein is an
improved flowsheet method
and equipment specification covering the steps of oil sand mining, crushing,
haulage and surge storage
utilization, using best practices of the Bulk Materials Handling engineering
discipline to accomplish the
following:
.cndot. De-couple series-connected process equipment trains;
.cndot. Introduce process-step redundancies;
.cndot. More effective surge storage capacity utilization and
.cndot. Simplification of the overall process flowsheet.


French Abstract

La méthode de transport et dexploitation améliorées des sables bitumineux décrite aux présentes est une méthode de schéma fonctionnel et de spécification d'équipement améliorés couvrant les étapes d'exploitation, broyage, transport et utilisation de réservoir tampon des sables bitumineux au moyen de pratiques exemplaires de la discipline du génie portant sur le traitement de matériaux en vrac en vue d'accomplir les éléments suivants : - Découpler les trains déquipement de traitement reliés en série; - Utiliser plus efficacement la capacité de réservoir tampon et Simplifier le processus global du schéma fonctionnel.


Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.

Claims
THE EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION FOR WHICH AN EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY AND PRIVILEGE
RIGHTS
ARE CLAIMED ARE DESCRIBED AS FOLLOWS:
Claims
1. An Improved Oil Sand Mining and Haulage Method applying Bulk Materials
Handling (BMH)
science to enable an improved process flowsheet with objectives to reduce
costs and green house
gas (GHG) emissions by reducing the overall energy consumption required to
handle and
transport the oil sand for naturally occurring earth materials containing
bitumen-bearing sand,
barren rock, clays and organic materials commonly known in the industry as oil
sand, the
improved process flowsheet comprising one or more independent equipment
trains, each of the
independent equipment trains having identical sequential process steps as
follows:
mining the oil sand at one of multiple mining faces in an open pit mining
excavation by a mobile
excavator, receiving and temporarily storing the oil sand in a receiving and
storage hopper;
reclaiming the oil sand by a reclaiming conveyance; crushing the oil sand by a
primary crusher to
produce primary crushed oil sand; discharging the primary crushed oil sand
onto a discharging
conveyance; mounting and operating a tramp metal sensing and alarm system for
detecting large
tramp metal on the discharging conveyance; loading the primary crushed oil
sand by the
discharging conveyance to a transportation link technology comprising mine
haulage trucks;
transporting the primary crushed oil sand by the mine haulage trucks; dumping
the primary
crushed oil sand directly into a remote surge bin (SB) which is the first
component of a distal Oil
Sand Receiving and Slurry Preparation Plant (SPP); reclaiming the primary
crushed oil sand from
the remote SB using a reclaiming and discharging conveyance to feed the
primary crushed oil sand
directly into a closely adjacent second component of the distal Oil Sand
Receiving and Slurry
Preparation Plant; the second component comprising the SPP.
2. As claimed in Claim 1 wherein the combined structural embodiment of the
receiving and storage
hopper, the reclaiming conveyance, the primary crusher, the discharging
conveyance and the
tramp metal sensing and alarm system form a cooperating equipment assembly
mounted onto a
mobile chassis configuration to perform the sequential process steps of the
improved process
flowsheet of receiving the oil sand from the mobile excavator into the
receiving and storage
hopper; temporarily storing the oil sand in the receiving and storage hopper;
reclaiming the oil
sand by the reclaiming conveyance; crushing the oil sand by the primary
crusher; sensing,
alarming and rejecting large tramp metal from the discharging conveyance and
discharging the
primary crushed oil sand from the discharging conveyance into mine haulage
trucks; the
cooperating equipment assembly hereinafter referred to as a mobile primary
crusher.
3. As claimed in Claim 2 wherein the discharging conveyance of the mobile
primary crusher is
provisioned to be both slewable and luffable in cooperation with the operation
of the tramp
metal detection and alarm system having an adjustable sensitivity sensor set
to differentiate
between large tramp metal and small tramp metal while loading mine haulage
trucks; in which
Page 18

Claims
the sensing of large tramp metal activates the alarm and enables a manual or
an automated
tramp metal removal procedure comprising stopping the operation of each of the
reclaiming
conveyance, the primary crusher and the discharging conveyance; slewing the
discharging
conveyance to one side or to the other side and re-starting the discharging
conveyance to
discharge the large tramp metal onto the ground for subsequent handling and
disposal; slewing
the discharging conveyance back into the prior loading position for mine
haulage trucks and
restarting the discharging conveyance, the primary crusher and the reclaiming
conveyance so as
to resume the reclaiming, crushing and loading of the mine haulage truck with
primary crushed oil
sand.
4. As claimed in Claim 1 wherein BMH scientific strategies of de-coupling and
redundancy are
introduced in the improved process flowsheet method, wherein de-coupling is
defined as avoiding
the use of series-connected equipment trains containing one-on-one, sequential-
step processing
relationships, and redundancy is defined as the provision of multiple units of
identical or alternate
technology equipment operating in parallel independent relationships to each
other while each
performs the same process function with an incrementally cumulative process
effect including:
de-coupling of the mobile primary crusher by employing surge capacity in the
receiving and
storage hopper of about 2 mobile excavator's bucket loads enabling the de-
coupling of the
operation of the mobile primary crusher from the operation of the immediately
upstream mobile
excavator, the mobile excavator continuing to excavate and to dump run-of-mine
(ROM) oil sand
into the receiving and storage hopper whether or not the primary crusher is
operating or is
stopped waiting for the arrival and positioning of a next mine haulage truck;
de-coupling of the mine haulage trucks from the mobile excavators is made
effective due to the
functioning and operation of the receiving and storage hopper, the reclaiming
conveyance, the
primary crusher and the discharging conveyance, enabling the mobile primary
crusher to
immediately resume reclaiming and crushing and discharging primary crushed oil
sand into the
mine haulage truck whether or not the mobile excavator is operating or has
stopped operating for
any reason;
the redundancy of each mobile excavator paired with a mobile primary crusher
having multiple
redundancies of independent pairs of mobile excavators paired with mobile
primary crushers,
enabling any pair of mobile excavator and mobile primary crusher to fail or to
be taken out of
service without affecting the availability or productivity of all remaining
pairs of mobile excavator
and mobile primary crusher to continue the excavating and crushing and loading
functions of
mine haulage trucks;
de-coupling and redundancy of each unit of the transportation link having
multiple redundancies
of mine haulage trucks operating independently from each other, thus enabling
de-coupling
between the mobile primary crusher and the downstream remote SB, also enabling
one or more
of the mine haulage trucks to fail or to be taken out of service without
affecting the continued
Page 19

Claims
availability and productivity of all remaining mine haulage trucks
transferring primary crushed oil
sand to the remote SB;
de-coupling of the continuously operating SPP from the batch-type delivery
operation of mine
haulage trucks arriving at the distal Oil Sand Receiving and Slurry
Preparation Plant by the
provision of live surge storage capacity of primary crushed oil sand within
the remote SB to be
continuously reclaimed and discharged by the inclined reclaiming and discharge
conveyor into the
SPP; the continued arrival and dumping of primary crushed oil sand by mine
haulage trucks
providing continual replenishment of primary crushed oil sand to the SB;
for the overall process step functions of mining, receiving and temporarily
storing, primary
crushing, transportation link operation and the remote SB, implementation of
process step de-
coupling and redundancy enables increased availability and productivity in the
improved process
flowsheet.
5. As claimed in Claim 1 wherein an added new mine haulage truck
functionality is achieved in
which the cumulative aggregated live surge capacity of primary crushed oil
sand available to
provide a continuous feed rate to the SPP includes the live capacity of the
remote SB with the
addition of the dynamic live loads of each of the mine haulage trucks which
are in transit towards
the remote SB carrying primary crushed oil sand; the mine haulage trucks
arriving and dumping
loads of primary crushed oil sand into the remote SB at a predictable average
tonnes per load and
frequency, thus providing a continuous incrementally replenishing source of
primary crushed oil
sand to the remote SB to improve the availability and the productivity of the
remote SB function
in supplying the SPP with a continuous steady feed rate of primary crushed oil
sand.
6. As claimed in Claim 5, wherein BMH science enables a calculation
procedure to determine the
optimal capacity of the remote SB to adequately de-couple the continuous
operation of the
downstream SPP from the batch-type operations of the upstream mining, crushing
and
transportation link; calculated firstly by measuring or estimating the
probable frequencies and
durations of all possible occurrences of individual upstream delay events that
could halt or reduce
the delivery flow rate of primary crushed oil sand being dumped from mine
haulage trucks into
the remote SB, then calculating an overall combined failure probability
distribution bell curve for
the total upstream system comprising multiple de-coupled and redundant mobile
excavators each
paired with a mobile primary crusher, feeding primary crushed oil sand to
multiple redundant
mine haulage trucks, thus enabling selection of a minimum required remote SB
live capacity
capable of buffering and preventing all or at least a desired percentage of
all upstream delay
event durations from causing the remote SB to become fully depleted of primary
crushed oil sand
during the continued operation of the SPP at a continuous steady feed rate of
primary crushed oil
sand,
individual ones of mine haulage trucks continuing to deliver dynamic live
loads of primary crushed
oil sand to the remote SB to be included in the calculation of optimal remote
SB capacity.
Page 20

Claims
7. As claimed in Claim 1 wherein the structural configuration of placing the
remote SB into a 3-sided
recess in a mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) wall enables the mine haulage
trucks to approach
the remote SB by travelling on the upper surface of the MSE wall, the top of
the remote SB being
arranged and constructed to be level with the top surface of the MSE wall so
as to enable direct
dumping of primary crushed oil sand from mine haulage trucks into the remote
SB.
8. As claimed in Claim 7 wherein the structural configuration of placing the
SPP closely adjacent to
the remote SB enables the remote SB's inclined reclaiming and discharge
conveyor to discharge
primary crushed oil sand directly into the SPP.
9. As claimed in Claim 8 wherein the construction effort required to relocate
the distal Oil Sand
Receiving and Oil Sand Preparation facilities is both practical and cost
effective due to the
resulting compact arrangement of the MSE wall, the remote SB and the SPP
requiring only a small
footprint area of site excavations and construction, thus facilitating the
relocation of these
facilities to keep pace with the advancement of the mine faces, so as to
minimize the travel
distances and diesel fuel consumption of the mine haulage trucks.
10. As claimed in Claim 9 wherein the compact arrangement of the MSE wall, the
remote SB and SPP
facilitates the co-location of multiple independent equipment trains of the
distal Oil Sand
Receiving and Slurry Preparation Plant to be constructed and operated on one
compact site,
requiring only one MSE wall to service multiple independent equipment trains
comprising
correspondingly multiple pairs of remote SBs with SPPs.
11. In an Improved Oil Sand Mining and Haulage Method applying Bulk Materials
Handling (BMH)
science to enable an improved process flowsheet with objectives to reduce
costs and green house
gas (GHG) emissions and the overall energy consumption required to transport
primary crushed
oil sand, the use of overland (O/L) conveyor transportation link technology to
supplement the use
of mine haulage truck transportation link technology for the transportation of
naturally occurring
earth materials containing bitumen-bearing sand, barren rock, clays and
organic materials
commonly known in the industry as oil sand, in which both transportation link
technologies are
implemented simultaneously;
the improved process flowsheet comprising one or more independent equipment
trains with
sequential process steps for each of the equipment trains as follows: mining
the oil sand at one or
multiple mining faces in an open pit mining excavation by a mobile excavator,
receiving the mined
oil sand by a mobile primary crusher and temporarily storing the mined oil
sand in the mobile
primary crusher's receiving and storage hopper; reclaiming the mined oil sand
by a reclaiming
conveyance; crushing the mined oil sand by the primary crusher to produce
primary crushed oil
sand; discharging the primary crushed oil sand onto a discharging conveyance;
mounting and
operating a tramp metal sensing and alarm system for detecting and discarding
large tramp metal
from the discharging conveyance; loading the primary crushed oil sand by the
discharging
Page 21

Claims
conveyance to a mine haulage truck transportation link technology comprising
one or more mine
haulage trucks; transporting the primary crushed oil sand by the mine haulage
trucks and
dumping the primary crushed oil sand by individual ones of the mine haulage
trucks onto a
receiving portion of one or more O/L conveyor belt loaders to load the primary
crushed oil sand
directly onto an O/L conveyor transportation link technology comprising one or
more series-
connected or parallel O/L conveyors for transporting and discharging primary
crushed oil sand
directly into a remote surge bin (SB), the remote SB having been mounted into
a recess of a
mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) wall enabling direct access to and
simultaneous discharging of
the primary crushed oil sand from the O/L conveyor and from mine haulage
trucks into the
remote SB;
the unique prerequisites of using an O/L conveyor are satisfied firstly by
using the mobile primary
crusher to reduce large oil sand lump size to conveyable proportions and
secondly by using the
tramp metal sensing and alarm system with a tramp metal removal procedure to
identify and
discard large tramp metal located on the discharging conveyance, thus enabling
primary crushed
oil sand to be transported on the O/L conveyor and to be processed at
downstream oil sand
processing equipment; large oil sand lump size and large tramp metal otherwise
potentially
causing conveyor belting damage, spillage and plugging and also damaging or
stalling other
downstream oil sand processing equipment;
one or more O/L conveyors are inserted between the mine haulage trucks and the
remote SB, the
O/L conveyor or conveyors having variable speed drives (VSD) and a carrying
capacity designed for
transporting the primary crushed oil sand at suitable rates to meet the
processing rate needs of
the remote SB supplying primary crushed oil sand to the SPP plant;
the design and specification of the O/L conveyor enabling the initial
installation to be constructed
at any convenient length or direction from the remote SB to suit the mining
plan, in consideration
of the locations of existing or planned mining faces, mine haulage roads or
other mining pit
construction features such as berms or dykes or utility corridors or drainage
ditches or ponds; the
design and specification of the OIL conveyor also enabling the routing of the
O/L conveyor to
incorporate both vertical and horizontal curves to suit the mining plan; the
installed length of the
O/L conveyor being constructed to be extended incrementally over time or to be
installed
immediately at full design length as required to suit the mining plan;
the O/L conveyor transportation link technology transporting primary crushed
oil sand to the
remote SB fed by the transferring of primary crushed oil sand from the mine
haulage trucks to the
O/L conveyor using O/L conveyor belt loaders, thereby forming a series-
connected process-step
relationship with the mine haulage truck transportation link technology;
the layout and structural configuration of the O/L conveyor also arranged in
relation to the layout
and configuration of the remote SB and the MSE wall so as to accommodate
discharging of
primary crushed oil sand from each of the O/L conveyor and the mine haulage
trucks into the
Page 22

Claims
remote SB simultaneously, thereby forming a redundant process-step
relationship to the haulage
function of mine haulage trucks; both of the series-connected and the
redundant process-step
relationships are included in the improved process flowsheet.
12. As claimed in Claim 11, the OIL conveyor belt loader is designed to load
primary crushed oil sand
onto the O/L conveyor, the receiving portion of the O/L conveyor belt loader
comprising a loading
hopper for receiving dumped loads of primary crushed oil sand from the mine
haulage trucks, an
inclined reclaiming conveyor equipped with side skirts and variable speed
drive (VSD) is designed
to reclaim and transfer the primary crushed oil sand from the loading hopper
onto the O/L
conveyor at a controlled variable rate, also using a chute and side skirts to
prevent spillage while
guiding the transfer of the primary crushed oil sand onto the O/L conveyor;
the O/L conveyor belt loader is suitably designed to load the primary crushed
oil sand either
directly at the tail end of the O/L conveyor or at any location along either
side between the tail
end location and the discharge end location of the O/L conveyor;
mine haulage trucks backing up to and dumping loads of primary crushed oil
sand onto the
loading hopper to form an inverted cone of primary crushed oil sand lying over
the top of the
loading hopper; the inverted cone of primary crushed oil sand is alternately
formed and drawn
down again by the interaction of each successive arrival and dumping of loads
of primary crushed
oil sand while the primary crushed oil sand is simultaneously fed onto the O/L
conveyor by the
inclined reclaiming and discharge conveyor;
the control and operating procedure of the O/L conveyor belt loader using load
sensing devices
installed on the O/L conveyor, a first controller on the O/L conveyor belt
loader receiving input
values from the load sensing devices, the first controller comparing the input
value to a set point
value corresponding to full belt loading and thereby controlling the VSD drive
speed of the
inclined reclaiming conveyor to run alternately at full speed, or at a slower
speed, or to stop,
depending upon whether the OIL conveyor is indicated at that location by the
load sensing
devices to be empty, partially loaded or fully loaded, respectively.
13. As claimed in Claim 11 wherein a second controller is operative at the O/L
conveyor interface with
the remote SB to control the filling of the remote SB, a SB level sensor
providing a feedback
control signal to the second controller mounted at the O/L conveyor drive to
regulate the speed
of the O/L conveyor via the VSD drive, the second controller operating the VSD
drive at full speed,
or at a slower speed, or to stop, depending upon whether the remote SB is
indicated by the SB
level sensor to be partially empty, nearly filled or fully filled,
respectively; the second controller
also being equipped with control interlocks operative to simultaneously
control the speed of any
upstream series-connected O/L conveyor or conveyors.
14. As claimed in Claim 12 wherein the O/L conveyor is provisioned with one or
multiple O/L conveyor
belt loaders located and simultaneously operable along the length of the O/L
conveyor; each of
Page 23

Claims
the O/L conveyor belt loaders are equipped with an independent set of first
controllers operative
with the VSD drive of the inclined reclaiming conveyor and the load sensing
devices mounted
locally on the O/L conveyor.
15. As claimed in Claim 11 wherein usage of the O/L conveyor or conveyors with
the O/L conveyor
belt loaders providing additional sources of incremental live surge capacity
including the primary
crushed oil sand lying on the carrying surface of the O/L conveyor plus the
residual amounts of
the inverted cones of primary crushed oil sand remaining at each of the O/L
conveyor belt loader
locations available to be loaded onto the O/L conveyor for transport and
discharge into the
remote SB, independently of whether or not the mine haulage trucks are
simultaneously in active
service.
Page 24


A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.

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Admin Status

Title Date
(22) Filed 2015-01-05
Examination Requested 2015-02-24
(41) Open to Public Inspection 2015-07-08
(45) Issued 2016-11-08

Maintenance Fee

Description Date Amount
Last Payment 2017-12-13 $50.00
Next Payment if small entity fee 2019-01-07 $50.00
Next Payment if standard fee 2019-01-07 $100.00

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Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Filing $200.00 2015-01-05
Request for Examination $400.00 2015-02-24
Registration of Documents $100.00 2016-01-26
Back Payment of Fees $1.00 2016-02-03
Final $150.00 2016-10-03
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 2 2017-01-05 $50.00 2017-01-04
Re-Examination requested - Standard $2,000.00 2017-01-25
Maintenance Fee - Patent - New Act 3 2018-01-05 $50.00 2017-12-13

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