Site Layout and Mining Infrastructure
Mining activities are proposed on approximately 6,146 acres of the 10,562-acre HPS property in Bradford and Union Counties. About 5,259 acres will be mined in 50- to 100-acre blocks for the 20-year life of the mine. Approximately 887 acreswill not be mined, but will be used to support mining operations. HPS will establish a dragline in each county to excavate phosphate matrix (i.e., a cross-section of earth containing phosphate pebbles, and composed mostly of sand and clay). The draglines will move as the mining process progresses over the course of the 20-year operation. A mine block will be prepared for mining by installing previously described protective measures; then the block will be cleared of vegetation and the top layer of soil, or overburden, will be removed and set aside for later use.
In Union County, the dragline will extract phosphate matrix, and a high-solids transport system, or “HSTS,” will convey it to a clay pre-washer. The pre-washer will clean excess clay from the matrix before the HSTS takes the material to the beneficiation plant. The removed clay will be stored in a clay storage area next to the pre-washer for later use. The HSTS will be enclosed as it crosses over the New River corridortransporting the cleaned matrix to the beneficiation plant in Bradford County. The Bradford County dragline will excavate phosphate matrix, which will be sent directly to the beneficiation plant via HSTS.
At the beneficiation plant, the phosphate matrix will be separated into its component parts of sand, clay and phosphate pebbles. Some sand will be transported back across the New River to the Union County sand/clay mix plant to be recombined with the clay from the pre-washer. The remaining sand and claywill be recombined in a separate sand/clay mix plant in Bradford County. In both counties, HSTS will then transport the combined clay and sand to mobile overburden mix stations that are adjacent to each mine cut, where the overburden from the top level of the mining cut will be added to the sand and clay mix, and the resulting sand-clay-overburden mixture (SCO) willbe used in reclamation. The extracted phosphate pebble will be stockpiled near the beneficiation plant and await transportation offsite by rail.
In addition to the above described mining infrastructure, the Bradford County site will also have office space, maintenance shops, and a rock storage and loadout area. An existing railroad spur on the project site in Bradford County will be modified for transporting phosphate rock.
Return to this space for details on many of the components described above, including draglines, HSTS and beneficiation.