Metalloinvest starts up its high angle conveyor at Mikhailovsky GOK & UZTM-Kartex gets deal for next phase

Metalloinvest, a leading global iron ore and HBI producer and supplier, and a major regional producer of high-quality steel, has formally started up its high angle conveyor for transporting ore from the open pit iron ore mine Andrey Varichev Mikhailovsky GOK (renamed from Mikhailovsky GOK to honour the former Metalloinvest CEO who passed away recently). The new conveyor system was designed and delivered in conjunction with Ukrainian mining equipment company NKMZ.

The pilot operation of a steeply inclined crushing and conveyor facility with a capacity of 15 Mt of ore per year has commenced at the south-eastern edge of the open pit mine. Metalloinvest invested approximately RUB6 billion in the project. The launch ceremony was attended by Denis Manturov, Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation; Roman Starovoit, Governor of the Kursk Region; Ivan Streshinsky, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Management Company Metalloinvest, Nazim Efendiev, CEO of Management Company Metalloinvest; Andrey Ugarov, First Deputy CEO, COO of Management Company Metalloinvest; and Anton Zakharov, Managing Director of Mikhailovsky GOK.

Denis Manturov, Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, said: “I would like to congratulate you on the successful implementation of this project. It is a great pity that the man who inspired the project, Andrey Varichev, is not with us today. I knew him well as a top professional and I am sure each of you is proud that Mikhailovsky GOK now bears his name. It is all the more important to double down on the second, more substantial phase of the project, which will ensure the company’s leading position for the next 15 years. The implementation of this technology, considered to be among the most promising of the best available industry solutions, will also help reduce the impact on the environment. A tremendous amount of work has already been accomplished by all the project participants and I want to thank everyone for their dedicated work, particularly in the current, difficult environment.”

The crushing and conveyor facility at Mikhailovsky GOK is Metalloinvest’s largest and most important project today. The facility is unique in the Russian mining industry though NKMZ delivered a similar installation to NMMC at Muruntau gold mine is Uzbekistan. The construction is part of a large-scale programme to develop production capacity and significantly improve product quality at Andrey Varichev Mikhailovsky GOK.

Nazim Efendiev, CEO of Management Company Metalloinvest, noted: “We are proud to be the first in Russia to launch this conveyor technology, which significantly increases production efficiency and allows us to develop high quality ore reserves while maintaining a high level of concentrate production at over 17 Mt per year. The new configuration of the mining transportation process enables us to decrease the cost of ore extraction by reducing the quantity of transhipment points, loading equipment and railway transport. The use of conveyor technology will allow amore responsible use of natural resources and reduce overburden volumes.”

Roman Starovoit, Governor of the Kursk Region, said: “The dynamic development of Mikhailovsky GOK is a guarantee of the economic and social wellbeing of the Kursk region as a whole. With the commissioning of new facilities at the enterprise, the industrial potential of the region is strengthened, additional workplaces are created and the quality of life of our residents improves.”

At the crushing and conveyor facility, non-oxidised quartzites are crushed in the lower levels of the open pit mine and are transported to the pit edge. The facility includes over 40 operating units, including a crushing and transhipment unit, the steeply inclined flank conveyor itself, an intermediate conveyor, a loading and storage facility, and engineering support facilities. The length of the conveyor is 700 m, with a lifting height of 215 m and an inclination angle of 37 degrees.

In 2023, the second phase of the project is expected to be completed and will involve the construction of a gently inclined crushing and conveying facility with a capacity of 35 Mt of ore per year at the northeast edge of the open pit. The total investment in both phases of the project will be in the amount of approximately RUB11 billion. Up to 300 new jobs will be created at the enterprise.

Regarding the 35 Mt/y second phase, Metalloinvest has signed a cooperation agreement for construction of the crushing and conveyer facility at Andrey Varichev Mikhailovsky GOK with Russia’s UZTM-Kartex.

The agreement was signed by Nazim Efendiev, CEO of Management Company Metalloinvest, and Yan Tsenter, CEO of Management Company UZTM-KARTEX, during the official launch ceremony for the first high angle conveyor phase of the crushing and conveyor facility.

UZTM-KARTEX, comprising Uralmashzavod and IZ-KARTEX, which are among the largest producers of mining equipment in Russia, particularly mining rope shovels, draglines and mining crushers, will serve as Metalloinvest’s supplier of equipment and technological solutions for the construction of the new inclined conveyor with a capacity of 35 Mt/y of ore on the north-eastern edge of Mikhailovsky GOK’s open pit mine. As part of the project, UZTM-KARTEX’s enterprises will construct a crushing and sorting facility, stacker and conveyors of various types. As stated the second phase is scheduled to be completed in 2023.

Nazim Efendiev, CEO of Management Company Metalloinvest, said: “UZTM-KARTEX is a reliable and long-standing partner of our company. Its enterprises previously supplied equipment for Pellet Plant #3 at Mikhailovsky GOK, and today they supply the enterprise with ore mining and processing equipment. Our partnership with Russia’s leading manufacturer of mining equipment contributes to our strategic goal of elevating Mikhailovsky GOK to the top tier of global iron ore producers.”

Yan Tsenter, CEO of Management Company UZTM-KARTEX, said: “Construction of the first domestically produced crushing and conveyor facility is a strategically important project that will involve a consortium of major Russian suppliers of engineering products and components headed by Uralmashzavod. The creation of the Russian crushing and conveyor facility will enable our mining enterprises to significantly improve their efficiency, optimise ore extraction and transportation costs, and reduce the share of imported equipment in the domestic market. We are grateful to Alisher Usmanov and to the CEO of Metalloinvest, Nazim Efendiev, for having confidence in the capabilities of the Russian engineering industry by entrusting us with equipping their key facilities. The Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation also plays an important role in supporting the machine-building industry. Under the leadership of Minister Denis Manturov and Deputy Minister Mikhail Ivanov, the ministry is implementing programmes that enable us to renew our fixed assets, increase production volumes and enter new markets.”