Tag Archives: crushing and grinding

Amarillo Gold to receive first Metso Outotec modular FIT Crushing Station

Amarillo Gold Corp is to become the first company to install Metso Outotec’s modular FIT™ Crushing Station at its Posse gold project in Goiás State, central Brazil.

The new crushing and screening solution was introduced by Metso to the markets in 2020, and Amarillo Gold will be the first site where it will be installed, the mining OEM said. The solution has been designed to bring significant savings of resources and time to mining operations.

“Amarillo Gold has a strong social licence to operate in the Mara Rosa property where the Posse gold project is located,” Arão Portugal, Country Manager at Amarillo Gold, said. “Our aim is to build a modern, sustainable mining operation, and Metso Outotec’s FIT Station fulfills our ambitious targets for the process.”

The FIT Station to be delivered to Posse has a design capacity of 540 t/h of run of mine with an average production of 102,000 oz/y of gold (years 1 to 4). The station consists of crushers, vibrating feeders and screens, as well as conveyors and related structures and other equipment.

Amarillo Gold is advancing two gold projects in Brazil. The Posse gold project, which has resources of around 1.2 Moz of contained gold, is in the company’s Mara Rosa property in Goiás state. The project will operate an open-pit mine and carbon-in-leach operation with dry stack tailings.

Guillaume Lambert, Vice President, Crushing at Metso Outotec, said: “We are very proud to have the honour to work with Amarillo Gold. They are a frontrunner aiming to select the best technology for their project. Metso Outotec’s sustainable FIT crushing stations are a good fit with this objective, as they are designed for capital expenditure reduction and shorter lead times, with ease of installation and maintenance.”

Uralmashplant dispatching crushing and grinding equipment to Tautajak gold project

Uralmashplant JSC has started shipping crushing and grinding equipment to the Tautejak project in Magadan Oblast, Russia.

Towards the end of the September quarter, the complete set of crushing and grinding equipment to crush and grind the gold ore will be delivered to the project, Uralmashplant, part of the UZTM-KARTEX Group, said. The project has been under construction since 2019.

The equipment for Tautejak Mine LLC consists of 10 equipment units, namely a jaw crusher, two cone crushers, two mills and five screens.

Uralmashplant has already shipped cone crushers to be installed at the secondary and tertiary stages of the crushing plant (KSD-2200Gr-D1M and KMD-2200T1-D1M) to the customer and, towards July 15, it plans to complete the shipment of the jaw crusher SCHDP-900x1200U, rated at 250 t/h, which is intended for coarse crushing of ore.

The rest of equipment (ball mills MSHTS-4000×5500 and screens) will be delivered to the mine in accordance with the contract terms before the end of the September quarter.

“All crushing equipment uses hydraulic discharge opening adjustment mechanisms,” the company said.

According to Vitaly Furin, Uralmashplant Chief Designer of crushing and grinding equipment, the machine design for the mine takes into consideration the climatic factors of the region and the location of equipment on-site.

“When we designed the jaw crusher, we took into consideration that it would be installed outdoors and operate at very low temperatures – as low as -45°C,” Furin said. “Therefore, we selected new, stronger steel grades for the body and main frame of SCHDP-900x1200U. Also, the crusher is equipped with an automatic oil heating system and stronger friction bearings of the main shaft.”

Mills MSHTS-4000х5500, to be installed in the primary and secondary comminution stages, will be equipped with soft starters and up-to-date energy-efficient motors of 2,000 MW each, the company said. The full set of mills will include four high-frequency screens capable of sizing material over 1 mm in diameter.

“These crushing and grinding facilities were designed in strict compliance with the customer’s requirements and are able to achieve all declared parameters in terms of capacity and quality,” Furin said.

thyssenkrupp to deliver next gen gyratory crushers to Iron Bridge magnetite project

thyssenkrupp is to make history in Australia, with plans to install KB 63-130 type gyratory crushers at the jointly owned Iron Bridge magnetite project, in Western Australia.

The company said its mining business unit had been awarded consecutive contracts to supply these two gyratory crushers and a radial stacker for Iron Bridge, which is a joint venture between Fortescue Metals Group subsidiary FMG Iron Bridge and Formosa Steel IB Pty Ltd.

Iron Bridge will be a new magnetite mine, around 145 km south of Port Hedland in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Delivery of first ore is scheduled for mid-2022.

Johann Rinnhofer, CEO of thyssenkrupp’s mining business in Australia, said: “We are proud to be part of this project and excited to install two of thyssenkrupp’s next generation gyratory crushers here in Western Australia. These high capacity crushers are considered to be the largest and most powerful in the world and are unrivalled when it comes to crushing blasted hard rock and ore.”

The KB 63-130 type gyratory crushers will be the largest ever installed in Australia, according to thyssenkrupp, with the crushers processing raw iron ore material from the pit and transfering it to a receiving conveyor.

The slewing and luffing radial stacker, meanwhile, will be used to stack secondary crushed magnetite iron ore onto a stockpile at the mine.

The Iron Bridge project will deliver 22 Mt/y (wet) of high grade 67% Fe magnetite concentrate product, according to FMG.

The first stage of the project was completed successfully by building and operating a full-scale pilot plant at the North Star mine site. This pilot project included the use of a dry crushing and grinding circuit, which FMG plans to leverage in stage two.

The second stage of the project comprises the construction of a large-scale process plant, and port
infrastructure to support the production of 22 Mt/y (wet).

New research collective to examine grinding mill process

Bradken, as part of a research collective, is to work on a project aimed at delivering a digital step-change in grinding mill design and performance.

The company, which specialises in equipment wear parts and services, made the announcement following the award of an Australian Government grant of A$545,000 ($362,264) for the project, which will focus on comminution and developing super-accurate simulations of the grinding mill process, it said.

Bradken Global Research and Development Manager, Reece Attwood, said the potentially game-changing project would give global mining and resources operators the ability to precisely target grinding efficiency, mill liner service life, power consumption and carbon emissions, to optimise their operations.

“The constant evolution of the global raw material market and the changing needs of our customers’ demands that Bradken innovates so we can deliver solutions that offer improved productivity, but on a whole new level,” Attwood said.

“This exciting project aims to accelerate improvements in mill design through development of an enhanced digital twin while, combining a number of technologies such as IoT instrumentation, enhanced simulation techniques and deep learning.”

The project will be hosted by the University of Newcastle through its flagship research institute, the Newcastle Institute for Energy and resources (NIER) in collaboration with the University of New South Wales and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), as well as international involvement from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

Attwood said Bradken and the University of Newcastle had a long history of partnerships.

“Working with organisations like the University of Newcastle brings a bigger mix of ideas from a wider range of backgrounds all focused on the same significant challenge,” he said. “This collaboration will help generate the innovation our industry and our customers need to take the next step forward.”

Chief Investigator on the project, Professor Craig Wheeler, from the University of Newcastle, said the cross-disciplinary team will merge expertise from solids processing and artificial intelligence to develop new computational algorithms.

“Our work will enhance the design and maintenance of key industrial equipment, predict wear and optimise the design of key components to improve the life of machinery to process minerals,” Professor Wheeler said.

Leading the project for Bradken is Senior Research Scientist – Process Control, Dr Wei Chen, who, according to Bradken, has extensive experience in both industry research and applied numerical modelling.

Dr Chen said: “Partnering with a group of leading research experts from Australia and abroad, gives us access to world class thinking in IoT, deep learning and numerical modelling.

“Together we’ll go through a rigorous experimental and numerical research program that we expect will deliver considerable benefits for our customers around the world.

“Involving our customers in the research process through site trials will keep us together at the forefront of mineral processing technology.”

Work on the project is planned to get underway in March.

Weir Minerals gives its skew view on HPGRs

With industry demand for high pressure grinding rolls (HPGR) on the up, Weir Minerals is arguing that skewing is a vital feature for modern HPGRs to reduce wear, save downstream energy and ensure optimal grinding across the whole feed.

The company was sharing its findings following the publication of a new white paper.

Weir said: “With their excellent throughput capacity, low maintenance requirements and energy efficiency, HPGRs are fast becoming a go-to for greenfield projects looking to maintain their margins despite commodity price pressures and declining ore grades.”

The mineral processing company said, in the June quarter, that it had registered strong demand for its Enduron® HPGR technology during the three-month period, later on in the year confirming a major order, which included this comminution equipment, from Fortescue Metals Group for its Iron Bridge magnetite project in Western Australia.

Henning Knapp, HPGR Process Team Leader for Weir Minerals, said the applications from this equipment have evolved from the cement production days of the 1980s and are increasingly being deployed as tertiary and quaternary crushers in mineral comminution circuits, dealing with tougher ores including iron, gold, copper and diamonds.

“As any engineer will tell you, it’s almost impossible to eliminate feed variance and segregation completely. In the past, this has posed a critical challenge for HPGR operators – but dynamic skewing such as that featured in the Enduron HPGR, maintains optimal pressure across the entire feed.”

Traditionally, HPGR manufacturers have shied away from skewing designs, for fear of roller misalignment creating unfavourable load distributions, and preventing the use of flanged guards to reduce the edge effect, the company said. “However, Weir Minerals’ unique roller bearings design allows for skewing alongside effective edge guards, reducing wear and promoting better grinding.”

The downside of static rollers

A HPGR reduces particles by compressing and crushing the feed between two equally sized, parallel rollers rotating in opposite directions, with a small gap between them. This compresses the feed to 80% of its solid density, where the force of the rollers pushes the rocks against each other and exceeds their compressive strength.

“Inter-particle comminution avoids the direct component wear caused by conventional comminution techniques, and applies immense pressure, up to 27,000 kN, across the entire particle size distribution, which creates the higher proportion of fines HPGRs are renowned for,” says Knapp.

However, segregated feeds can result in markedly uneven particle sizes across the width of the feed, creating high, abrasive pressure on one side of the roll and insufficient pressure on the other. It will also produce a coarser product, requiring more work downstream, according to Weir.

“To compensate for the edge effect, a lateral wall or ‘cheek plate’ is deployed on either side to prevent material exiting the gap between the rollers sideways. The closer this is to the rollers, the better – but that has prevented engineers from introducing the flexibility needed to cope with feed segregation,” explains Knapp.

How Enduron HPGRs skew to maintain optimum pressure

To accommodate this uneven pressure Enduron HPGRs use a spring-loaded lateral wall which not only reduces the edge effect (maintaining a gap of as little as 1 mm) but is specifically designed to facilitate roll skew.

As shown above, an uneven feed will lead to high pressure on one side and not enough on the other. Having one roller skew will facilitate larger material at one end while ensuring the smaller particles on the other side receive enough pressure to be ground down: it maintains an even pressure distribution across the entire feed, saving energy and reducing wear, Weir says.

“The degree to which the Enduron HPGRs skew is largely dependent on the width of the roll, with longer rolls skewing about 5 mm for every metre the roll is wide. However, the effect of even small changes can be significant on local pressure peaks,” says Knapp.

“The skewing should be managed by an advanced control system, which steers the rolls to satisfy the desired output pressure. This system also ensures the skew isn’t too great or maintained for too long, which both disrupt the compressive bed.”

In the case of prolonged or excessive skewing, Enduron HPGRs send a signal notifying the supervising control system and operating staff. Prolonged skewing generally is indicative of a disturbance or fault in up-stream facilities, such as low bunker filling, upstream crusher wear, screen deck wear, or conveyor failure, Weir says.

“Where static rolls suffer from differential pressure, creating undesired product, consuming more energy and suffering additional wear, Enduron HPGRs maintain optimum pressure across the entire feed thanks to their skewing, spring-loaded lateral walls,” Weir said.

Knapp concluded: “When dealing with competent mineral feeds in real-world conditions, there’s simply no substitute for the Enduron HPGR’s ability to maximise performance with skewing.”

Sandvik bolts on three more “connected crushers” to 800i series

Sandvik says it is expanding its 800i series of cone crushers to include three new models that come equipped, as standard, with an Automation and Connectivity System (ACS).

The new Sandvik 800i series of cone crushers feature mechanical upgrades, connectivity, advanced automation and rebuild possibilities to predict performance, maximise uptime and offer the best in sustainability at the lowest possible cost, Sandvik says.

Sandvik launched the series of “connected crushers” in July 2018.

The three new models – CH830i, CH840i and CS840i – means the 800i crusher series has been improved and extended to offer reliable, intelligent crushing to any mining or aggregate application, according to the company. Connected to My Sandvik, the crushers enable managers and operators to “make decisions based on facts, and see areas for improvement directly, increasing uptime and availability”, Sandvik said.

The ACS continuously monitors and optimises crusher performance and controls the complete lubrication system, increasing uptime and reliability, according to the mining OEM. It replaces the ASRi™ system that was previously in use for the 800i series of cone crushers.

The 800i series has been “toughened and improved to offer greater reliability, higher availability and a low risk of critical failure”, Sandvik says. This sees the crushers have bolted rather than welded top and bottom shell liners making a changeout 90% faster, according to the company.

The over-pressure system keeps dust out, and the standard offline filter keeps oil cleaner, extending oil life by, the company says, up to five times.

“More power output from less energy and more uptime through intelligent crushing make the 800i series a safer, more sustainable choice,” Sandvik said.

The 800i crusher series can be purchased as a completely new crusher, or as a Sandvik REBORN solution, replacing an existing crusher and reusing existing auxiliaries and infrastructure, according to the company. “This plug and play installation minimises disruption and maximises productivity, while offering up to 40% cost savings compared to a complete crusher system,” Sandvik said.

Such a solution was recently installed at the Mantos Blancos copper mine in Chile.

These new crushers also come with Sandvik’s service agreement, which, it says, provides customers with safer operations, low operating costs and long service life. This can increase productivity by up to 10%, according to the company.

Mats Dahlberg, Vice President Lifecycle Service, Stationary Crushing and Screening, said new, digital technologies will transform the way mines and quarries work.

“My Sandvik is the first major step in gaining insights into productivity and predictive maintenance that will drive our industry forward,” he said. “It’s great to offer our customers a service that will truly make a difference to their profitability.”

W Resources reaches new processing milestone at La Parrilla tungsten-tin mine

W Resources has fed the first ore through its newly commissioned jig and mill plant at its La Parrilla tungsten-tin mine in Spain.

The move follows construction completion in April and commissioning of the conveyors, pumps, thickener, two mills and two jigs over the past month, the company said.

The plant takes ore crushed to less than 10 mm and increases the grade to be fed to the concentrator plant while rejecting waste mass, according to the company. This is achieved with high tungsten and tin metal recoveries, W said.

The jigged mine feed will now be fed through the existing concentrator plant, while the new large scale concentrator plant advances to construction completion in June and commissioning in July, according to the company.

Michael Masterman, Chairman of W Resources, said: “Great progress has been made by the team which keeps us on-track to ramp-up to design production capacity of 200 t/mth by the end of 2019.

“At this stage of construction, it is important to clarify that commissioning a metallurgical plant is not a turn of a key process. In the jig and mill plant alone there are two jigs, two roll mills, a thickener, reject disposal system, 10 screens and feeders, nine conveyors, five pumps, and over 50 motors which need to be started, aligned and tied into an integrated control system. The team has done an outstanding job commissioning the plant and achieving first jigged concentrate.”

The crushing circuit at La Parrilla, supplied by Metso Minerals’ Portugal division, is made up of a C130 jaw crusher and secondary cone crusher, both with vibrating grizzlies prior to size reduction, and two tertiary cone crushers in closed circuit with a double deck banana screen.

With a throughput of 350 t/h, the two alljig® jigs, provided by allmineral, provide grading, enrichment and cleaning of the pre-ground ore at La Parrilla.

Vertimills continue to save energy and cut emissions, Metso says

Metso says its Vertimills® are globally recognised as some of the most energy efficient grinding machines, and the company has tried to make that clear in its 2018 annual report.

Vertimills have proven to grind more efficiently than horizontal ball mills, with typical energy savings of 25-35% and, in some cases, even 50%, according to Metso.

“In addition to grinding efficiency, reduced media consumption, lower installation cost, reduced maintenance, and reduced liner wear make the Metso Vertimill the lowest total cost of ownership option in many applications,” Metso said.

Based on a review of the Vertimills currently in operation and a comparison of their efficiency and media consumption relative to a ball mill, Metso estimates that approximately 1.48 million MWh of energy was saved and 652,000 t of CO2 emissions were abated in 2018, compared with 924,000 MWh of energy and 547,000 t CO2, respectively, in 2017.

Since its introduction in 1979, over 440 Vertimills have been delivered globally.

Paradigm Shifters qualify for round two of Canada’s Crush It! Challenge

A group of companies called ‘The Paradigm Shifters’ has made it to the next round of a challenge aimed at reducing the amount of energy that crushers and grinders use in the mining process.

The Crush It! Challenge is spearheaded by the federal government (Impact Canada), in cooperation with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI), and Goldcorp.

Crushing and grinding account for upwards of 50% of mine site energy consumption and up to 3% of all the electric power generated in the world.

iRing Inc is the lead partner within The Paradigm Shifters and has coordinated the effort with proposal partners to respond to the challenge, it said.

The company explained: “Essentially the team proposes to bring together the processes and technology that could reduce or even eliminate the need for expensive primary crushers, and reduce the energy required by secondary crushing (potentially eliminating it as well) and grinders in both mines and quarries globally.”

The Crush It! Challenge has several qualifying rounds and, if successful in getting to Round 3, then the team will be eligible to receive C$800,000 ($605,397) in seed funding to further prove the concept over a one-and-a-half-year period. At the end of that period, if the team wins the chance to move forward, the project would be eligible to receive an additional C$5 million in funding to commercialise the products and concepts.

The Paradigm Shifters team consists of:

  • iRing Inc (North Bay) Challenge Project Lead – Drill and blasting software;
  • Nexco Inc (North Bay) – Producer of the energy-variable explosive product;
  • Boart Longyear (North Bay and global) – Global supplier of market leading drilling products and services;
  • Paige Engineering Ltd (PEL) (North Bay) – Design and fabrication of explosive manufacturing and loading equipment;
  • Seneca (Montreal) – Explosive plant engineering, design and build;
  • Maptek (Denver and Global) – 3D laser scanner/fragmentation measurement capabilities, and;
  • Bomon Capital (Toronto) – Long term financing should the team succeed.

The savings that could accrue to mines and quarries annually is C$12.8 billion (25% reduction) to C$25.6 billion (50% reduction), according to iRing.

“If all mines in the world adopted this solution, it would represent a reduction equivalent to 7-13% of all the carbon released in Canada, and 20-41% of Canada’s contribution to meeting the Paris Accord agreement.”

iRing will use its software, Aegis, to design the blasting patterns based on the fragmentation requirements. Boart Longyear will deploy recently developed high speed diamond drilling technologies and instrumentation solutions to quickly and accurately drill and validate high-quality blast holes, while using significantly less energy. iRing said: “Boart Longyear’s drills utilise drilling data logging to interpret rock density and strength etc, while drilling.”

The company continued: “With Seneca’s help, Nexco will build a demonstration plant that will produce an energy-variable explosive mixture that can be fuelled while being loaded into the blastholes, and the blast energy would be based on the ore strength information provided by Boart Longyear’s drills and iRing’s software.”

Troy Williams, Vice President of Development of iRing, said: “The challenge will provide a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to reach the mining industry and demonstrate that it is possible to produce consistent results from the blasting operations.”

PEL will design and fabricate the explosive manufacturing and loading equipment required to change the explosive’s energy during loading, according to iRing. Energy reduction is done by adding additional water content into the explosive formulation during loading. Maptek’s laser scanner, meanwhile, will be used to verify fragmentation results by scanning the muck pile and producing a 3D point cloud which can be analysed for a measured fragmentation distribution. Those results will be used by Aegis to further calibrate the fragmentation models.

Mark Sherry, President of iRing, said: “We are really excited by this opportunity as it is directly in iRing’s wheelhouse. The Paradigm Shifters bring together the best in the industry when it comes to drilling and blasting. By working together, we will create a paradigm that is more efficient, effective, cleaner, and safer”.

Vauramo looks to build on Metso’s mineral processing R&D culture

Pekka Vauramo might have only been away from the mining industry for just over a decade, but the new Metso CEO is acutely aware that the digitalisation and automation trend he saw the beginnings of during his time at Sandvik now plays a major role in planning the mines of the future.

Fortunately for Vauramo, a mining engineer by profession, he has come into this executive role at a very good time – Metso’s October-December quarter results showed an operating profit of €93 million ($105 million), or 10.4% of sales, and a 38% rise in orders received (in constant currencies) on the back of strong mining equipment demand.

IM met with Vauramo in London just after the financial results were published and asked him for his initial impressions of Metso, three months after joining from Finnair.

IM: As a group, what are the core commodities Metso focuses on?

PV: From a crushing viewpoint, it really doesn’t matter if it is iron ore, gold, copper, or nickel. Many of our customers are investing in copper right now – electric cars and battery metals are driving this. There are also ongoing investments in iron ore.

IM: What were your goals for Metso when you were appointed to the CEO role last year?

PV: The overall objective for Metso should be to grow the business. Metso has been standing still on its feet for quite some time. We have been profitable over the years and the focus has been on delivering black numbers even in difficult days; there is always value in this.

But, when looking at long-term R&D, which really lays the groundwork for organic growth, we have to increase our investments.

Metso reorganised itself during Nico’s (Delvaux, former CEO) time a year ago. The current organisation is, therefore, fairly young and, in the short term, we need to continue making sure we know what our responsibilities are within Metso and ensure we don’t lose sight of our customers. Several of our businesses have common customers and we need to be able to deliver one Metso experience.

My approach coming into the role was to validate where we are with the current way of working. My conclusion is that right now, no bigger changes are needed. We will, obviously, finetune as we go. Also, when we look at the latest results, we have no reason to change!

IM: Speaking of change, how would you say the mining equipment market has evolved since you were last at Sandvik?*

PV: Technology plays a certain role – the industry talks more about automation and we do see more automation. I was involved very early on with automation in the Sandvik days, introducing the automated underground loaders, and can still remember when we carried out the first trials. It is becoming, maybe, not the norm yet, but every new mine has the option to automate.

Then, of course, with the automation capabilities, the question is: where are the people operating or overseeing these machines? Do they have to be on the mine site, or can some of them be elsewhere? Next, it is about how much data can be obtained from the equipment and what value can be gained from the data.

Also, consolidation has happened in the business. Some of the mining companies are no longer around and bigger ones have got bigger. This junior activity in mining has been an interesting and exciting part of the business – it is still there, perhaps not to the same extent, but there are also some new names.

We see also China investing in Africa on a bigger scale. They had their first investments in Zambia when I was with Sandvik and now it owns many more mines there. Chinese companies are also in South America; it has become a much more international field.

IM: I have seen a few interviews talking about Metso’s R&D spend and how the 1% of turnover investment figure is inadequate. What do you see as an adequate % of turnover to invest? How quickly can Metso reach this level of investment?

PV: I think Metso needs to double that. But this takes some time; it is not just about money, it is about the capability and the R&D culture within the company. We have that culture, but we need to expand it. We are ramping it up – we have added more than €10 million ($11.3 million) in R&D last year and are planning to add another €10 million this year.

Also, besides the traditional R&D, we will continue to invest in digitalisation. We currently put more than €10 million into that and I’m quite sure we need to put more money into in it, too.
Currently R&D and digitalisation are in slightly different ‘boxes’, but as long as they are delivering something that helps customers to do better business, then it is all considered product development.

IM: Do you think mining companies are fully realising the potential value these digital solutions can have within their operations?

PV: Every company is doing something by itself, but where I see the industry is partially holding back is that some of the customers think this data is something they own – and rightly so.

However, I think companies like Metso could, let’s say, put some algorithms on top of the data and add value by comparing data from other places and share the relevant results with those participating without telling the secrets of others.

If I look at what other manufacturers have done over the years, it is evident that the industry is moving in this direction. From the end users’ viewpoint, it can be somewhat complicated because companies make different choices on technology and all these technologies need to be interfaced somehow into similar formats. Currently, this might be an issue as there are not really strong enough standards in the industry – yet that would help people streamline things and concentrate on the data.

IM: Will Metso’s future focus be on organic growth from R&D, as opposed to the M&A activity?

PV: There is value in both strategies, but the R&D activity is something that companies need to do continuously. In a business that is cyclical – mining being the most cyclical business we are in – those companies that invest organically in R&D during the downturn are the ones that tend to benefit most when the upturn starts. The ones that have their offering in good shape are the ones that win when it gets busy. That is also where Metso should be.

Acquisitions do play a role, but there are no easy answers there. We made several small acquisitions last year and we will continue with this. New acquisitions can be related either to the service side of the business or technology.

IM: How has climate change and sustainability impacted the way Metso develops minerals processing technology?

PV: There has been a tremendous movement since the latest climate report was published last year. Now, everyone is rightly concerned about emissions. The mining equipment we talk about is primarily electrically driven. Energy efficiency is one of our focus areas. If we broaden the topic out to water, for example, we know some of the deposits are in difficult places where major parts of the investment go into desalinating and pumping the water to the mine site. So, becoming also more water efficient is something that will be critical for mining companies.

There are always moments that stop the industry to think about what can be done to prevent accidents from happening. Our deepest sympathies go out to the ones that lost their relatives or closest ones in the Feijão dam collapse. It will change how mining is conducted and there may be some technological developments which we, as a company, can take forward.

IM: Lastly, what parallels can you draw between the mining and airline industries?

PV: They are somewhat distant industries, but both are fairly specialised; mining is something people very seldom go into just like that. You can acquaint yourself with many other jobs or businesses by just walking around in that environment, but you don’t end up doing that in a mine or an aircraft. Yes, you travel in an aircraft, but there’s much more behind the cabin you don’t know about.

In these type of businesses, people need special training and need to be selected – not everyone can work in a mine and not everyone is qualified to fly an aircraft. Both are people businesses at the end of the day: even though the operations may be automated – aircrafts might fly with the autopilot and mines might be run by an autopilot – sometimes highly-skilled human intervention is needed.

A big part of the airline business is service. It’s a very fast cycle service business, which provides a good opportunity to learn about how service works. It’s a daily routine with people spending anything from half an hour to half a day on an aircraft. When the flight is over you get quick feedback. If you look at the mining business, some of the projects take two years to sell, two years to deliver and one year to start up. It’s a long, long cycle. But, you either like the service or you don’t like it.

IM: Do you have anything else to add?

PV: Just to say, on the results, I am very grateful to our customers for, first of all, trusting us with their business. I am also very proud of our people in all the countries we are in – and in many departments such as sales and service – who have done a great job over the past year.

*Vauramo previously held several leading positions such as President, Underground Hard Rock Mining Division, President, TORO Loaders Division and President, Drills Division, at Sandvik AB from 1995-2007