Tag Archives: Crushing

TOMRA makes recovery promise to diamond miners

TOMRA is offering diamond mining customers a guaranteed diamond recovery of greater than 98% with the use of its sensor-based ore sorting technology.

The company is making this guarantee alongside a promise of 100% detection in the specified range, irrespective of luminescence profile or coating.

As the company says, maximising diamond recovery while optimising costs is the top priority for every diamond producer.

“With TOMRA’s holistic approach and cutting-edge technologies, both can be achieved to deliver outstanding results,” it said, adding that its X-ray Transmission (XRT) diamond recovery technology has helped recover some of the largest and rarest gemstones in history.

TOMRA says it approaches every project as a partnership with the customer to deliver a complete solution that meets their operational and business requirements.

This begins with a detailed analysis of the customer’s requirements and operational needs.

TOMRA – Operations Hub Johannesburg

Working collaboratively, it assists in developing a tailor-made flowsheet redesign that combines its XRT technology with its Near Infrared (NIR) and Laser solutions as needed. This collaborative approach continues throughout the project, with testing at its Test Center in Germany and, on-site, as required, through to installation and beyond.

More recently, this approach has been enhanced with the development of a remote testing option.

“The complete solution can also include the web-based TOMRA Insight platform that turns all the sorters into connected devices for monitoring and tracking the system’s performance,” the company said.

Once the system is fully operational, TOMRA offers its Service Level Agreement to ensure its solution continues to deliver the desired results.

“The tailored agreement can include on-site presence as required, seven days a week product support, application engineer visits, tiered urgency support, targeted site response, training, as well as spare and wear parts coverage to ensure maximum uptime and protect the customer’s investment,” the company said.

Advanced technologies adding value

TOMRA’s XRT technology recognises and separates material based on its specific atomic density. It uses a cutting-edge X-ray camera with DUOLINE® sensor technology to measure spectral absorption information.

TOMRA’s proprietary high-speed X-ray processing unit uses the data to produce a detailed “density image” of the material. The result is a high level of purity in sorting materials, irrespective of size, the degree of moisture or surface pollution present, TOMRA says. This makes TOMRA’s XRT high-capacity sorters effective in the recovery of free, liberated diamonds at high feed rates up to 300 t/h.

TOMRA’s NIR sorters recognise and separate kimberlite and waste rock based on their chemical composition. This technology is useful in upgrading lower grade run of mine and stockpiles, producing a kimberlite concentrate for further processing, the company says.

Marie-Claude Hallé had first-hand experience of how TOMRA’s solutions can add value to diamond mining operations when she held the role as Marketing Operations Manager for diamond exploration and producing company, Stornoway Diamonds.

“You have to really envision that TOMRA has actually changed the game in terms rough diamond recovered around the world and allowed producers to access large exceptional quality goods that perhaps in the past would be crushed to pieces,” Hallé said.

Customised solutions for kimberlite, lamproite and alluvial applications

With its customised approach, TOMRA says it can deliver on its promise of guaranteed results both in hard-rock kimberlite/lamproite and alluvial deposits – each of which presents their specific challenges.

In kimberlite, the challenge is to recover “needle in a haystack” diamonds, which requires controlled crushing of kimberlite ore to avoid damaging or breaking the diamonds, the company says.

“High waste dilution impacts the crushing energy needed and further increases diamond breakage risk,” TOMRA says. “Utilising TOMRA NIR technologies, we can remove non-diamond bearing material, not only improving the crushing profile of the ore, but also increasing the value of each tonne of ore processed. TOMRA NIR waste sorting technology can make diluted marginal kimberlite deposits economic.”

Additionally, complex, energy- and water-intensive kimberlite liberation processes, and the cost of transportation for crushing and processing, are challenges facing modern diamond miners today.

“TOMRA’s XRT and NIR technologies, which offer extremely high concentration factors, allow the production of hand sortable, ultra-high grade concentrates in as little as two stages compared to up to seven in traditional methods,” the company claims.

The challenge of economically mining low-grade alluvial deposits is due to their typically lower grade and the sporadic nature of the deposits.

The high recovery performance of TOMRA’s XRT technology enables single-stage or double-stage diamond recovery, offering a drastically lower operating cost and capital investment so that mining marginal deposits becomes economically viable, according to TOMRA.

“Another advantage of TOMRA’s XRT solution is that it can operate as a dry process, which dramatically reduces its environmental impact and operational complexity,” it says. “Besides, it opens the door to new opportunities, making it possible to mine deposits in arid areas where water access is minimal.”

TOMRA XRT machines have proved effective in alluvial operations, the company says.

One such case is that of the Lulo mine in Angola, operated by Lucapa Diamonds, where TOMRA XRT technology is used to process material between 18 and 55 mm in size and allows the recovery of diamonds of up to 1,100 ct – and where it has recovered Angola’s second-biggest diamond on record, a 227 ct stone in 2017.

Stephen Wetherall, Lucapa Diamonds Managing Director at the time of the recovery, said: “The recovery of the 227 ct diamond using the new XRT circuit justifies our investment in TOMRA’s large diamond recovery technology, which has more than paid for itself with the recovery of this one stone alone.”

Optimised flowsheet

TOMRA is in the unique position of being able to offer diamond operations a full XRT recovery flow sheet to 2 mm that delivers concentration factors up to 1 million with a much-reduced number of concentration stages, it says.

Geoffrey Madderson, Diamond Segment Manager for TOMRA Sorting Mining, explains: “TOMRA XRT technology replaces multiple stages of diamond concentration by virtue of its ability to concentrate diamonds to a hand sortable product after only a single step. This concentration factor allows for the removal of multiple recovery steps, drastically reducing both the capital investment and operational costs to recover diamonds.”

Geoffrey Madderson, Diamond Segment Manager for TOMRA Sorting Mining

TOMRA’s XRT technology can replace traditional methods such as dense media separation (DMS), wet magnetic separation and XRL final recovery with single-stage solutions for +8 mm and double-pass for -8 mm +4 mm particles, it claims.

“TOMRA’s solution eliminates up to seven concentration stages, dramatically reducing the complexity of the supporting plant and infrastructure,” the company says. “This results in significantly lower power and water consumption, which not only reduces costs, but also the environmental impact of the recovery process.”

An additional benefit of TOMRA’s solution is that it is a fully automated process, so there is no manual handling during pre-concentration and recovery, which has positive implications on security and eliminates human error, resulting in greater accuracy, the company says.

Recoveries

TOMRA’s sorters process these volumes with great efficiency, finding more diamonds than other, traditional separation methods – including coated and low- or non-luminescent diamonds, the company says.

The performance of its XRT sorters is independent of the “heavies” content in the feed, and is ideal for processing high-yielding ores unsuitable for DMS. The result is an exceptionally high recovery rate, it claims.

“TOMRA guarantees >98% recovery: that is how confident we are in our technology,” Madderson states.

With TOMRA’s sorting solutions, diamond producers can install large diamond recovery systems with a small capital investment and operate with a fraction of operating expenditures per tonne compared with traditional recovery methods such as DMS and XRL, it claims. In addition, the economic recovery of ultra low-frequency exceptional diamonds of +32 mm is now possible.

“TOMRA’s ability to deliver not only a technology that can detect such large diamonds, but also an economical process solution for the recovery of ultra-rare, exceptional diamonds is what sets it apart from its competitors,” Madderson said.

“This is the reason that, to date, TOMRA XRT has become synonymous with the recovery of extraordinary diamonds from all around the world.”

Filling the mineral processing flowsheet gaps

Crushing, grinding, flotation, solvent extraction, electro winning, tailings management…Metso Outotec covers it all.

The new mineral processing entity might be less than a week old, but many in the industry would have, no doubt, had some burning questions to ask since the planned merger was announced on July 4, 2019.

IM had a chance to put some of these questions to Stephan Kirsch, President Minerals business area, Metso Outotec, gaining an initial impression of what the combination of the two companies means for the Minerals business he heads up.

IM: What big mining industry challenge will the combined group be better placed to tackle? What equipment/solutions/expertise within the group are the most important in achieving these goals?

SK: One issue – although not technology-focused – is community engagement.

Some mining operations in the world face challenges in terms of engaging with local communities and returning benefits to them. There is a social responsibility for mining companies, as they are the operators, but also for mining industry supporters involved in such projects.

That said, the vast majority of the mining industry runs initiatives that ensure communities understand mining companies are not just there to extract the iron, copper or gold and make money from it. They give back to local stakeholders and help improve community standards.

Stephan Kirsch, President Minerals business area, Metso Outotec

From a technology perspective, an industry issue we are well equipped to tackle is tailings management. With our combined offering, we look very seriously into solutions that can involve dewatering, dry stacking, and the reprocessing of tailings.

You asked about the products involved in solving these challenges…that includes filtration technologies, bulk materials handling products for conveying and stacking, and then various ore sorting technologies for the reprocessing.

Another trend to highlight is the use of energy or, more specifically, the need to reduce power consumption. There is some work to do here.

When you go and buy a car, you tend to focus on the fuel consumption. The mining industry, however, aims for high installed power because there is a sentiment that more power in the mill means more product out of the mill, more fines and, as a result, better downstream recoveries. In a way that is true for technologies like horizontal mills, ball mills and SAG mills, but when you turn to different, newer technologies it is not always the case.

One of these technologies is HPGRs which were introduced in the minerals industry in the mid-80s. Today, HPGRs are used in high tonnage, competent, abrasive ore applications due to their lower specific power draw and other downstream benefits compared to conventional technologies.

One can add to this, conserving other natural resources such as water. Water scarcity is obviously a problem and we should look at the recycling of process water wherever possible (that is where the filtration technology comes into play again) at the same time as examining more energy-efficient flowsheets.

There is quite a bit we can do to solve some of these challenges from a mineral processing perspective, but, the problem is, the industry remains conservative and anything new takes time to be implemented sustainably.

IM: I know Metso has previously talked about creating a bulk ore sorting solution for industry. Considering this, do you as Metso Outotec expect to continue leveraging the agreement Outotec has in place with TOMRA to carry out more sensor-based ore sorting projects? Alongside this, will you continue with your own bulk sorting projects?

SK: Early removal of tailings/overburden from the processing plant feed has been the operator’s dream for probably a century! This concept of preconcentration has been a consideration for many years, but in the last 30 or so years, technologies with different sensors have been developed to help with this separation process.

It is the ability to use sensor technology to single out particles on a conveyor belt at an appropriate speed and quantity that is the industry challenge. After all, when it comes to mining, we are talking about bulk materials that must be processed, not single elements like you have in the recycling and food sectors where much of this sensor technology originated from.

You need to look at the operating economics of such plants. When I say economics, I am factoring in throughput and recovery rates: you want a high tonnage and you don’t want to waste your ore, which is already low grade compared with what was being mined, say, 30 years ago.

The answer to your question is that Metso has been looking into preconcentration technologies for some time – we have R&D projects and partners looking at it. The same is the case with Outotec. Going forward, we will analyse this and make a call on whatever is the best combination to continue with such work.

Personally, I am a big believer in segregating waste as early in the process as possible to save energy downstream. But there are technical challenges to this.

IM: Both companies have been expanding their modular offering in recent years (Metso with its flexible FIT™ stations and the smart Foresight™ stations/Outotec with its modular paste backfill plants and HIGmill): is a lot of your mining and metals R&D currently focused on reducing the footprint of your solutions?

SK: Our R&D budget – as you probably heard on the webcast last week – is quite significant when put together. As Metso Outotec committed to keep both of our budgets unchanged, the spend comes to about €100 million ($112 million). A market survey we carried out revealed that, in terms of R&D spend, we are at the top of the industry.

Then, we must spend this money wisely wherever we see it being applied most economically for the benefit of our customers and for Metso Outotec. The modular crushing stations you mention are an area of interest we started developing years ago. We see good potential for this modular offering and will continue to develop it.

As for the percentage of the budget we will dedicate to it, this will – like all R&D projects – be analysed alongside others for crushing, grinding and all separation technologies with a strong focus on product innovations, digitalisation and sustainability.

IM: As you hinted at earlier, do you see tailings management being one of the combined group’s core strengths?

SK: It is one big focus area for us, but only one.

Crushing and grinding, which I mentioned earlier, is another strong area. We are a market leader in some of the crushing technologies we offer, and high up the industry when it comes to grinding technologies. We plan to really expand on this side.

I mentioned HPGRs where we have brilliant, world-class technology, but are missing the installed base. With 20-25 years of HPGR experience, I know we have the technology to make a difference, we just need to effectively bring it to market.

The whole re-grind space is really a future area for us to pursue due to industry-wide issues of falling grades, the need to reduce power consumption and fine grinding requirements.

Back to the original question, I expect Metso Outotec to be a strong player for dewatering and tailings management solutions.

IM: Outotec has a much more developed downstream business in areas like hydrometallurgy and smelting, etc in mining than Metso – will this remain a core part of the combined group?

SK: The front-end strength of Metso for mineral processing plants and the wet processing business focus of Outotec shows how well both companies complement one another. From a technical perspective, this is one of the reasons why the merger of Metso and Outotec makes much sense.

IM: In what segments of the mining and metals market do you see the most complementary solutions within Metso and Outotec?

SK: When we brought these two companies together it is amazing how many renowned international mineral processing experts came with it. We can provide much more comprehensive services to the industry because we can look at the entire flowsheet – from run of mine ore, to metal.

Why is this so important for our customers? You can bundle equipment together to make tenders and dealing with OEMs more economical for mining companies. But, more than that, we can bring a much larger pool of experts to a project to interact and talk with each other to provide the right innovations. This is the ‘one plus one equals three’ effect.

We can also look at balancing the equipment so, for example, the primary crusher is appropriately configured to produce the right ore for the secondary crushing process and the screens are amply sized to effectively carry out their job. That then leads to finding the optimal operating point for the HPGRs and milling equipment and then the downstream processing segment. This type of equipment balancing is highly interesting for the market, creating win-win situations for customers and us as an OEM.

IM: Do you see your relationship with mining customers changing because of this holistic approach?

SK: Yes and no. There are companies that will appreciate this wider offering and there are others that will continue to come to us as part of a more traditional way of tendering for mineral processing equipment.

I see a trend where larger companies are coming back to reliable OEMs because the availability, sustainability and reliability of equipment is much more important than saving a dollar in capex in the first place. That is a trend we have seen strengthen even more recently with COVID; we all know when a plant is not running, it costs operators hundreds of thousands of dollars per day in lost revenue.

Yet, there are always customers that say capex is king. They will do everything they can to tender it most competitively from a capital expense perspective, regardless of the long-term total cost of ownership benefits choosing another solution will have.

IM: How will your digital offering be strengthened through the combination?

SK: At Metso, we started, especially in South America, with a strong operation and presence in terms of remote control and remote operating and maintenance support for processing plants.

The service solutions that have been developed and established in some countries, specifically for Metso and for Metso equipment, in the new company will, of course, be transferred into the installed base of Outotec (for example, a facility previous owned by Outotec in Espoo, Finland, is now a Metso Outotec Performance Center facility).

We often heard from customers: ‘We have great equipment from the Outotec side, but we have never experienced the great Metso services.’

What is so encouraging to see is that there is demand from the industry for such a combination of equipment and services.

IM: Where do you see an overlap of solutions (for instance, possibly crushing and grinding equipment (SAG/AG/ball mills), vertical crushing tech (Vertimill/HIG mill)) or flotation (Outotec has a greater market share but Metso supplies some interesting options like column flotation, plus is the leader in flotation camera monitoring with VisioFroth)? Historically, have you been competing against each other for contracts in these market segments?

SK: As you know, for 12 months or so, there was intense scrutiny from the regulatory authorities to find out if the companies could merge or not because of an overlap, and the answer that came back is yes.

From a regulatory authority perspective, there is no overlap, and, from a technical perspective, I view it in a similar way.

One prime example to give would be the Vertimill (below, left) and the HIGmill (below, right). If you look at both in detail and you talk to customers – which has happened when we have our project meetings and negotiations – you often find that the applications being examined are so specific that both mills, although close when it comes to operating process, have their own sweet spots.

                      

Most of the cases where we, as Metso and Outotec, won or lost a tender, the argument was not around price or sentiment; it was always technical where, for example, the feed was too coarse for the HIGmill, or the end product needed to be so fine that the Vertimill was ruled out.

We, therefore, want to continue offering both technologies; we will not shelve one because we believe there is room for both solutions.

IM: Could this combination then enable you to offer a more customised solution for customers?

SK: That is where the benefit (from the combined Metso Outotec) for the industry really kicks in; our customers are not just getting standard solutions; some tailoring is involved. They will be able to get more specific and solution-oriented, performance-balanced pieces of equipment.

IM: Would you like to add anything else?

SK: I need to say that I am quite excited about the opportunities for the new company, Metso Outotec. There are benefits for both us and the wider industry.

Personally, I am humbled to be elected to run such a large organisation of industry experts and high-quality equipment. It is exciting times ahead.

Nordgold automates crushing and sorting ops at Suzdal

Nordgold says it has automated its crushing and sorting facility (CSF) at the Suzdal gold mine in Kazakhstan as part of the operation’s safety and production management improvement program.

The CSF uses a vibration feeder that distributes the ore evenly and feeds it into a jaw crusher, two cone crushers, vibration screens that screen for the required ore size, conveyor belts transporting the material, and a stacker. The facility processes around 550,000 t/y of gold-bearing ore.

Fully automating the facility means improved management and control of the ore crushing, milling and sorting process despite the increase in ore hardness, the company said.

Suzdal Plant Manager, Valery Pavlov, said: “CSF automation enables the operator to control key equipment parameters through the use of sensors. If the plant stops, the operator will see the root cause without leaving their desk. This makes the process more efficient and safer.”

Suzdal already employs BIOX gold processing at its operation, along with the innovative Outotec HiTeCC (high-temperature caustic conditioning) process.

“The new crushing and sorting automation technology will further improve the mine’s safety and processing performance,” it said.

Superior Industries deepens relationship with Kimball Equipment

Superior Industries, a US-based manufacturer and global supplier of bulk material processing and handling systems, has announced an expanded product partnership with its long-term conveyor dealer, Kimball Equipment Company.

The respected dealer, which celebrates 75 years of operation next year, will now sell, service and support Superior’s crushing, screening and washing equipment in addition to the conveying equipment and components lines throughout Utah, Nevada, Arizona and southern Idaho.

“Kimball Equipment is a well-respected company and we’re honoured they’ll represent our growing line of aggregate processing and handling equipment,” Jarrod Felton, President of Superior, said. “Together, we’re both excited to serve customers with the region’s best application advice, robust stocking plans and most efficient customer support.”

The relationship between dealer, Kimball Equipment, and manufacturer, Superior Industries, started in 2004. Since then, the Salt Lake City-based dealer has sold almost 1,500 Superior conveyors and thousands of idlers, pulleys and conveyor accessories, according to Superior.

Kimball Equipment offers an extensive inventory of new and used heavy equipment, parts and supplies, repairs and rebuilds, field service and engineering capabilities.

Metso adds crushing & screening flexibility to the process flowsheet with My Plant Planner

Metso is looking to increase access to and improve the visualisation of mining process flowsheets with a new tool that could ultimately see more of its equipment end up at mine sites.

My Plant Planner offers engineering customers and mining end users the ability to model a flowsheet after inputting certain key parameters of their orebodies. They can then also visualise this plant layout in a platform that is free to use.

Metso, along with other OEMs, has provided visualisation tools to the industry for many years.

The company’s Bruno simulation software has over 7,000 users and has been helping customers select the right equipment for their mines since 1994. This software includes all the necessary Metso equipment, such as feeders, crushers and screens, and shows outputs for different end products, providing users with the data they need to make informed decisions on the right equipment.

My Plant Planner utilises this simulation expertise, but does so at a much earlier stage of the equipment selection process.

With the tool, customers can pick and choose different types of crushers, screens and conveyors to get the perfect balance for the circuit and identify bottlenecks to understand where extra capacity is needed, according to Metso.

Important factors, such as capacity, load, and power draw, are updated in real time as the circuit is designed and the parameters updated. At any point, it is possible to download a report that gathers together all the details about the plant being designed. It includes details on the chosen crushers, screens, conveyors and their parameters, including power consumption.

“We decided to develop this tool as we were seeing different types of requirements from our customers and EPCMs (engineering procurement and construction management) at the time around prefeasibility studies and we wanted to be more reactive to this,” Guillaume Lambert, Vice President of Metso’s Crushing Systems business line, explained to IM.

Prior to using such a tool, these EPCM firms were developing flowsheets for economic studies – the type of documents investors use to gauge the potential profitability of a mine development – over a matter of months or years in tandem with OEMs, before moving onto obtaining quotes based on their mining customers’ budgets.

As time has gone on, these firms have been asked by their mining customers to factor in more requirements into these studies. One may require a reduced plant footprint due to the proximity of indigenous communities; another may request that energy consumption is reduced in line with existing available power infrastructure in the region.

The requests vary depending on the size of company, the location of the project, the commodity and many other elements.

This is where the three-dimensional aspect of My Plant Planner is very important, according to Lambert, providing customers with not only a visualisation of the flowsheet, but also a gauge of the physical constraints that cannot be represented in 2D form.

This means companies assessing brownfield assessments can factor in height and width restrictions of existing infrastructure against capital expenditure requirements.

The turnaround time for the type of analysis being carried out by My Plant Planner is also a key selling point, allowing companies to generate results in a matter of hours, as opposed to waiting two to three weeks for a flowsheet assessment.

This speed could allow customers to explore multiple processing flowsheets in a simplified form as part of their due diligence process – for example weighing up a three stage conventional crushing and screening flowsheet against a HPGR circuit.

So far, the crushing and screening portion of the process flowsheet will be covered with the launch of My Plant Planner, but, based on customer feedback, the company plans to expand to the filtration process and other downstream elements.

As to why the company started with crushing and screening, the answer is an obvious one, according to Lambert.

Metso already has Bruno and VPS software (mine to mill assessments) in place – “we don’t have to reinvent the wheel in this regard”, Lambert said – and it is the area of the flowsheet that tends to come with the most equipment options.

“You can have three crushers in parallel, or one big one; a large screen in close circuit, or a smaller one in open circuit, etc,” he said.

It is this flexibility that miners require today. New projects coming to the table are very rarely 20-plus year developments that require a uniform comminution process over their lifetime.

Capex-conscious miners and their investors are instead bankrolling developments that tend to come with less than 10 years of life and are conservative when it comes to throughput. This is with the idea that they will fund the mine life extensions and expansions from existing cash flow when the operation is at full tilt.

These growth plans will inevitably come with the need to amend the process flowsheet down the line – which is where the plant footprint visualisation ability of My Plant Planner could come into play.

Flexibility such as this is also coming into Metso’s equipment line-up, with the company, only last week, launching its flexible FIT™ and smart Foresight™ crushing and screening stations for mining.

The FIT stations are designed with a focus on speed and flexibility, with two stations to choose from – Recrushing station and Jaw station – while the Foresight stations are equipped with smart automation technology including Metso Metrics™, VisioRock™, level sensors and crusher variable frequency drive.

These modular solutions are geared towards reducing capital expenditure and providing shorter lead times. In other words, they offer more flexibility.

It is tools such as My Plant Planner that will highlight just how important this flexibility could be over the life of mine of a chosen operation, providing users with the visibility to help navigate choppy commodity cycles and ensure their operations remain profitable over the long term.

You can find more details on My Plant Planner by clicking here.

Superior Industries strengthens SE Asia distribution with KeepMining agreement

Superior Industries has added KeepMining™ to its long list of distribution partners, with the Singapore-based company to represent Superior’s growing line of crushing, screening, washing and conveying equipment in several countries throughout Southeast Asia.

The pact will see KeepMining hold the distributor mantle in countries including India, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, South Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Bhutan and Brunei.

“Together, the employees of KeepMining have a lot of experience in the Southeast Asian mining and quarrying markets,” Jeff Steiner, Superior’s Territory Manager in the region, said. “They have aggressive plans for supplying and servicing customers and we look forward to growing our businesses together.”

KeepMining already has ties to Caterpillar, Atlas Copco, Liebherr and Yokohama, which equip the company to sell and service earthmovers, dump haul trucks, loaders, scrapers, crushing and screening plants, grinding solutions, washing systems, automation packages, dry bulk storage and handling systems, plus environmental solutions, Superior said.

In addition to its HQ in Singapore, KeepMining operates from additional locations in Malaysia, Indonesia, India and the Philippines.

Metso and Outotec establish business areas and leaders ahead of merger completion

With Metso and Outotec having recently cleared one of the final remaining hurdles towards merging the two companies, the future Metso Outotec Board of Directors has laid out the planned company structure and related executive team appointments.

The nominations will become effective after the closing of the partial demerger of Metso and the combination of Metso’s Minerals business and Outotec, which is currently expected to take place on June 30, 2020, subject to receipt of all required regulatory and other approvals, including competition clearances – which the companies made significant headway on recently.

The companies said: “Combined, the future Metso Outotec will be a forerunner in sustainable technologies, end-to-end solutions and services for the minerals processing, aggregates, metals refining and recycling industries globally. The new organisation is designed to leverage the strengths and expertise of both companies.”

Metso Outotec will consist of the following six business areas:

  • Aggregates, providing crushing and screening equipment for the production of aggregates;
  • Minerals, providing equipment and full plant solutions for minerals processing, covering comminution, separation and pumps;
  • Metals, providing processing solutions and equipment for metals refining and chemical processing;
  • Recycling, providing equipment and services for metal and waste recycling;
  • Services, providing spare parts, refurbishments and professional services for mining, metals and aggregates customers; and
  • Consumables, providing a comprehensive offering of wear parts for mining, metals and aggregates processes.

The boards have also made some significant decisions on the key personnel that will lead these business units.

Markku Simula will become President of the Aggregates business unit. Simula currently serves as President, Aggregates Equipment at Metso.

Recently appointed Metso Mining Equipment President, Stephan Kirsch, will become President of the combined Minerals business area.

Jari Ålgars, currently CFO at Outotec, will become President of Metals.

Uffe Hansen, who is currently President of Recycling at Metso, will become President of Recycling at Metso Outotec.

Metso’s Sami Takaluoma will retain his President of the Consumables business area post at the new merged entity.

Markku Teräsvasara, who currently serves as the President and CEO at Outotec, will take on the President, Services and Deputy CEO role at Metso Outotec.

In addition to the business area president appointments, the following function heads and executive team members have been appointed:

  • Eeva Sipilä, CFO and Deputy CEO. Her appointment was announced on July 4, 2019. She currently serves as the CFO and Deputy CEO at Metso;
  • Nina Kiviranta, General Counsel. She currently serves as General Counsel at Outotec;
  • Piia Karhu, Senior Vice President, Business Development. She currently serves as Senior Vice President, Customer Experience at Finnair. She will join the company on July 1, 2020; and
  • Hannele Järvistö, Senior Vice President, Human Resources (interim). She currently serves as Senior Vice President, Human Resources (interim) at Metso. “This appointment is valid until a new position-holder has been selected and will start in this role,” the company said.

All the function heads and executive team members will report to Metso Outotec’s future President and CEO, Pekka Vauramo (pictured), the company said.

Reflecting on these changes, Vauramo said: “Above all, Metso Outotec will be strong in sustainability. Our extensive combined offering for minerals processing, from equipment to a broad range of services, will help our customers improve their profitability and lower their operating costs and risks, while at the same time reduce the consumption of energy and water.

“We at Metso Outotec understand our customer’s world and the daily challenges they face. Together, we will partner for positive change.”

Rio invests in new crusher, conveyor and autonomous trucks at WTS2 iron ore mine

Rio Tinto says it will invest $749 million in the Western Turner Syncline Phase 2 (WTS2) mine at its Greater Tom Price operations, in the Pilbara of Western Australia, facilitating mining of existing and new deposits and including construction of a new crusher as well as a 13 km conveyor.

In addition to this, the haul truck fleet at the mine will be fitted with Autonomous Haulage System (AHS) technology.

This investment will help sustain the production capacity of its world-class iron ore business, it said.

The new conveyor system at WTS2 will help lower greenhouse gas emissions from the mine by 3.5% compared with road haulage and the business is continuing to assess additional options to reduce emissions, including renewable energy solutions, it said.

Pending final government approvals, construction will start in the March quarter of 2020 with first ore from the crusher expected in 2021. Production of high-quality Brockman ore will support the company’s flagship Pilbara Blend, which continues to be the preferred base load product for China’s steel mills, Rio said.

The project is expected to deliver an attractive internal rate of return with a capital intensity of about $25/t of production capacity.

As part of the investment, the haul truck fleet at the mine will be fitted with Autonomous Haulage System (AHS) technology to enable autonomous haulage at WTS2 from 2021.

Rio said: “The ongoing deployment of autonomous haulage at the company’s Pilbara operations is delivering significant safety benefits as well as enhancing productivity and reducing costs.”

Approximately 50% of the company’s haul truck fleet will be capable of operating autonomously by the end of the year with plans being assessed to expand this in the years ahead.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive, Chris Salisbury, said: “Our iron ore business continues to deliver industry-leading margins as we drive performance from our mines. This significant investment in the Greater Tom Price hub is one of a pipeline of high-quality, low-cost options that will underpin production of our flagship Pilbara Blend product well into the future.”

The investment in the WTS2 mine will help sustain the current workforce at Rio Tinto’s Greater Tom Price production hub. Additionally, at its peak, the construction workforce is expected to number more than 1,000 people.

MinRes and Metso working on 15 Mt portable crushing plant

Mineral Resources Ltd told investors at its annual general meeting last week that it had designed a 15 Mt capacity portable crushing plant and planned to develop it in joint venture with Metso.

The “Next Gen” crushing and screening plant is expected to come with low capital and operating costs, in addition to significant flexibility with its portability.

The ASX-listed mining services company said it planned to install its first unit on site in the June quarter of 2020 and that it should take eight weeks to mobilise and commission at site.

The JV with Metso is expected to see both companies develop and market the plant.

In addition to the crushing and screening plant, MinRes said it had developed a carbon fibre manufacturing facility producing “structural members” and that four 150 t dump truck trays had been made, with field testing currently taking place on site.

The company, which says these trays will increase dump truck payloads by 10-15%, is expected to carry out durability trials to understand wear rates, ongoing optimisation of both tray and workshop and commence manufacturing of 200 t dump truck trays in the next 12 months.

McCloskey becomes part of Metso

Metso says it has completed the acquisition of McCloskey International, a Canadian mobile crushing and screening equipment manufacturer with market share in the aggregates sector, as well as customers in the frac sand and industrial minerals segments.

The deal was announced back in June, with Metso, at that time, saying the acquisition would allow the company to “better take part in the attractive growth of mobile products within the aggregates industry”.

“This acquisition is an excellent strategic fit for Metso, because it strengthens our aggregates business and balances our traditionally mining-focused Minerals portfolio. With McCloskey as part of Metso, we are also able to better take part in the attractive, long-term growth of the mobile equipment market within the aggregates industry,” says Pekka Vauramo, Metso’s President and CEO.

Markku Simula, President of the Aggregates Equipment business area of Metso, said: “This acquisition expands our offering to new customer segments and application areas. McCloskey’s capabilities and technical solutions strengthen our ability to address diverse customer needs through complementary channels and offerings. We are confident that McCloskey will align well with Metso, and we are excited to welcome new colleagues to the Metso family.”

McCloskey will be reported in Metso’s Minerals segment as of the December quarter.