Tag Archives: Lokotrack

Metso Outotec expands India facility on track-mounted crushing/screening equipment demand

Metso Outotec is to invest in extending its current manufacturing capacity of mobile track-mounted crushing and screening equipment in Alwar, India.

The total Alwar production value is planned to grow by 30% from the current level and global track-mounted mobile machine capacity by 15%, the OEM said. Construction of the new factory facilities is planned to start in early 2022, and be completed by the end of the year.

The increased capacity in India will be used for the manufacturing of McCloskey mobile and Lokotrack equipment, employing approximately 200 additional people. After the extension is completed, the Alwar factory will be one of the biggest manufacturing sites of Metso Outotec, employing some 800 people, the company said.

“This is another step in developing our domestic and export business in India,” Markku Simula, President of the Aggregates business area of Metso Outotec, said. “At the same time, we are also investing significantly in engineering and R&D resources in Alwar and making it one of our global engineering hubs.”

Metso Outotec gears up for next generation of mining IPCC applications

A significant product launch in the in-pit crushing and conveying (IPCC) space was announced in parallel with the headline-grabbing co-operation agreement signed by Metso Outotec and FAM GmbH in June.

On the same day the two companies shook hands on a global non-exclusive pact to deliver integrated end-to-end solutions for IPCC and tailings management plants in mining, Metso Outotec, in a separate announcement, highlighted its Foresight™ semi-mobile primary gyratory (SMPG) station.

The SMPG station, which features the Superior™ MKIII primary gyratory crusher and patented SmartStation technology for “optimal processing”, is arguably the piece of the IPCC puzzle Metso Outotec has been missing.

Lokotrack® crushing plants have a solid reputation but only have capacities up to 3,000 t/h – one of the larger installations being a Lokotrack L200 at the Altay Polimetally copper operation in Kazakhstan. Such capacities work for most fully mobile IPCC installations, which tend to come with the highest complexity and are, therefore, a rare proposition, but semi-mobile hard-rock installations normally call for a much higher throughput.

This is where the SMPG station, with a maximum 15,000 t/h throughput capacity when equipped with the Superior MKIII PG 60110 primary gyratory crusher, fits the bill.

This station, when equipped with SmartStation technology, allows automated material size control and reduced wear, downtime and plant height, according to the company. It is also advertised as offering an up to 30% higher capacity on the same crusher size and 70% reduced downtime with the Superior MKIII primary gyratory technology, plus up to 30% power savings with patented Energy Saving Idlers. Maintainability is also boosted through improved crusher access and plant area isolation.

The station was included as part of an integrated IPCC solution launch from Metso Outotec that consists of crushing, conveying and stacking equipment, combined with IPCC planning and lifecycle services.

Leif Berndt, Director, IPCC at Metso Outotec, acknowledged that the SMPG is the core addition to this refreshed IPCC portfolio, but believes the company has already displayed its IPCC expertise in “a number” of large capacity (20,000 t/h) crushing and conveying system deployments in iron ore and copper applications in South America. It also recently sold a Foresight SMPG equipped with a MKIII 60110 primary gyratory to Codelco for its Radomiro Tomic operation, in Chile.

“In terms of crushing and conveying, we have carried out these building blocks to the same large capacities as others that call themselves the incumbents in this market,” he told IM. “With the new and experienced planning team we have in our Düsseldorf facility, we now have the in-pit development around those solutions to prove this.”

Metso Outotec recently sold a Foresight SMPG equipped with a MKIII 60110 primary gyratory to Codelco for its Radomiro Tomic operation, in Chile

He expanded on the topic when discussing the ability to address the higher capacity IPCC segment with the SMPG: “It is one thing to look at it from the instantaneous, hourly, or shift throughput perspective; it is another thing to look at it from the design of the whole system, the plant and the mine planning to come to the customer with a workable solution that will produce, over the year, the tonnes required.

“You then need to sustain those numbers by having the right planning, system and service to sustain the crusher’s performance.

“That is where the true success for the customer is.”

Berndt says the company has all this in its offering, asserting that Metso Outotec should be considered a leading market player in the IPCC sector.

“It is quite simple: we are the number one in large capacity primary gyratory crushers; we are also the number one in service,” he said. “That covers, with technology and services, two very important aspects for a successful IPCC operation.

“We now have a very experienced IPCC team in Düsseldorf, and we are leveraging the engineering and product development group in Sorocaba, Brazil, to be closer to the markets east of the Atlantic. With that, we have the right team for planning, engineering and project delivery, the right technologies and services driving availability and, hence, productivity.”

That is even before mentioning the tie-up with FAM, which will allow Metso Outotec to play a significant role in end-to-end solutions across the IPCC space thanks to the inclusion of FAM spreaders and crawler-mounted conveyor bridges for waste IPCC applications and dry stacking of tailings.

Such a collaboration shouldn’t surprise anyone in this space.

Metso Outotec has been open – and remains open – to partnering with other OEMs for IPCC systems, evidenced by an agreement with Komatsu that sees Komatsu sizers fitted on Lokotrack systems for soft-rock applications.

“Technologies that are delivering advancements in sustainability, productivity and maintainability that are complementary to our offering, which we don’t own ourselves, are always interesting to us,” Berndt said.

Ready at the right time

Metso Outotec appears to have got its ducks in a row at exactly the right time as, with a strong environmental tailwind behind it, the IPCC market is on the up.

The need to electrify operations and reduce reliance on fossil fuels in line with ambitious decarbonisation targets is leading more and more miners to considering an element of in-pit work at their operations.

Greenfield mines are working on tradeoffs in the study phase to pit conventional truck and shovel against the use of more conveyors and in-pit crushing equipment, while brownfield operations are getting the mine models out again to see if an element of the operation can be reconfigured to make the most of fixed, semi-mobile or fully-mobile IPCC systems.

Berndt said many clients decide to go for modularised, configurable and semi-mobile solutions for ease of construction and assembly away from the run-of-mine (ROM) pad to improve scheduling. Such a configuration could allow parallel development of, for instance, crusher pocket development and the ROM pad.

Also, when it comes to a greenfield project, the cost to “buy yourself the option of relocating the plant”, when compared with the capital associated with installing a stationary plant, is, on many occasions, “insignificant”, according to Berndt.

“As a result, customers decide to ‘buy’ that option and, when the pit develops in the future, relocate the plant,” he said. “That, in itself, is a strong driver in the IPCC market.”

The tie-up with FAM will allow Metso Outotec to play a significant role in end-to-end solutions across the IPCC space thanks to the inclusion of FAM spreaders and crawler-mounted conveyor bridges (pictured, courtesy of FAM) for waste IPCC applications and dry stacking of tailings

Adapting existing hard-rock operations designed for truck and shovel operations by incorporating large capacity semi-mobile IPCC systems with crushing plant locations inside the pit remains a complex task from a planning perspective, but Berndt has seen an increase in interest in this option too.

There are mine engineering professionals in the Metso Outotec Düsseldorf office that have specific experience of adapting operations for IPCC solutions, he said.

“However, that being said, we all know conveyors don’t have wheels, and the cost of deploying or redeploying these conveyors requires pit ramp developments or pit pushbacks earlier in the mine process and, hence, earlier cash-out on overburden compared to a truck shovel development.”

The economic tradeoff that has led to such developments is starting to change in favour of IPCC solutions.

“In the mine investment decision and methodology selection, the net present value impact of ‘early overburden’, or pulling forward the push-back phases in conical pits to advance ramps for conveyor access, was formerly only offset against the lower production cost, which drove the payback point to a 150-200 m vertical lift component level,” Berndt said. “Carbon credits for energy saved against early cash-out will shift this payback point upward, increasing demand for IPCC solutions.”

Which is why Metso Outotec’s reinvigorated IPCC pursuit is considered timely.

More and more mining companies are becoming comfortable with carbon accounting and factoring it into project studies – whether these studies are distributed internally or externally. They are cognisant of the fact it may be a voluntary addition in the Excel spreadsheet formula today, but, in the years ahead, it will become a requirement of doing business.

“Metso Outotec, for example, has sustainability targets included in its recent renewal of a financial instrument,” Berndt said. “Access to funding and the cost, thereof, will increasingly depend exactly on that.”

Yet, this doesn’t spell the end of truck and shovel in the IPCC mining operations Metso Outotec is likely to serve, according to Berndt.

He sees an electrified future where the two elements will play happily together in the pit.

“You need the flexibility of trucks, whether that be from a hydrogen-, battery- or trolley-powered source at some point in time, to allow for the required selectivity and blending in the pit,” he said. “Given that the deployment of conveyors is limited by very short phases and the space/geometry of a typical hard-rock mine, it is not simply a convey or truck situation; it is a matter of using truck and convey to find the best interface.

“Obviously, the more you can take out of the vertical lift component by conveyors, the better, but, in the context of a majority horizontal haul, trucks are likely to be a lot more efficient.

“The developments now happening are the truck interfacing or delivering onto the conveyors in the pit and the ability to make that a more flexible process.”

Armed with Lokotrack solutions for a fully mobile IPCC solution, its family of FIT™ and Foresight™ modular crushing stations, the new SMPG, and a strong planning, engineering and service offering, Metso Outotec says it has all the necessary elements to deliver the mining sector’s next generation of IPCC systems.

SPH Kundalila adds another Lokotrack LT120 for crushing fleet at platinum mine

SPH Kundalila has reaffirmed its faith in Metso Outotec crushers by putting to work another Lokotrack® LT120™ from local distributor Pilot Crushtec at an open-pit platinum mine near Rustenburg in South Africa’s North West province.

The Lokotrack LT120 mobile jaw crushing plant was acquired early in 2021, and has since been added to the fleet at the mine where SPH Kundalila has been conducting crushing operations for the customer since 2013.

“The new machine is part of our ongoing plant renewal process, ensuring that our fleet performs optimally with high uptime levels,” Graeme Campbell, Group Commercial Manager at SPH Kundalila, says. “We already have four of these models on other operations, and they have all been strong and reliable production units.”

The crushing fleet on this project processes 350,000-400,000 t/mth of platinum ore for the mine’s mineral processing plant. Material entering the crusher can be sized up to 800 mm in size, which is reduced to a product of 250 mm or less for transportation to the plant.

The mobility of the track-mounted LT120 provides the necessary flexibility that the mine requires to maintain a consistent grade for the plant, moving crushers when necessary to treat ore from different locations on site, according to the company.

SPH Kundalila Operations Manager, Dean Zeelie, says the Metso mobile crushers have proved themselves as reliable performers in front-line, hard-rock applications in the company’s contracts, with one unit notching up almost 25,000 hours to date.

“The Metso technology allows us to closely monitor machine running time and operating time, so that we can schedule regular service interventions,” he says. “Our on-site maintenance team ensures that all delivery targets are met, as our role in maintaining mine throughput is vital.”

This approach allows these mobile crushers to be completely refurbished at SPH Kundalila’s rebuild workshop in Potchefstroom at long-term intervals. This enhances reliability and lowers the total cost of ownership.

The close relationship between SPH Kundalila and Pilot Crushtec goes back over 23 years, according to Campbell, with the company investing in Metso crushers since 2007. He notes that they collaborate at early stages of potential contract opportunities when Pilot Crushtec will assist with testing and will then provide recommendations on the most suitable equipment for a job. He says Metso’s Bruno simulation software is also a valuable tool that the company uses for finding optimal solutions for its projects.

According to Francois Marais, Director Sales and Marketing at Pilot Crushtec, the Lokotrack LT120 includes a Metso C120 jaw crusher with a 1,200 mm by 870 mm feed opening, providing excellent capacity even in the toughest applications.

“The hydraulic drive ensures trouble-free operation and enables crusher direction to be changed in case of blockage or alternatively the on-board hydraulic hammer can be used, while the Caterpillar C13 engine module delivers optimal power to the high inertia flywheels,” Marais says.

“Its compact dimensions, combined with agile tracks, also make it easy to transport. The chassis design features good clearance at both ends, enabling simple loading on a trailer.”

CRC ORE grade engineering trial pays off for Minera San Cristóbal

A successful full-scale production trial of Australia-developed grade engineering techniques is paying dividends for a South American mine, and its local workers, according to CRC ORE.

Once fully implemented, this is expected to generate an additional A$451 million ($312 million) in profit for the mine and reduce its energy consumption, it said.

Located in the south-western Bolivian province of Nor Lípez, and owned by Sumitomo, Minera San Cristóbal (MSC) is the country’s largest mine. Operating since 2007, the mine produces around 1,500 t/d of zinc-silver and lead-silver concentrates. To achieve this result, MSC needs to move a daily average of 150,000 t of rock – ore and waste.

Part of MSC’s vision is to “develop a model mining operation through safe operations, at low cost, with innovative technology”.

Through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Summit Mining International, Sumitomo is a participant of the Cooperative Research Centre for Optimising Resource Extraction (CRC ORE). Based in Brisbane, Australia, CRC ORE works to minimise the impact of declining grades and radically improve the productivity, energy and water signatures of mining operations, CRC ORE said.

The centre is jointly funded by what it calls ‘Essential Participants’, which includes mining companies such as Sumitomo; mining equipment, technology and services (METS) companies; research organisations; and the Australia Government.

One of CRC ORE’s key solutions developed for the mining industry is grade engineering. “This solution deploys a range of waste rejection technologies that integrate with a suite of separation technologies relevant to ore specific characteristics,” CRC ORE said. “A deeper understanding of the orebody can be achieved, leading to the ability to exploit inherent ore deposit heterogeneity and variability.”

For mining operations such as MSC, this involves an innovative approach to the early separation of ore from waste material, minimising the impact of declining grades and productivity.

CRC ORE and MSC teams conducted site studies and analysis in 2017 to determine the level of opportunity available at the mine by deploying grade engineering, and a great deal of potential was evident.

Since late 2018, CRC ORE and Sumitomo have been working together on a full-scale production trial of grade engineering using screening at MSC. A Metso Lokotrack ST2.8 mobile screening plant, which can process up to 450 t/h, was deployed on site to assist in providing a production-scale testing capability.

The trial focused on upgrading mineralised waste from the pit to determine if grade engineering could efficiently produce a new economic stream of valuable material that could then be combined with run of mine feed through to the concentrator and produce a positive net smelter return.

CRC ORE Chief Executive Officer, Ben Adair, said initial results of the trial were impressive and encouraging, with 66% of value now contained in just 25% of the grade engineered mass.

“So far, results show that by applying grade engineering to areas previously designated as ‘mineralised waste’, the value of grade engineered feed to the mill can be increased by over 2.5 times,” Adair said.

“This has the potential to convert this waste material into high-grade ore feed with associated opportunity to increase metal production and reduce process power and water intensities.”

A 15-20% reduction in energy has been evident in the mine’s SAG mill when processing a combined grade engineered and direct run-of-mine feed, according to CRC ORE.

The success of the grade engineering trial has led to Sumitomo considering deployment of grade engineering techniques for life of mine extensions, CRC ORE said.

MSC Operations Director, Dave King, said: “The big benefit of grade engineering is its potential ability to extend the life of the mine and add over A$451 million in profit to its value.”

To fulfil its goals of knowledge transfer and for its technology to directly benefit the local mining industry, CRC ORE says it has recently commenced similar production trials at Australia mining operations.

CRC ORE welcomes Metso to the fold

The Cooperative Research Centre for Optimising Resource Extraction (CRC ORE) says it has officially welcomed industrial equipment and services provider Metso as its newest participant.

Earlier this year, Metso joined a select cohort of Australian and international mining, equipment, technology and services (METS) participants to assist CRC ORE to achieve its goals.

“Since its origins 150 years ago, Metso has provided equipment and services for several industries, including mining, and is at the forefront of the supply of technologically advanced mining equipment,” CRC ORE said.

Metso Vice President of Innovation LAB, Lars Grönvall, said that the work of CRC ORE closely aligns with Metso’s vision of being the best choice for sustainable processing of natural resources.

“Metso’s cutting-edge services and solutions improve availability and reliability in minerals processing and flow control, providing sustainable process and profit improvements,” Grönvall said.

“We are excited by what can be achieved by partnering with CRC ORE and its high-quality participants in developing solutions to more efficiently separate valuable ore from waste material as early as possible in the mining process.”

CRC ORE Chief Executive Officer, Ben Adair, has previously worked closely with Metso, in areas including process control and concentrator equipment application, according to CRC ORE.

Adair said he was encouraged by the commitment of the major European company to improve the productivity, energy and water signatures of mining operations.

“Now well into our second term at CRC ORE, we appreciate the support given by specialist equipment provider Metso and the expertise they bring as a participant,” Adair said.

“In their short time so far as a participant, Metso has made a valuable contribution through the supply of one of its Locotrack mobile screening units (pictured) to support a major production trial of grade engineering at Sumitomo’s Minera San Cristóbal mine in Bolivia.”

Adair said that CRC ORE worked with Minera San Cristóbal to use off-the-shelf equipment from Metso to support this innovative site trial, helping to minimise the complexity and cost of the project.

“CRC ORE aims to drive collaborations such as this to help deliver positive change across the mining industry,” he said.

CRC ORE is a cooperative research centre focused on optimising resource extraction. It delivers value to Australia by improving mine productivity, commercial return and environmental outcomes, CRC ORE says.

Established in 2010, CRC ORE has made significant progress in rapidly developing and integrating technology from concept to implementation, it says. CRC ORE uses innovative methodologies to develop new technology, or repurpose existing technology, often from outside the mining industry, to significantly reduce the time from prototype to production scale application.

Crushing the mining numbers at Metso’s Tampere facility

Metso’s Tampere, Finland, facility is due to deliver some 1,000 crushing and screening units this year as the company makes full use of the €1 million ($1.15 million) Speedline assembly line it started up in January.

The investment, targeting both efficiency and safety improvements, has enabled Metso Tampere to produce more of its famous Lokotrack® mobile track-mounted crushing units, while also speeding up production of C-series jaw crushers and GP-series cone crushers.

The assembly of a 50 t, track-mounted crushing plant now takes two working days. The serial production line operates in two shifts and has increased Metso’s mobile crushing plant production capacity by 25%.

The majority of these products will find their way into the aggregates industry, but the largest equipment will be seen in mining operations around the world – for example, the Lokotrack LT200 in use at the Altay Polimetally LLP copper mine in Kazakhstan.

IM Editor Dan Gleeson toured the centre last week and found out about the company’s extensive crushing database and how its rock laboratory is offering customers a preview of how its machines could perform.

Piles of rock

Metso’s crushing R&D facility in Tampere is receiving rock samples from all over the world on a weekly and, sometimes, daily basis.

As IM approached the 10-year old rock laboratory in Tampere, piles of rock were waiting outside for testing in a full-scale, enclosed crushing facility configurable with a jaw crusher and either a cone, gyratory, or impact crusher. Various screens were also able to be installed.

Powered by a 300 kW motor and housed inside a roofed facility, this crushing circuit provides customers looking to buy a Metso crusher with the sort of information they only normally receive after the new plant is delivered and commissioned at site.

But, for those not wanting to transport a few tonnes of material to the Tampere facility, Metso has devised a much smaller rock test that only requires a 4 kg sample and tests the hardness, crushability and abrasiveness of the rock in question.

Inside the test centre, manager Ville Viberg talked IM through this much smaller process, explaining the rock test also indicates how quickly a crusher’s wear parts may reach the point of failure – a boon for customers already planning their maintenance shifts years in advance.

Viberg said the company had carried out some 17,000 rock tests to date across the globe, plus some 5,000 crushing tests on the much bigger scale.

This has provided the company with a massive database to refer back to, which it often does in the cyclical mining industry.

On top of this, the company’s Bruno simulation software, mainly used for aggregates applications, offers another level of expertise, allowing users to enter basic feed material and machinery data into the process with the software predicting how the process will perform. Today, there are more than 7,000 users of Bruno, which was developed by Metso all the way back in 1994.

In the future, Metso’s R&D for mining is clear on the direction it is taking – finding solutions to increase energy efficiency and prolong machine life.

This has already seen the company launch its Superior™ MKIII; a gyratory crusher offering 30% higher capacity than other high-speed crushers and 70% lower downtime with a rotable top shell design. The third-generation machine also comes with a five-year warranty for all main components.

The MKIII gyratory crusher was developed in Metso’s mining competence centres with the development headed by the Waukesha centre, in the US, which focuses on mining crushers.

From IM’s visit, it was clear that the more than 100-year old factory in Tampere, which is one of several Metso minerals R&D centres around the world, has plenty of new innovations up its sleeve.

Like the rest of the Metso group, the addition of a digitalised platform like Metso Metrics for Mining – due to be launched next month – will enable the factory to keep developing products to solve the industry’s needs.