Tag Archives: mining equipment

SMT Scharf opens new manufacturing hub in South Africa

SMT Scharf Africa has announced the official opening of a new manufacturing facility located in Johannesburg, South Africa.

In conjunction with the SMT Scharf Canada subsidiary in Alban, Ontario, both entities will build both new and remanufactured underground mining equipment for customers around the world.

With the establishment of the new facility, SMT Scharf has doubled its output capabilities and further demonstrated its commitment to the African mining sector, it said.

This new facility adds nearly 3,000 sq.m of manufacturing space including six bays for rubber tyred mobile equipment.

The location will also serve as the regional manufacturing and support centre for SMT Scharf’s monorail and chairlift products.

XCMG custom graders get to work at Rio Tinto Western Australia mines

XCMG says it has delivered six customised GR2605 graders to Rio Tinto, which have recently been put into operation at the company’s mines in Western Australia.

The model, specifically customised for Rio Tinto, is a super-horsepower grader with enhancements in terms of safety, functionality and design to meet Rio’s given needs and cope with local working conditions, the manufacturer said.

XCMG set up an elite project team to take charge of the R&D, manufacturing and quality control of the customisation project, and devoted a year to survey and analyse construction conditions and the client’s demands.

“The project team has made breakthroughs in a series of core technologies such as double-handle electronic control, regional environmental monitoring, machinery status electronic monitoring and more,” Wang Min, Chairman of XCMG, said. “Our comprehensive customisation service not only provides the ideal products to our clients, but also put XCMG on a firmer footing in the global market.”

From setting up the project to final delivery, XCMG conducted nearly 100 upgrades and optimisations in accordance with Rio’s requirements and the working conditions along the railways in Western Australia where they will be used. Much of this focused on improving the safety designs and operator friendliness, including:

  • A mechanical blade safety lock system;
  • Trimark locking system to prevent accidental opening of the engine hood;
  • Adjusted filter and storage battery position for easy troubleshooting and maintenance;
  • New pin bolt system to eliminate suspension loading risks;
  • Spare parts safety system featuring wheeled platform for bucket tooth for safety checkup; and
  • More ergonomic, quick refuelling design.

Prior to the delivery, XCMG provided comprehensive product use and maintenance training to ensure a smooth transitioning to operating the equipment, it said.

Wang Min added: “Taking this collaboration as an opportunity, XCMG will continue to strengthen our independent innovation and move steadily into the high-end markets. We thrive to meet the customers’ needs and create more possibilities by improving the product quality and perfecting the services.”

Back in September, a ceremony marking an XCMG Grader GR2605 fleet delivery and GR5505 Mining Grader Project Commencement Ceremony for Rio Tinto was held at XCMG’s intelligent grader manufacturing base in Xuzhou.

Epiroc continues to build equipment order book in Q4

Epiroc continued to register strong demand for its equipment in the December quarter, with the mining OEM’s order intake increasing both in the underground and surface mining segments, the company reported today.

Headline numbers from the December quarter included a 1% year-on-year increase in orders received to SEK9.3 billion ($1.1 billion), a 5% drop in revenues to SEK9.8 billion, a 10% increase in operating profit to SEK2.2 billion and a higher operating margin of 22.6%, compared with 19.6% a year earlier.

In terms of its equipment, Epiroc said orders received increased 26% organically to SEK2.97 billion in the last quarter of 2020.

Speaking to IM shortly after the results were released, Helena Hedblom, Epiroc CEO, explained: “The equipment orders…were across our portfolio, and the good thing is there were not that many large orders in the quarter; it was many small- and medium-sized orders.”

This would imply the strength in equipment demand – which came from both the underground mining and open-pit mining segment – is broad across the industry, coming not just from the major miners.

This pattern was also seen in the September quarter of 2020 when the company recorded a 25% year-on-year organic increase in equipment orders in the period, with the majority of orders coming from small- to medium-sized contracts of, say, one or two pieces of equipment, Hedblom said at the time of the results release.

Looking at the wider equipment and service segment of the business – which provides rock drilling equipment, equipment for mechanical rock excavation, rock reinforcement, loading and haulage, ventilation systems, drilling equipment for exploration, water, oil and gas, as well as related spare parts and service for the mining and infrastructure industries – Epiroc said the share of orders from equipment in this segment was 43% in the December quarter. Service, meanwhile, represented 57% of the orders.

Epiroc said it expected demand, both for equipment and aftermarket, to remain stable in the near term, while cautioning: “Uncertainty, however, still remains regarding the COVID-19 development and any further related restrictions.”

In the results release, Hedblom said automation, digitalisation and electrification solutions were in high demand over the quarter, with the company connecting more and more machines over this time frame.

“We continue to win orders and we are proud of our market-leading solutions that are globally deployed and proven,” she said. “They enable increased productivity, safety and sustainability for our customers.”

When questioned about the planned acquisition of MineRP, announced late in the quarter, Hedblom said the combination of the MineRP platform with its own digital solutions would allow Epiroc to “become a better productivity partner” in a mine’s digital journey.

IM also got Hedblom’s thoughts on if there was a regional difference in the speed of uptake of ‘new technology’ in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak. She said: “I see this technology shift coming in a different light with the pandemic. Sustainability is coming in; digital tools are becoming more and more natural as we need them.

“There is maybe an acceptance that the technology is here to stay, is available and customers want to jump on this journey now. I see it across all regions, which is a bit different to how the mining industry has adopted new technologies in the past.

“We have good traction everywhere now when it comes to new technologies.”

And, on the subject of ‘new technology’ uptake, IM asked Hedblom if she saw any parallels between the evolution of automated equipment adoption in the mining sector – which started with solely new autonomous equipment purchases to improve operations and moved towards a combination of retrofits and new equipment as the technology gained traction – and how companies may look to leverage mine electrification underground.

She answered: “I think it is too early to say yet. If I look into the coming 5-10 years, conversion of existing fleet will be one way to speed up the electrification journey. That is also why we are investing and developing these types of products to allow us to offer retrofits as part of the mid-life rebuild process, for example.”

The company confirmed back in November that its battery-electric retrofit solution for diesel-powered machines is expected to launch in the March quarter of 2021.

Sandvik’s Scrivens heads back to Australia to reinforce APAC sales team

Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions’ Asia-Pacific region has further strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of Wayne Scrivens as Vice President, Sales Area APAC.

An experienced mining-sector leader, Scrivens has held the role of Sandvik Vice President for Load & Haul product line for four years, based in Turku, southern Finland. During this time, the Load & Haul division developed the iSeries intelligent trucks and loaders, acquired Artisan Vehicle Systems and introduced Sandvik’s first battery electric loaders and trucks.

“In his 18 years with Sandvik, Scrivens has also held various roles within the company’s underground coal and hard-rock business, as well as in Parts & Service,” the company said. He will start in his new role in Brisbane, Queensland, on April 1, 2021, after returning home to Australia.

Sandvik President for Parts & Service, Erik Lunden, said: “Wayne has extensive leadership skills, a track record of proven performance and a strong commitment to safety and sustainability. He has the capabilities needed to ensure Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions in APAC is positioned for continued growth and future development. I also very much look forward to seeing the difference he is able to make in helping customers solve challenges and become more productive.”

Scrivens (pictured) says he is excited to be heading back to the APAC region: “I’m delighted to be returning to Australia to take on this new role after spending four years working with Sandvik in Europe. My core focus in APAC will be on supporting customers across the region, while also strengthening our focus on automation, electrification and digitalisation, and the value these solutions can deliver to our customer’s operations.”

He added: “Sandvik has recently placed a high level of focus around developing sustainable business goals related to circularity, climate change, safety, and fair play. The idea is that a sustainable approach can open the way for new ways of working that will drive efficiency and productivity. This, in turn, opens up new markets, helps support our customers and helps us sustain long-term growth.”

Chris Parham will remain in the Acting Sales Area Manager role until Scrivens takes up his new position.

Codelco to extend life of Salvador Division with Rajo Inca copper project

The Codelco board has approved the development of the $1.383 billion Rajo Inca structural project, part of its Salvador Division in Chile’s Atacama.

The figure is 33% less than the investment contemplated by Codelco in 2014 thanks to the use and optimisation of existing infrastructure within the division, especially in the mine areas and the tailings deposit. Ongoing maintenance of the concentrator and hydrometallurgical plants has also helped bring down this figure.

The savings were also achieved through the planned reuse of mining equipment. When it enters operations, Rajo Inca will require 25-30 300-ton capacity trucks, hydraulic shovels and large tonnage front end loaders. Most of this equipment will come from other Codelco divisions, the company says.

The structural project includes a 22-month pre-stripping period and a seven-month ramp up of the concentrator plant. Commissioning will begin in the second half of 2022, with production reaching a annualised rate of 90,000 t/y of copper in the first half of 2023.

After the favourable Environmental Qualification Resolution obtained in February 2020 and the approval of the funds by the board of directors, the structural project will mean a rebirth for Salvador, as it will become a more modern, “technologised”, sustainable and productive operation, the company said. Its development will add 47 more years of life to this camp.

The Salvador Division has operated since 1959 with underground mining and three small open pits. With the latest investment, production will increase by 50% from 60,000 t/y to 95,000 t/y of fine copper.

GHH sheds light on underground mining equipment operation with inSiTE

GHH is looking to help mining and tunnelling companies digitise their operations with a new analytics solution that can be used on any brand of equipment.

GHH inSiTE, powered by talpasolutions, provides a digital performance and condition monitoring tool, as well as a baseline for the future of digitally optimised mining operations, the company says. It is used to gain operational safety and cost control without the complexity often associated with acquiring and analysing such data.

Product Manager, Dr Felix Straßburger, said smart management was the future of the industry allowing mining companies to increase their return on investment.

Together with a vast team of external experts, GHH has created a digital analytics platform solution that, it says, transparently depicts on-site operations.

The system receives input directly from machines on site. Location, payload, distances, consumption, exhaust gas values, temperatures and much more are recorded and relayed. While this data has long been held on many machines, a comprehensive consolidation, evaluation and presentation platform was not available, according to Straßburger.

This is where GHH inSiTE comes into play, the company says.

“The software is regarded as a powerful tool that is adaptable and scalable, and thus designed to be future-proof,” it said.

“The connection to common IT infrastructures is guaranteed. All components are connected to each other via the network.”

Receiving this data in close to real time at control rooms, operators have all machine information available to them via PC, tablet or smartphone.

“If something goes wrong, or a change of schedule is required, they can intervene immediately,” the company says.

Even before the market launch, GHH took a major customer on board in 2019 to put the solution through its paces. The results were so convincing that an order was placed in mid-2020, with the contract covering a considerable part of the plant and equipment – around 150 machines.

During trials, the customer was able to achieve fuel savings of 7% and an efficiency increase of 12% in the monitored sub-fleet alone, according to GHH.

Hastings Deering starts APM equipment journey with load and haul

Hastings Deering, a distributor of new, used and rental Caterpillar machinery and services, has launched an Asset Performance Management (APM) solution that, it says, bolsters the company’s strategy of helping customers use Cat equipment more productively.

Hastings Deering Asset Support Supervisor, Kurt Pidgeon, says the new APM solution complements the company’s traditional value proposition.

“Hastings Deering has always been very effective with analysing the reliability and availability of equipment,” he says. “However, customers buy machines for productivity, so we decided to start providing productivity solutions to complement existing traditional reliability analysis that we perform.”

Starting with load and haul machinery and expanding into other operational areas, the APM solution delivers a wide range of reports and recommendations to improve productivity, according to the company.

APM is concerned with how the entire mining circuit is performing as a system, rather than a single facet of an operation, or individual machine, the company says.

“There are many information systems that aim to bolster productivity, but APM is unique in providing insights into how the whole circuit is performing as a system and specific recommendations on how to improve,” Pidgeon explains. “We help customers achieve their maximum sustainable production rate circuit-by-circuit as the mine plan evolves, as opposed to looking at one machine at a time.”

He added: “Analysing machine productivity has been done well for many years. Key performance indicators like truck payload have been a strong area of focus, for example. What if trucks are not the constraining factor on site and it is the load tool instead?

“Using APM, we focus on the broader mining operation so that we can better understand exactly where the improvement opportunities are.”

APM analyses the data from an entire mining operation to provide in-depth insights that lead to productivity and efficiency boosts, according to the company.

For Pidgeon, this means finding areas of improvement that may otherwise go unnoticed.

“Mining clients receive insights from the APM software via a team of specialists here,” he explains. “That leads to productivity improvements and efficiencies gained.”

Hastings Deering will soon expand the APM platform to other disciplines, such as drill and blast, with the aim of supporting the entire value chain of an operation.

“We’re about to start a module for the analysis for drill and blast processes,” Pidgeon says. “Further to this, we are developing analytical tools for each of the processes in mining.

“This will also include wash plant and material handling aspects to properly understand how one part of the value chain affects the performance of another. You need the complete picture to find the weakest link in that whole value chain.”

Remote operations have become critical to sustain mine operations this year in response to the restrictions enforced by the COVID-19 pandemic, and Hastings Deering has developed the APM solution to enable miners to analyse performance remotely when required.

“Remote management of mining is well accepted now,” Pidgeon says. “Working remotely in all facets of productivity monitoring is no different.

“It certainly enables clients to review site operations without having to be there. Mining is an industry where people work and live in different locations. Minimising travel if we can do so is an important thing to do at this time.”

FLSmidth tackles the need for higher power, throughputs with new TSUV Mark 5 gyratory crusher

FLSmidth has launched a new “digitally-enabled” gyratory crusher to, it says, deliver the lowest total cost per tonne of material processed, even when crushing the most challenging ore.

In response to the industry need for higher power crushing and throughputs for lower-grade ores, FLSmidth has developed the TSUV Mark 5 Top Service Gyratory Crusher, the world’s most opex- and capex-efficient gyratory crusher, it said.

FLSmidth’s latest generation gyratory crusher, the TSUV Mark 5, follows the success of the Top Service (TS) and Top Service Ultra Duty (TSU) models.

The unique top-service design prioritises safety, maintenance and efficient crushing performance, FLSmidth says. Unlike other gyratory crushers that require workers to get in underneath the crusher to perform high-risk maintenance, the TS range allows service and maintenance to be carried out from above, increasing speed, safety and simplicity. Additionally, the 100-plus tonne, fully-dressed main-shaft no longer needs to be guided into the eccentric assembly by hand. “Now, the shaft aligns automatically, dramatically reducing risk,” the company says.

All TS gyratory crushers are built for strength, durability and the ability to adapt to the various requirements of mine operators, but the TSUV design adds even more power, capacity and flexibility, to give mine operators a low total cost of ownership, according to FLSmidth.

The improved power handling capabilities of up to 1,500 kW allow miners to process more material as ore yields decline, enabling operations to remain competitive, while the crusher footprint has only nominally increased.

Optimised eccentric speeds ensure maximum throughput without incurring excessive wear rates, the company says. This is a finely balanced equation, based on extensive R&D work, which, together with the new service and operational features, gives operators the lowest possible cost per tonne of material processed, it explained.

“To offer even greater potential to optimise performance, the TSUV Gyratory Crusher is digitally enabled – giving operators more control over operations and availability,” FLSmidth says. “The ability to make fine adjustments to wear compensation, track equipment trends and instantly detect crusher obstructions will enable increased uptime, optimum equipment life and significantly reduce risk of unplanned downtime.”

The TSUV Gyratory Crusher can be connected to FLSmidth’s digital ecosystem, which provides operators with the benefits of both FLSmidth technologies and experience. A range of services is on offer, geared towards maintaining asset health and optimising performance, many of which can be carried out remotely, saving both time and money, the company says.

The TSUV Gyratory Crusher’s advanced control system gives operators a 24/7 view of performance metrics, enabling increased reliability, FLSmidth says. And, with further condition monitoring feedback and controls, maintenance can be more proactive, minimising the risk of unscheduled stops.

“Through a combination of all these features, the TSUV Gyratory Crusher achieves the lowest cost per metric tonne in operation of any crusher on the market and gives you the lowest total cost of ownership,” the company says. “This translates into a reduced environmental impact.”

Chris Reinbold, Head of Global Product Line Management, Senior Vice President, Mining, said: “We remain steadfast in our aim to reduce emissions from mining to zero by 2030. Increasing the sustainability of key equipment, like the gyratory crusher, is part of our core goal to invest in efficiency-focused R&D, to deliver the best available equipment to the minerals industry.”

Cat looks for durable, sustainable dozing performance with new D9 GC dozer

Caterpillar has increased the durability and sustainability of its renowned D9 dozer, with its new Cat D9 GC Dozer.

Built for best-in-class owning and operating costs while delivering reliable performance and straightforward operation and maintenance, the D9 GC Dozer shares the same frame as the Cat D9 Dozer, also updated recently, and continues the series legacy with its superior durability, Cat says.

The frame, powertrain and major components are designed to be rebuilt to give the dozer a cost-effective second life with like-new performance, it added.

Application-specific configurations and multiple blade attachments deliver efficient dozing performance in a range of mining, construction and industrial applications such as production dozing, ripping overburden, site maintenance, fleet support, bulk materials handling and land reclamation, the company says. Special configurations are available for desert, arctic and steel mill applications.

The D9 GC replaces the D9R and continues to feature the Cat 3408C engine, producing 308 kW in the new dozer. The engine now offers longer fuel and air cleaner life, a single high-efficiency oil filter for lower maintenance costs and a new, robust self-tensioner. The D9 GC powertrain incorporates the Cat three-speed planetary powershift transmission and torque divider with free-wheel stator, which puts more power to the ground and saves fuel, Cat says.

Delivering more tractive effort to push through tough cuts, Caterpillar’s elevated sprocket and suspended undercarriage isolates the final drives, axles and steering components from harsh impacts to increase machine longevity. The suspended undercarriage reduces shock loads transferred to the undercarriage by up to 50%, resulting in a smoother, more comfortable ride for the operator, according to the company.

The D9 GC offers an isolation-mounted operator platform with ROPS and FOPS for operator safety and comfort, while the Cat Comfort Series seat is fully adjustable with thick seat and back cushions to improve operator comfort and support. Simple hand controls combine steering clutch disengagement and brake application for each track to deliver operation. A notched fuel tank and narrow ripper carriage deliver exceptional visibility of the front and rear work areas to enhance operating safety, Cat says.

“The new D9 GC has many of the same components, parts and systems of the D9R Dozer, offering a familiar design for service technicians,” the company says. “Both left and right equaliser bar pin bearings and pins are conveniently lubricated from a remote lubrication point that is easy to access. Daily powertrain oil check and sampling ports are conveniently accessed from the service platform for added safety.”

The new high-efficiency aluminum bar plate radiator for the engine features a large cover for quick access and improved cleaning efficiency. Sealed electrical connectors lock out dust and moisture to elevate electrical system reliability and servicing, while the bottom guard has a secondary retention system, which allows a service technician to free a stuck guard and safely lower it to the ground.

Metso Outotec Vertimill energy efficient tech heading to Australia gold mine

Metso Outotec has won an order to deliver two energy-efficient Vertimill® VTM-4500 stirred mills to a gold mine in Australia.

These vertical grinding mills will be the largest of their kind to be installed in Australia when the delivery occurs in 2021, the company says.

The typical value for this type of an order is in the range of €10-15 million ($11.7-17.5 million), depending on the scope of delivery. The order has been booked in Metso Outotec’s orders received in the September quarter of 2020.

Metso Outotec’s Vertimill provides the lowest total cost of ownership compared with other grinding mills in many applications thanks to its high energy efficiency, reduced media consumption, low installation cost as well as minimal liner wear and maintenance, the company says. It is capable of handling feed sizes up to 6 mm and grinding to products less than 20 microns. It is available in standard mill sizes ranging from 11 kW to 3,353 kW.

Metso Outotec says it is the only manufacturer worldwide than can offer multiple stirred mill technologies (Vertimill®, HIG™mill and SMD) to support their customers with the most suitable and efficient mill for their application.