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27 September 2016

Metso introduces integrated approach for in-the-pit operations

First publishedon www.AggBusiness.com
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Metso in-the-pit solutions
Metso claims its comprehensive in-the-pit solutions (ITPS) can result in a savings of water and energy, and a cost reduction of up to 35%

Today, mines are continuously being challenged to rethink how to shape their operations to be more sustainable and profitable, says Metso.

The company says its comprehensive in-the-pit solutions (ITPS) trim the operations by optimising the entire process, from design to selection of machinery and to production. This, the company claims, results in a savings of water and energy, and a cost reduction of up to 35%.

“The mining industry is continuously exploring not only new ways to mine at lower cost, but also new sustainable methods, technologies, and systems. Transportation of ore and waste is one of those areas: it can account for up to 50-60% of the operating cost of mining. If truck haulage can be minimized, significant savings can be achieved," says Erik Isokangas, Director, Metso In-the-pit Solutions.

“Metso's in-the-pit solutions are an advanced option for conventional production processes where truck haulage is used. With these solutions it is possible to reduce overall costs by 15% to 35%. The savings mainly come from improved energy efficiency resulting from well-planned conveying, and reduced maintenance and labor costs.”

Metso says its “sophisticated in-the-pit solutions” offering includes concept and feasibility studies, design and engineering, equipment and systems, procurement and commissioning as well as maintenance and operation. The ITPS can also be connected to Metso's tailored Life Cycle Services (LCS) contracts.

Metso says it can supply fully mobile and semi-mobile in-the-pit crushing systems as well as conveying and material handling solutions to cater for different types of demand.

A fully-mobile crushing system removes the reliance on truck haulage. An excavator loads material directly into the hopper of a Lokotrack mobile crushing plant. Crushed rock is then transported to an in-pit belt conveyor via mobile Lokolink conveyors, says the company.

The conveyor carries crushed rock from the Lokotrack to a processing plant or waste dump. When blasting is performed, the Lokotrack and Lokolink conveyors move to a safe distance. After the blast, a wheeled loader cleans the quarry floor and the Lokotrack plant moves to the new muck pile. Operation resumes with minimal production downtime.

A semi-mobile crushing unit reduces the distance of truck haulage. Metso's units are designed to be moved as a single device or disassembled into 4-6 smaller modules mounted on skids for easy transport. Typically, these crushing systems are moved every few years. This method leverages the flexibility of trucking operations while reducing the cost of long-distance haulage.

The main applications are in operations where the mining is selective, where the ore body is heterogeneous or for capacities above 3,000tonnes/hour for hard rock.

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