First publishedin Aggregates Business Europe
An innovative transport system is used at a limestone quarry to move heavy equipment around. ABE reports
Scandinavia’s largest limestone quarry is going to experience a new progress when the original quarry is worked out. In 2013 it plans to bring a new quarry into use on the island of Gotland, off the east coast of Sweden, where limestone has been mined since 1658.
Finnish company Nordkalk
, the present owner, plans to continue the island’s tradition for decades to come, itself having a long tradition in quarrying, being established in 1898 to exploit a limestone deposit in south-west Finland. Today the company is the leading supplier of limestone-based products around the Baltic Sea region with production in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Poland and Russia.
In Gotland, Nordkalk has been active for 30 years, and the present operation includes the Klinthagen Quarry and the Storugns process plant. At Klinthagen the annual production is approximately 2.8 million tonnes. The primary crushing takes place at Klinthagen, from where the material is conveyed to Storugns, some 3.2km away.
Nordkalk already has permission to start a new quarry at Bunge, some 8km from Storugns, and it is estimated the annual production at Bunge will be 2.5 million tonnes. After primary crushing, the material will be conveyed to Storugns.
Main customers of the Gotland operation are from the steel industry, with limestone produced by Nordkalk in Gotland being of the highest quality for making steel: therefore the new site in Bunge is very important to the company.
When required, the company uses a transport system from Finnish company Sleipner
, which develops, manufactures and markets innovative transport systems for heavy mining and quarrying equipment.
“We have had the Sleipner at work since 2004 and are very satisfied with it.
We have two Komatsu
PC 1250 excavators with a weight of 120tonnes, and transferring them with the Sleipner and our mining truck, a Komatsu HD 605, is easy, reliable and cost-efficient,” explains Per-Erik Larsson, production manager.
Inside the quarry the excavators are regularly moved from one loading site to another up to 1km away, and occasionally the excavators are moved to the workshop 3km away for maintenance and service.
“We learned about the Sleipner system through the local Komatsu dealer who had seen it working. We looked into it and noticed immediately the many advantages it offered,” says Larsson.
“We were impressed with the simplicity and the relatively low cost both in the initial purchase price and the maintenance it requires. Furthermore, with Sleipner we have saved a lot of costs in the maintenance of the excavators particularly as applies to the tracks and undercarriages.” Once the new Bunge quarry starts production, the Sleipner will be moved there and will continue to work by moving the excavator between two faces.