Located in the district of Évora, municipality of Montemor-o-Novo, the Herdade de Benafessim quarry has operated since 1994. One of the 11 quarries of the major Portuguese construction group Mota Engil S.A., the quarry produces aggregates materials mainly for the internal consumption of the construction group but also for some other, smaller customers.
The Herdade de Benafessim quarry processes granite for various needs, including concrete and asphalt production for civil engineering and road construction, and their annual production capacity is more than 600,000 tons. Mota Engil was awarded a significant project in consortium with a partner to build the final leg of the Southern International rail corridor between the town of Évora and the Spanish border. The quarry is producing 31,5-50 mm fraction railway ballast and 0-32 mm sub-ballast for the railway project.
The crushing process in Herdade de Benafessim has three crushing stages. The secondary stage has a Nordberg® HP400 and the third a Nordberg HP4, which the quarry obtained in 2022. They also have crushing line extension with a Barmac® impactor, for producing sand and fines for asphalt and concrete.
Balancing production and costs
The HP4 operates in a closed side setting (CSS), producing two fractions, 6-14 mm and the final size, 14-20 mm. The Nordberg HP4 replaced the earlier HP300 in the tertiary stage.
To lower their cost per ton, the quarry started to use Metso’s O-Series wear parts in the HP300, and based on their good experience with their use, they have extended the same application on the HP400 in the secondary stage. In 2022 they invested in a new machine and replaced the HP300 with a new HP4. The plan is to continue to use the O-Series wears in the HP4 in tertiary, too, as soon as its warranty period is over. When changing from premium wear parts to the more affordable O-Series range in their tertiary crushing stage, their production capacity experienced a reduction of approximately 10%, but the cost savings are outplaying the production decrease and making their operations more cost-effective.
The quarry has a modern rock laboratory to analyse the material for the best crushing results. Over the course of time, the quarry has received many quality certifications, including SO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 and all their products are now CE-marked.
Looking to the future
With 20 years left in their license, the quarry has no plans to slow down. A new bank in the quarry face is in planning to be opened. With that, the quarry plans to move its crushers to a new location, update its equipment and modernise automation to keep up its momentum.
Read more about MOTA Engil S.A. on their website.
Metso is represented in Portugal by Ascendum Máquinas.
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