Case study: Serious Metso crusher for a Sirius mine

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  • Earthmovers & Exacavators

A Metso LT120 mobile jaw crusher has been instrumental in developing the infrastructure and acting as a primary crushing emergency backup at Sirius Resources’ Nova nickel-copper-cobalt deposit, which sits within the Fraser Range Joint Venture in Western Australia.

Case study: Serious Metso crusher for a Sirius mine
Sirius Resources' Nova-based Metso Locotrack LT120 mobile jaw crusher.

Sirius Resources is a mid-tier exploration company focusing on discovering gold, nickel and base metals located predominantly in Western Australia. The company is managed and backed by explorers whose discoveries include the Thunderbox gold mine and the Waterloo, Cosmos and Lounge Lizard nickel mines in WA.

The discovery of the Nova deposit was announced in July 2012, with mining operations starting on Australia Day this year and production expected by the end of 2016.

Sirius says the nickel ore body is arguably the most significant and rich find in Australia in recent memory, adding: "The presence of copper and cobalt is expected to provide significant by-product credits which will dramatically reduce the cost of nickel production."

The LT120 mobile jaw crusher (which includes the track mounted C120 jaw crusher) was recommended by Metso’s Australian distributor, Tutt Bryant Equipment, after a feasibility study into the range, capacity and availability of suitable mobile crushing equipment carried out by Ausenco

The mobile jaw crusher needed to be capable of providing high levels of availability and sustainable crushing of the mine ore prior to the material entering the mineral processing plant, Tutt Bryant says, adding: "The complete application of this equipment was quite unique in that the mobile crusher was required to process materials won from the site, to be incorporated into the mine site and infrastructure development."

The crusher needed to be safe, automated and have user-friendly hydraulic adjustment.

Once the site infrastructure requirements were met, the mobile crusher was moved over to the fixed crushing plant area to act as an emergency backup primary crusher for the processing circuit.

"The innovative approach taken here," Tutt Bryant says, "is that the final fixed plant configuration allows for the mobile jaw crusher to be tracked into position adjacent to and incorporated into the ore crushing circuit.

"This provides 100 percent redundancy for the fixed jaw crusher should it be down for maintenance, manganese change out or similar."

To allow for this redundancy, it was important that the crushing circuit production was not impacted by the change in primary crusher, hence the decision to match the fixed circuit’s Nordberg C120 jaw in the mobile unit.

Other reasons for having two identical jaw crushers was the ability to use one set of spare and wear parts, simplifying parts stock management, fitting and maintenance procedures, and simplified training for operational staff.

The Metso LT120 includes an Intelligent Controller (IC) unit, which provides a safe, single point access to make many necessary machine setting changes, Tutt Bryant says.

"The IC unit sequentially monitors each of the machine parameters to smooth out any peaks and troughs of material feed by adjusting the necessary feeder to optimise production," it adds.

"Metso IC units have a colour display unit allowing easier interface with operators and the IC Diagnostics also reduce down time by quickly troubleshooting any problems, should they arise."

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