Case study: Using Metso Lokotraks to bring crushing in-house
The purchase of Metso Lokotrak crushing units has allowed CITIC Pacific Mining (CPM) to reduce costs by bringing its crushing in-house at its massive Sino Iron project at Cape Preston, WA.
The Sino Iron project has been developed at Cape Preston, 100km south west of Karratha in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. It is the largest magnetite mining and processing operation in Australia.
After making the decision to bring its crushing work in-house, CPM engaged Tutt Bryant Equipment to provide technical information and processing simulations. This led to the delivery of four Metso Lokotrak units to the site in November 2012 – a LT120 jaw crusher, LT300GP and LT300HP cone crushers and an ST4.8 triple-deck screen. At the time, CPM was the first company in Australia to purchase the LT120.
"The units have not missed a beat," CPM crushing and screening supervisor Chris Davies says. "We have been very happy with their performance."
Davies and his crushing team at CPM have had the opportunity to put the equipment through its paces to determine the optimum crushing application and final product mix of the magnetite ore. Davies says the Metso crushers handled the 68 per cent 350-600MPa magnetite feed material with ease.
But it’s not just magnetite ore the Lokotraks are processing. The Cape Preston site also has significant deposits of basalt and dolerite that are useful in construction.
As the Cape Preston site grew, crushed rock was needed for a range of construction projects. CPM says the Metso’s transportability meant the crushing equipment could be moved around the site as needed, reducing costs and eliminating the need for external suppliers.
Between mining and construction work, it was clear that CPM needed additional equipment to handle the workload. Davies again worked with Tutt Bryant Equipment to find a solution, and it was decided that three additional Metso units were needed – a ST620 high-capacity triple-deck screen, a CT3.2 tracked stacker conveyor and a LT7150 vertical shaft impactor.
These three units were specified to be interlocked with the existing Metso equipment through the company’s Intelligent Controller (IC).
This enables the interlocked units in the crushing and screening sequence to communicate their individual loads to each other, balancing the operation and providing the most efficient processing. In this specific application, CPM has six units interlocked to optimise their processes.
Davies visited Tutt Bryant’s Perth branch on numerous occasions prior to placing all orders, he says. Part of TB’s handover process included extensive operation and maintenance training for CPM staff.
"My team are very focused on preventative maintenance — it’s worth its weight in gold," Davies says. "I can count on one hand the number of service calls I’ve made to Tutts in three and a half years. I believe this is due, in part, to the very professional and experienced maintenance team".
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