Equipment & Technology

World’s largest cone crushers for Zambian copper mine

A trial assembly of FQML’s first MP2500 took place in Vereeniging, South Africa prior to delivering the crusher to the Sentinel project.

First Quantum Minerals (FQML) has spent over $15m on two giant cone crushers from Metso for its Sentinel copper mine in Zambia. They will be fully operational in August 2015.

Metso says that being larger, the crushers in questions, its model MP2500, are more energy efficient. Designed for secondary and tertiary applications, they have allowed FQML to use less crushing units than if smaller machines were used. For example, prior to the MP2500, Metso’s largest crusher was the MP1250, half the size of the new model.

The new machines are anticipated to deliver operational cost savings too, says Metso. The company said that the new machines have “the largest feed opening of any cone crusher made to date. This allows the machine to crush larger feed sizes helping to reduce overall energy consumption in the mineral extraction process downstream of the crushers.”

Similarly, maintenance should be cheaper, not being spread across more smaller machines.

Metso said that “Given the size of the new machine, a new method to remove the socket was investigated which currently has a patent pending. The procedure eliminates the need to heat the socket in a difficult working space. The method also removes process variables and reduces the overall stress on the socket and main shaft. A refined jackbolt locknut was also designed that incorporates hydraulics in an effort to reduce manual labour during maintenance.”

Prior to sending the first of the two machines to site, a trial assembly was conducted and the crusher was quality tested at a Metso facility in Vereeniging, South Africa.

In terms of after sales support, spare parts will be held on site and at the manufacturer’s South African distribution centre. In addition, Metso will base two field services engineers on site for a year after commissioning.


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