Crushers Adapt to Higher Demands
Capacity and efficiency are important considerations for high tonnage crushing applications

By Steve Fiscor, Editor-in-Chief

To keep people out of harm’s way, FLSmidth recently developed a hook that could be used to remove or
replace the spider on a gyratory crusher. (Photo: FLSmidth)
Mines are processing more low-grade ores, which means today’s crushers need to reduce more ore to produce the same amount of metal. With these higher throughputs, unplanned downtime is unacceptable. The crushing circuit also sets the stage for what happens downstream, so producing a consistent product efficiently is important. Mining operations require reliable crushers that can handle impact without compromising on availability and efficiency. Capital expenses and operating expenses are also top of mind.

Many of today’s comminution success stories were initiated through strong relationships between the mining companies and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Understanding the needs of modern mining operations and their limitations, OEMs have developed tools and systems that improve safety, extend equipment life, and meet sustainability initiatives.

FLSmidth Offers an Extensive Line
The Mark V Top Service Gyratory Crusher, or the TSUV, represents FLSmidth’s top capacity machine for primary crushing applications. When combined with the company’s primary crushing station, it can provide an in-pit crushing and conveying (IPCC) solution for hard rock applications.

In addition, with the merger of FLSmidth and thyssenkrupp Mining, the consolidated FLSmidth portfolio combines the TSUV with the former thyssenkrupp KB crushers, which are two equivalent gyratory crushers and the only top service machines in the industry. “The top service design has become the preferred standard and the benchmark for the industry due to its superior maintainability,” said Bill Malone, vice president and global product group manager for crushing and screening for FLSmidth. “Both models complement each other, and they have an equally extensive installed base.”

Another machine that sets FLSmidth apart is its Jaw Gyratory Crusher Pro. The company designed this crushing technology for processing high volumes of larger feed sizes underground, for block cave mining applications as example, rather than using standard gyratory crushers. The new larger Jaw Crusher Pro models have improved nip angles and stroke. “These crushers can crush harder material and are capable of increased capacities,” Malone said. “The base of the machine can be installed in a matter of two to three hours, and it is designed with an optimized concept, reducing service time by up to 20%.”

Proper equipment selection is also an important consideration when it comes to achieving greater operational efficiency. “We have had requests where we might supply, for instance, one large crusher rather than two small ones, as this might be a more efficient option overall,” Malone said. “A lot of times the decision is based on efficiency and the life of the machine and making the most of that lifetime.”

FLSmidth offers more options to accommodate comminution needs for hard rock applications with the ABON Sizer and the Eccentric Roll Crusher (ERC). The ERC fits into the medium range of capacities, and it comes with a more compact design, allowing a smaller footprint inside the pit. Its sweet spot is around 5,000 metric tons per hour (mt/h), Malone said. “ERC technology operates in a much more compact plant envelope, which equates to less weight, a lower bench height, less earth moving, etc., a lower overall capital expense,” he said. “It provides a high reduction ratio and a fine product with less power per ton processed, making it a viable option for primary hard rock crushing applications.”

The ABON Low Speed Sizers have been a reliable source of crushing and sizing for the mining industry for more than 50 years. These systems are designed and serviced by FLSmidth’s team in Melbourne, Australia. They source the materials, build the machine, and provide the engineering, technical support, and spare parts. The ABON Sizers have proven to be very useful in many mining applications, including alumina, iron ore, copper, nickel, and limestone.

Accepting feed through the top of the crushing chamber, the material is drawn through the toothed rotating shafts, crushing it to the specified size. “These durable and reliable machines deliver high availability and are capable of handling capacities more than 12,000 mt/h, even clay and sticky materials,” Malone said. “The low roll speeds maximize wear life and generate minimum fines, dust, and dynamic loads.”

In 2018, a mining project that required a high processing capacity led to the development of the largest ABON Sizer ever built. “It was a huge challenge that needed a huge solution,” Malone said. “The ABON engineers and product team were ready for the challenge.”

Working with the mine’s production, maintenance, and commercial staff throughout 2019, the team created a machine that would achieve the goal, the largest twin-roll sizer they had ever produced. With a weight of more than 270 mt, the ABON 16/400CHDTD-RA Sizer was installed in mid-2021, and it successfully delivered 9,000 mt/h. “The mine was so impressed by its performance, it ordered five more in mid-2020,” Malone said. Since then, these hardworking machines have delivered full production, even when tested by lumps as large as 3- x 2- x 2-m. The mine confirmed the ABON Sizers had delivered robust and reliable operation through at least two cycles of operation of nine to 10 months each, which corresponds to a tooth life of 16 million tons per unit cycle.

FLSmidth provides some of the most innovative gyratory, jaw and cone crushers for the mining industry, and these products rely on well-engineered liners to function optimally. Crusher liners improve wear life and equipment dependability, while also reducing operational costs. “Every crusher produces a range of product sizes,” Malone said. “If you can improve that range for longer, then you’re not only increasing the crusher’s efficiency but also helping downstream processes to be more efficient, too. This is why choosing and optimizing liners is crucial. “Based on previous performance, we already know how long the liner will last and its limitations,” Malone said. “We can forewarn miners before issues arise.”

FLSmidth’s customer service strategy is a partnership model, where the company works closely with the mines. The company said it has also enhanced its workshop capacity, where the OEM can better address the operational issues for its customers with a stronger local presence. This gives the mines the ability to schedule work by an OEM to an OEM standard, which is a high-quality service. Working with a non-OEM service provider is a risk, where quality could be compromised, or the non-OEM service provider might not have the right gear to complete the job.

Developing close relationships with the mines has enabled FLSmidth to create a transparent environment for communication and idea-sharing, which has led to some of the company’s most inspired innovations. This includes a spider hook for the FLSmidth range of gyratory crushers. “Removing a spider from a crusher has traditionally been a manual process, where mechanics enter the top of the crushers and install slings around the spider to remove it,” Malone said. “We developed a novel design for a hook that could be used to remove or replace the spider remotely. It eliminates safety concerns and makes the job easier and quicker to do. We recently delivered a spider hook for one of the larger crushers in Australia and we are finding this relates to other customers as well, with one also sold into Europe.”

The ABON Sizers require a large amount of steel, which is energy intensive. “In line with FLSmidth’s overall sustainability ambitions, we are always working to find solutions to reduce the environmental impact of our operations,” Malone said. “A key focus area is the recovery and recycling of steel components to be upcycled. The team in Melbourne has been upcycling for more than 20 years, with a very successful program of steel reuse and recycling.”

The opportunity to reduce the environmental impact comes from both the manufacturing process and the maintenance for ABON product lines. FLSmidth’s ‘take back’ program includes taking back and recycling steel scraps and shavings from the manufacturing process, as well as recycling unusable, worn teeth and shafts from repairs.

The success of FLSmidth’s comminution program is based on good relationships with the miners and suppliers, a thorough knowledge of how to create value for a mining operation’s business, and, of course, a strong motivation to use circular economy practices to lower environmental impact.

Sandvik Launches Upgraded Cone Crusher Series
Sandvik said its cone crusher design philosophy is based on continual evolution of parts, materials, and technologies to improve reliability, availability, and productivity. That commitment led to the introduction of the latest in connected crushing, the upgraded 800i cone crusher range with new ACS-c 5.

“The upgraded 800i crushers with new ACS-c 5 are a natural next step in setting the bar for crushing,” said Javier Valdeavellano, lifecycle manager for the 800i cone crushers. “Their ideal combination of high crushing forces, reliability and simplicity make them easier to operate, manage, maintain and service, leading to productivity and uptime gains that are gamechangers for operational performance.”

The 800i has new mechanical and automation advantages that simplify service and troubleshooting. (Photo: Sandvik)
Sandvik said these new crushers are designed from the ground up to maximize tonnage of the desired end-product. Operators simply select the correct chamber configuration, set the crusher program for the automation system, and start crushing. The 800i has new mechanical and automation advantages that simplify service and troubleshooting, improve safety, and optimize performance while minimizing downtime.

With flowsheets that use 3-stage crushing and conventional grinding, the 800i assists SAG/AG circuits with pebble crushing and optimize particle size distribution for lump ores and heap leach applications. The 800i crushers are also suitable for HPGR circuits. They crush more and deliver finer particle sizes to the downstream processes.

The 800i crushers are ready to be connected to the SAM by Sandvik cloudbased digital assistant, the company’s data capture and analysis service supporting operational excellence in crushing and screening plants. “SAM collects information from all the connected Sandvik equipment to provide a complete overview of your entire operation,” said Ali Jumaa, digital solution specialist for Sandvik. “It allows operators to look at the status of connected equipment, communicate across teams, view alerts and notifications, pro-actively order spare parts and much more. The new SAM mobile app for iOS and Android allows them to have access to crusher data and insights in their pocket.”

Metso Delivers Crushing Technology
During February, Metso announced that De Grey Mining Ltd. placed a EUR20 million ($21.6 million) order for a Superior MKIII 50-65 primary gyratory crusher and two ball mills for its Hemi gold project, which is located in Western Australia. “Our aim with Hemi is to deliver a Tier 1 gold project and make it a future top 5 Australian gold mine from a production perspective,” said Glenn Jardine, managing director, De Grey Mining. “The 10 million mt/y process circuit will be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and proven technologies contributing to responsible ore processing. We’ve just partnered with Metso in delivering the first key items for the process circuit, namely the primary gyratory and ball mills, and we’re looking to make the rest of the process equipment decisions soon.”

Renowned for its safe and efficient operation, the Superior MKIII primary gyratory crusher will be the driving force for Hemi Gold’s entire processing circuit, explained Kai Rönnberg, vice president, minerals, Asia Pacific at Metso. “We look forward to working on this project and future ones with De Grey Mining,” Rönnberg said.

The Superior MKIII primary gyratory crusher.
(Photo: Metso)
Metso also has an extensive footprint in Australia. During March, the company opened its Karratha Service Centre, located in the Pilbara in Western Australia, and it’s the company’s largest service center. “The Karratha Service Centre will be able to support our customers, as well as the Hemi plant, with the latest technologies and sustainable aftermarket solutions,” Rönnberg said.

The Superior MKIII primary gyratory crusher provides high throughput and less downtime, enabling maximum efficiency. The product line has been developed to meet the needs of miners with changing ore grades and conditions. Metso also provides a comprehensive scope of spare and wear parts and services to optimize the crushing circuit operation throughout the lifecycle. Since the line’s launch in 2018, Metso has sold more than 50 Superior MKIII primary gyratory crushers.

Metso also offers modular Foresight crushing stations, which the company said are unique, cost-efficient, and productive, and designed to provide significant time and resource savings. The station comes equipped with proven Metso equipment and technology, such as Metso Metrics, to deliver maximum productivity for even the most demanding mining applications, the company said.

The Foresight semi-mobile primary gyratory (SMPG) stations use the Superior MKIII primary gyratory crusher. With a modular approach, the station combines robust feeding (truck dumps or conveyors) to provide optimum capacity with high availability and productivity.

As an example, the Foresight SMPG station is a crushing plant made of steel. The guiding principle behind the design, according to Metso, is to reduce concrete work to the largest degree and build a modular plant with a focus on ease of installation and associated site-activities, maximizing off-site work, as well as ease of relocation. The Foresight SMPG station has capacities as high as 15,000 mt/h and is best suited for primary crushing or IPCC applications.

MMD Sizers Process All Feeds Including Hard Rock
MMD has been manufacturing sizers for more than four decades, processing over 80 different materials in more than 70 countries worldwide. Sizers offer a compact and efficient way of comminution in primary, secondary and tertiary stage crushing, in both underground and open pit operations.

Sizers originated in the coal industry, and some believe that Sizers are only suitable for soft material processing. This is simply not the case for MMD Sizers. MMD said it only produces one type of crusher and they are specialists in sizer technology. The company’s efforts have been focused on evolving sizers to be successful in a wide range of operations, especially hard rock applications.

MMD’s semi-mobile sizer stations require simple pontoon bases rather than costly, heavy-duty foundations.
(Photo: MMD)
The additional benefits a sizer brings, such as producing a controlled and wellshaped product with minimal fines while also being compact, energy efficient, and maintenance-friendly, make it an appealing option when it comes to selecting a machine for most material processing operations, and especially hard rock. MMD said its dedicated in-house technical development team has provided consistent research and development since the sizer’s inception and original patent in 1979. With the experience gained over the years, the company said it has refined and expanded the sizer’s capability to operate successfully in a variety of industries, processing some materials rated at up to 400 megaPascals.

From the Sizer teeth design to the drive train, the progress of these specialist heavy-duty sizers has taken many years of careful development and features a range of adaptations to allow them to handle harder rock.

MMD said it selects tooth designs and materials by prioritizing both durability and functionality. With a focus on ensuring the tooth grip’s strength matches the power required for material processing, we conduct rigorous testing to guarantee optimal performance. The company said its engineers assess various factors such as material composition, surface texture, and mechanical properties to ascertain the machine’s ability to hold and effectively break down the material securely. By adhering to quality standards, MMD said it ensure that its machines not only meet, but exceed expectations in handling diverse materials across various industries. Another key feature throughout MMD’s range of sizers is the use of inhouse designed gearboxes. Using only the highest quality manufacturing processes, materials and components guarantees they can deal with the unique stresses inherent with sizing hard rock.

MMD has also provided complete hard rock sizer solutions in the form of semi-mobile and fully-mobile sizer stations. Due to the lightweight nature and balanced breaking action of the sizer, MMD said the semi-mobile sizer stations for hard rock applications generally only require simple pontoon bases rather than costly heavy-duty foundations and civil work. However, ancillary structures still require some adaptation to match up with the impact forces generated in hard rock applications. For example, improved wear resistant hoppers with extra supports to resist the high impacts and extra abrasion resulting from the truck dump. Adaptations such as these ensure that MMD machines are designed to endure the harsh mining environment and are built to last.

MMD said its sizers and sizer stations undergo rigorous FEA, DEM and Explicit Dynamics analysis at the design stage. This examination provides data on impact forces, load conditions, fatigue cycles, as well as material flow characteristics, which assist in optimizing the design. This is particularly useful for wet and sticky applications where material hangups and blockages could be problematic in features such as hoppers and chute work. MMD said maintenance its sizers is streamlined with swift and effortless shaft replacements, ensuring minimal downtime and smooth operational continuity.

As featured in Womp 2024 Vol 05 -