The global mining industry is striving to develop more energy and cost efficient technologies for minerals processing. As ore grades decline, more and more ore needs to be processed to obtain the same amount of the valuable mineral and to meet production targets. This equation often results in increased processing costs and can prove problematic for miners. Metso is responding to the customer challenge by developing larger and more energy efficient equipment for minerals processing (Fig. 1). One result of this work, one of the world‘s largest cone crushers, the MP2500, had been shipped to First Quantum Minerals Ltd (FQML) Sentinel Mine in Zambia. to be fully operational in early 2015 (Fig. 2).
The MP2500 was selected for Sentinel because it can process large volumes of rock as single machine. It saves costs as fewer crushers, related infrastructure and maintenance are needed for achieving the same or increased amount of production. Because the MP2500 crusher has the largest feed opening ever made, it can crush bigger chunks of rock. Its ability to crush rock further than the traditional crushers decreases energy consumption in the later parts of the process (Fig. 3). The MP2500 cone crusher is designed for use in secondary and tertiary crushing. It links easily with other Metso products to create a simplified, cost effective process flow for production sites. Larger equipment reduces the number of crushers to install since there is more throughput from each crusher. To duplicate the performance of two MP2500‘s would require four smaller MP1250’s and all associated infrastructure.
Metso is assisting Sentinel mine to guarantee the efficient operation of the new MP2500 by stationing full-time field service engineers on-site for one year after commissioning and by stocking critical spare parts in Metso‘s distribution center in South Africa as well on-site.