Metso Insights Case studies Mining and metals refining La Caridad Mine increases availability of primary crushers by switching to Metso Outotec’s MX Mantle technology
Mar 10, 2023

La Caridad mine increases availability of primary crushers by switching to Metso Outotec’s MX Mantle technology

La Caridad is a Mexican copper mine with an impressive history dating back to the 1970’s. Located in the northern state of Sonora, the mine produces 35,000 tons of copper per year and has an expected remaining life of at least 70 years.

Like all mines around the world, La Caridad is constantly striving to increase productivity and cost efficiency. So far, their efforts have proven successful.

“We are proud to have one of the best operating cost indicators in the world”, says Mr. Jorge Razo, Maintenance Manager at La Caridad.

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Improvements in the fine crushing stage prove the power of Chamber Optimization

The crushing circuit at the mine consists of two Superior™ 60-89 primary gyratory crushers, six Nordberg® MP800™ cone crushers in the secondary stage, and twelve Hydrocone 84” crushers in the tertiary stage. Metso Outotec has helped improve the performance of the circuit, stage by stage.

In 2011, as part of efforts to improve the cost efficiency and productivity of its crushing process, La Caridad enrolled in Metso Outotec’s Chamber Optimization program. At the time, the mine’s secondary crushers were not performing to expectations. In addition, frequent fractures in the crusher liners – supplied by another manufacturer – were causing excessive unplanned downtime. Metso Outotec was able to solve the problem by providing a liner design better suited to the feeding conditions and manufactured with a more wear-resistant material. The result was an impressive 50% increase in liner wear life.

As a next step, a similar liner development project was carried out successfully to improve the performance of the tertiary crushers, with the goal of securing a finer feed for the grinding stage. Ever since 2016, the Hydrocone crushers have been running smoothly and efficiently, yielding the desired -½” product for the mills.

MX Mantle helps eliminate several change-outs per year

To further maximize the efficiency of the crushing process, Mr. Razo wanted to extend the maintenance intervals and increase the availability of the primary gyratory crushers. Previously, the mine used 5 to 6 mantles per concave set, with each mantle change-out taking approximately 60 hours during which the crusher is not in operation. Translated into crushed tons, 60 hours falls between 75,000 and 100,000 tons. By switching to Metso Outotec’s innovative hybrid composite MX Mantles with double longer wear life, the mine was able to cut the number of change-outs required, thus adding valuable production hours.

Mr. Razo is happy with the preliminary results.

“The test we ran with primary crusher #2 resulted in us using 2 sets of mantles. Using other suppliers, in the same 13-month period, we would need up to 5 sets of mantles. So, 2 vs. 5”, he recounts.

In addition to the improved mantle, Metso Outotec supplied concave segments in WX60 alloy steel, which provided a 30% wear life improvement compared to the previous solution, further adding to uptime and production benefits.

Learn more about Chamber Optimization

The improvements at La Caridad’s crushing process are a result of Metso Outotec’s Chamber Optimization Program. This unique service is a long-term development program with proven results. The outcome is improved plant performance through crusher wear part development. Our global team of experts utilizes a unique simulation software and laboratory crushing capabilities to continuously design new, improved wear parts that truly match your ore, performance targets and current process circumstances.

MX mantle for primary gyratory crusher
Metso Outotec’s innovative hybrid composite material can double the wear life of a mantle.

Metso Outotec has developed a hybrid liner that typically provides up to double wear life compared to a conventional manganese liner. In the MX wear parts, the manganese steel acts as a matrix with special wear-resistant inserts embedded in regions where the wearing is most intensive based on the customer's application. These unique characteristics allow the crusher wear part to maintain the optimal wear profile longer and make it highly wear-resistant.

The MX wear parts are also eco-friendly and reduce the consumption of non-recyclable materials such as backing compounds and sand molding.


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