Metso Insights Case studies Mining and metals refining Metso provides pumps and service for life of mine
Nov 16, 2023

Metso provides pumps and service for life of mine

Metso’s pumps and site and repair services supported an Australian client through the full life of the plant.

In 1964 the New South Wales Government, Australia, announced its intention to build the Liddell Power Station with a 2052 MW nameplate capacity. Initially the power station was serviced by four mines operating in the area: Pikes Gulley, Durnham, Foybrook and Liddell.

An upgraded Liddell coal operation was built in 2007 to increase throughput of coal from 600t/h to 1000t/h, at which time Metso supplied a full pump package of 18 pumps for the new coal processing plant. The package of pumps included all pumps from raw coal feed through to tailings pumps, including Metso’s X Series heavy duty pumps for raw coal and DMC feed, MM and HM Series horizontal slurry pumps for processing and tailings duties, as well as a number of VS Series vertical slurry pumps.

Liddell Coal Operations has approval to mine up to 8 million tonnes of ROM coal per annum, the Metso pumps have provided 16 years of operation.


  • Plant availability
  • Pump reliability and safety
  • Lowest total cost of operation


  • Pump technology
  • Innovative slide base technology
  • Metso Field Service Technicians
  • Full lifecycle support


  • Minimal unscheduled downtime
  • Parts availability
  • Pump efficiency and performance
  • Safe working environment

Pump inspections and service

Liddell has always been supported by Metso’s Service and Repair Centre in Tomago, New South Wales, Australia. The 2000 m2 facility offers build, repair and refurbishment for pumps, screens, crushers and other minerals processing equipment.

At the Liddell mine, slurry pumps are inspected regularly, during which the internal components of the pumps are checked for wear and the pump clearances are recorded and reset. These inspections are carried out every nine weeks by Metso Field Service Technicians.

Innovative slide base technology

Inspections and maintenance on pumps that can weigh as much as 7000 kg can be time consuming and pose hazards. Metso pumps are designed with a back pull-out design so that the pump rotating assembly can be removed from the casing without the need to remove the suction or discharge pipework. Metso has engineered a unique baseplate solution, known as the slide base, that allows the pump and motor to slide backwards, negating the need for overhead cranes.

Mines across the world have managed to reduce their Metso pump maintenance time from typically 24 hrs to just 4 hours by installing the Metso slide base.

With the back pull-out design and slide base technologies, the pumps at Liddell can be inspected and re-assembled with new clearances set in a shortened timeframe. This substantially reduces plant downtime and maintenance costs for the mine, and by performing regular pump clearance adjustments, pump efficiency and performance is maintained.

“The slide base has significantly improved and simplified the maintenance onsite,” said Tony Bunt, Repairs and Refurbishments Superintendent based at Metso’s Tomago Service Facility.

Innovative slide base technology.
Innovative slide base technology.

Inventory management

Labour, shutdowns, pump performance, plant availability and total operating cost are critical aspects for any mine, so a critical part of operational success is having a ready supply of parts available on site.

To this end, the Metso team worked with site maintenance and planning to forecast pump maintenance and spare parts requirements, ensuring there is a ready supply of spares on hand.

Partners for life

Tony Bunt was on site during the original installation and commissioning of the pumps.

“From the start back in 2007 right up to today, Metso has been onsite regularly with field service and technical support,” he said.

The Liddell coal mine is an example of Metso’s commitment to support its pump products through the full lifecycle of their use, from installation to plant closure. No single support solution looks the same, but it is based on a close collaboration with site to ensure the services work for the customer is suited to the unique conditions of the operation. The partnership with Liddell has been based on continuous improvement and optimisation of pump performance and reliability and has served the mine well for 16 years.

The Liddell coal mine is now coming to the end of its life and Metso has been there to support every step of the way.