Metso Insights Case studies Mining and metals refining Mining company achieves 95% availability in its crushing plant
Aug 23, 2023

Availability levels of 95% achieved with Metso’s LCS crushing and screening solution

The performance-based agreement covering Metso Life Cycle Services assets as well as their operation and maintenance ensured a fast production ramp up and high equipment availability with reduced power consumption, without the need for capital investment.

A Brazilian iron ore producer was looking to rapidly scale up production at its primary crushing plant without having to make costly capital expenditures (Capex). The Metso Life Cycle Services (LCS) team was ready to meet the customer’s requirements and mobilize the overall operation which included productive equipment assets coupled with an operation and maintenance team as well as auxiliary resources. The team was able to meet the customer’s high production targets, taking only 30 days to fully mobilize the setup.  A major challenge for Metso was arranging the mobilization in a very short time period while achieving high equipment availability and production levels from the very first day.

Quality equipment with a Cost per Ton plan

Under the LCS agreement, the production of 180 thousand tons per month of primary crushed material and classification of an additional 180 thousand tons/month was guaranteed with three particle sizes: rockfill blocks, hand-sized stones and lump-sized stones. This was in addition to the possibility of producing iron ore fines that could feed the mining company's own plant. Rather than pay upfront for the crushing equipment, a cost per ton concept was agreed to, with the miner paying a fixed amount for each ton of production. The determined cost per ton includes asset depreciation, equipment operation and maintenance as well as spare and wear parts. The initial Metso team involved 16 dedicated personnel, but with the addition of the screening unit this has grown to 22 team members which includes operators, service technicians and planners.

“We have been serving the customer since June 2022 with Lokotrack equipment, which is mobile and moves on tracks”, says Tiago Batalha, LCS Contract Manager at Metso. “The versatile machines can be activated quickly in the field and, under the crushing and screening as a service agreement, the expenditures fall on the miner’s operations budget”.


Crusher uptime exceeding 95%

The LCS agreement called for maintaining 85% uptime, which so far has been significantly exceeded. The crushing and screening equipment is currently working with over 95% uptime, operating around the clock 24/7. The high level of machine availability is maintained by investing roughly 10 hours per week in predictive and preventive maintenance,

“We have 14 years of know-how with this type of equipment, manufactured by Metso itself. This gives us an advantage, as all operations and maintenance are carried out by specialized technicians”, says Batalha. “The spare parts used are all original parts, which strengthens the performance in the field”.

When planning the day, we always adapt to the client's needs.
Jessica Gomes, Maintenance Planner at Metso

Additional benefits – improved sustainability

The equipment and service agreement also fits in with the customer’s sustainability efforts.  The selected Lokotrack operates with reduced energy consumption and supports the circular economy concept. In terms of energy consumption, crushing 600 tons per hour with an ore reduction ratio of 10:1 consumes only 18 liters of diesel per hour. The crusher wear parts in turn are sent for recycling in Metso’s own smelter plant. This keeps a significant number of worn liners and other materials from making their way into landfills.

Safety at the forefront – putting people first

Jessica Gomes, Maintenance Planner at Metso, is responsible for planning the maintenance and data control of the crusher and screening unit, covered under the agreement. Within the role, she has direct and daily contact with operators, millwrights and electricians, in addition to a direct interface with the customer. With experience in other LCS contracts with large mining companies, Jessica focuses on maintaining a margin of flexibility.

“When planning the day, we always adapt to the client's needs”, she explains. The list of activities handled includes the control of related tasks, such as management of parts and inputs used in crushing and screening units. The results are based on the accomplishment of all routines safely, which are the focus of Metso's operation. Safety programs are implemented at the facility by Metso Safety Officer Franciely Santos, who also brings her experience from other performance-based agreements with customers supported by Metso.

In addition to training and daily meetings on safety, Franciely observes the mood of the professionals working on the project, an initiative that complements the safety protocols. “People come first. We know that on some days we are not always 100%, that we may need special attention and time to address our issues. If we allow a co-worker who is not in optimal physical and psychological condition to perform their role, this can certainly bring risks, which is why the mood thermometer is essential and brings more collective respect", says Franciely.

The degree of safety commitment that performance-based agreements offer customers is highlighted in the comments received during catch-up meetings. Safety is paramount for both Metso and the customer, and so far the partnership has lived up to expectations, with the customer and Metso recently celebrating 300 operation days without any safety incident occurring.

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