In any large mining operation, the crusher circuit is vital to the throughput of the mine, so crusher efficiency, reliability and uptime is of vital importance to business profitability.
A Western Australian iron ore mine had been experiencing less-than-desirable availability of some of its tertiary crushers, with their reliability degrading over time. The site operated numerous Metso Outotec MP 1000 cone crushers, which had been in operation for more than 15 years.
Since 2017, the reliability of the crushers had been in decline, and at times had experienced catastrophic crusher failures. The issues were compounded by a lack of on-site technical crusher expertise and not having critical parts available when needed, thereby affecting reliability. With an accumulating maintenance debt, predictive maintenance was not feasible.
For the previous two years, third-party service providers had been providing technical support, wear and spare parts, but with the significant decline in performance, the mine decided to engage the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), Metso Outotec. The mine saw that without the expertise and experience of the OEM, it was challenging to understand the complex intricacies of the crusher technology, and third-party providers could only really help with individual problems as they arose.