More production and less downtime with optimized primary crusher liners at Buenavista del Cobre
Increased liner wear life keeps the Mexican copper mining giant’s crushers up and running.
Replacing the liners of a primary gyratory crusher is a time-consuming undertaking for any mine. The less frequently this task has to be performed, the better. Eliminating just one concave segment change-out every year not only adds several days of precious production time, it also reduces maintenance costs and risk exposure. It’s a win-win scenario for everyone involved.
The best way to eliminate liner change-outs and extend maintenance intervals is by using wear parts that are optimized for the application and are longer lasting. This is exactly what Buenavista del Cobre set out to do when it chose to rely on Metso to provide optimized wear parts for its primary crushers.
Increasing concave wear life from 40 to 100 million tons
Located in Cananea in the northernmost part of Sonora, Mexico, Buenavista del Cobre is one of the world’s largest copper mines. Of the mine’s six Metso Superior™ MKIII 60-89 primary gyratory crushers, Metso supplies liners to the four of them located in the concentrator II and Quebalixes plants. When the plant was put in operation in 2015, the crushers were running with standard manganese liners, which lasted for approximately 40 million tons. Since then, Metso has been optimizing the design and the material of the liners.
The results speak for themselves.
“Metso has given us a big hand in increasing the wear life of our equipment. Currently, the concave segments last for about 100 million tons, which is equivalent to 13 thousand operating hours. Being able to change the concaves every two years makes a big difference,” says Engineer Jorge Alberto Vázquez Villela, Crushing Maintenance Chief at Buenavista del Cobre.
The advantage of the longer wear life is the increased uptime and production.
“The longer wear life means that we don’t have to stop the equipment just to change a liner. It helps us keep the equipment available so that there’s more production and less downtime,” Vázquez Villela explains.
Continuous improvements in chamber design and liner material
The concave material has been upgraded from manganese to Metso’s WX60 alloy steel, which provides more wear life. To accommodate for the longer concave wear life, a three-phase mantle cycle has been introduced, comprising a standard, an oversize, and a double-oversize mantle. Metso has also improved the chamber design to enhance maintenance. Currently, the concaves consist of only 3 tiers of segments instead of the original 6-tier design. This makes them faster and safer to replace, as there are fewer parts to lift.
Maintenance Chief Vázquez Villela is very happy with the collaboration with Metso.
“They’ve taken it upon themselves to research and improve performance. They’ve come and surveyed our needs in order to improve our process. We are happy with the excellent support that Metso offers,” he concludes.