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LKAB place £1m order for new MineVac

Iron ore mining and industrial minerals company place order for MineVac system

Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara AB (LKAB), one of Europe’s largest iron ore mining and industrial minerals companies, have placed a £1million order for a new MineVac system with the DISAB Group, European market leaders in industrial applied vacuum technology.

LKAB, based in Kiruna, Sweden, have taken the strategic investment decision to continue mining operations 1,365m below ground and, as a key part of this decision, to build a railway system to transport iron ore from the mining area to crushers for processing. As a direct result of LKAB’s investment, the DISAB Group have been awarded an order for one of their MineVacs.

The MineVac has been tailor-made to LKAB’s specifications. The challenge of this unusual application of industrial vacuum technology is to help LKAB’s operatives keep the mine’s railway tracks free from ore spillages from the mine wagons. While this work will be done through regular track maintenance with the MineVac, the unit will also be on standby for emergencies where larger spillages need to be dealt with as part of the mining company’s own rapid response resources.

The MineVac is built using proven and reliable components used in both the DISAB RailVac product range and the truck-mounted vacloaders such as DISAB Centurions. Amongst the other user benefits of DISAB’s vacuum technology is a very high rate of vacuum efficiency; on the Centurions, this can be as high as 90%.

The 200kW power is generated by the MineVac’s own 9-litre Caterpillar diesel engine to provide more than 8,000m³/h of air with up to 90% vacuum through a three-lobe vacuum pump. Together with the proven DISAB hose manipulator, the MineVac will handle any pieces of ore that can be sucked up using the 8in diameter hose.

DISAB’s experience with rail track maintenance and the RailVac product range means that there are more than 30 active DISAB industrial vacuum machines working on rails around the world. In the UK, RailVac-based machines are in operation with Tubelines Ltd (the DISAB TubeVac 14000/330) and through the Swedish rail maintenance company Railcare AB, with Network Rail.

Thomas Nordström, LKAB project leader, explained why DISAB Group were awarded the MineVac order: ‘LKAB have chosen DISAB in competition with other vacuum technology application manufacturers, and price, experience and other customers’ opinions were all taken into consideration as our criteria for awarding this major contract.’

Eric Hardegard, CEO of the DISAB Group, said: ‘Being awarded the MineVac order by LKAB, one of Europe’s largest mining companies, reinforces the importance of our being able to design and develop industrial applications based on the latest advanced vacuum technologies.

‘Knowing how to design and manufacture machines that deliver highly efficient and reliable suction power while operating in such rugged conditions, is all part of the DISAB Group’s unique resource of applied experience and expertise. This strength enhances all our industrial vacuum applications, and creates machines for our customers that are uniquely capable.’

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