US success for Metso Minerals
A SELECTION of crushers, screens and feeders, supplied by Metso Minerals, is helping to complete the first copper mine project in the US in almost 30 years ahead of schedule. Located north-east of Tucson in Arizona, Safford Mine, which was expected to be in full production in the second half of 2008, will produce around 240 million pounds of copper each year, while its production plant will process 114,000 tonnes of crushed stone a day from which the copper will be extracted.
In order to meet the mine’s high operational demands, a number of stationary and vibratory grizzlies, and apron feeders help direct oversize material to a primary crusher, the Nordberg C160 jaw crusher, which can process 680-960 tonnes/h.
Crushed material is then conveyed to six MP1000 cone crushers, as Dave Ogonowski, senior project manger for Phelps Dodge Mining Co., the developers of Safford Mine, explained: ‘After various options were explored from an engineering basis, it was decided that the project would include MP1000 crushers. They were selected due to a number of advantages, including robust design, higher installed power and reduction capabilities, and being able to operate in a open circuit.’
Metso Minerals have also supplied four single-deck and two double-deck Multi-Flo vibrating screens (all 12in x 27in) for the efficient handling of large volumes of material at high capacities to Phelps Dodge Mining Co.
‘These screens were chosen mainly for their size,’ said Ron Kuehl, Metso Minerals’ product manager for mining screens. ‘Phelps Dodge needed heavy substantial machines to handle the expected capacity of 3,600 tonnes per hour. With isolation frames and dust enclosures, each of the double-deck screens weighs around 115,000 pounds.’
The American mining company has placed further orders for a spare feeder, single-deck screen and double-deck screen, as well as the necessary supply of spare parts from Metso Minerals to maintain efficiency and equipment utilization at the plant.
Key to the success of the equipment installation at Safford Mine has been Metso Mineral’s ability to provide the early delivery of ordered machines. ‘Metso have been very flexible in terms of locking in production slots with us, and providing technical information throughout the acquisition and installation processes,’ said Mr Ogonowski. ‘The new mine will be producing copper earlier than originally scheduled, and Metso have played a major part in allowing that to happen.’