Engineering & Mining Journal

JUN 2019

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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IN-PIT CRUSHING 68 E&MJ • JUNE 2019 Interest in in-pit crushing and conveying (IPCC) technologies continues to grow and, with some flagship projects nearing com- pletion, now seems a good time to review activity in the sector. "The last year was good for new orders," Thomas Jabs, senior vice president for mining at FLSmidth, told E&MJ. "The mining market is recovering, predominantly fueled by battery metals, but there have been investments in IPCC from gold and also coal in 2018, as well as during the current year. We are expecting this trend to continue." It has been a busy year in the IPCC space for FLSmidth, and not just through the booking of new orders. The company completed its acquisition of Sandvik Mining Systems in March 2018, creating the most comprehensive offering in the industry for mines looking to implement IPCC-based mining systems. In a recent article for FLSmidth's Discover Mining maga- zine, Jabs explained that by bringing together the mining and mineral processing aspects of the value-chain in one portfo- lio, the company hopes to be able to streamline the entire mining process and create savings for its customers. "We can add to the productivity gains that our customers are looking for and close productivity gaps that we currently see on the market," he said. In addition to the improved synergy and coherence creat- ed between products, FLSmidth believes that through having one supplier deliver and engineer the entire mining process, clients will see significant time and costs savings as well as increased productivity. The general uptick in IPCC feasibility studies and, more importantly, equipment orders, has been noted at other sup- pliers, too. Stefan Ebert, global product lifecycle manager for min- ing systems at thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions, said, "We see that an increasing number of mining companies are con- sidering IPCC as a mandatory case within their prefeasibility and feasibility studies when evaluating new prospects. It is obvious that there is more and more awareness in the market of the huge potential IPCC offers with regard to operational costs, work safety and CO 2 emissions." German firm RWE is in the unique position of being both a consultant and a mine operator. Arie-Johann Heiertz, sales manager for mining at RWE Technology International, saw many miners investigating IPCC as a tool to combat rising operational costs and higher stripping ratios. "Many clients are asking us to help them to lower their operational costs in large greenfield and brownfield mining operations worldwide, and asking to proof the implementation of IPCC components," he explained. "Over the past 10 years, we have seen strong and grow- ing demand for continuous mining in all commodities," he added. "This is mostly driven by the last resource super cy- cle when commodity prices skyrocketed but operational costs also rose sharply." Driving Forces Eco-efficient mines, in-pit ore sorting, and water scarcity are all trends that support the use of IPCC-based mining systems. However, despite the raft of benefits on offer, many mines con- tinue to rely heavily on the flexibility of trucks, and it seems that vendors are still having trouble convincing them otherwise. Guillaume Lambert, vice president for mining crushers at Metso, said, "This solution is part of almost all future op- IPCC Steadily Gains Traction It has been a slow burn for the uptake of IPCC systems, but now, as interest in truckless mining operations builds, the technology is coming into its own By Carly Leonida, European Editor Load testing at the Mae Moh IPCC operation in Thailand. (Photo: FLSmidth) Metso's Lokotrak-Lokolink conveyor setup for IPCC systems. (Photo: Metso)

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