The first MP2500 cone crusher will be operational at First Quantum Minerals’ Sentinel mine in Zambia in early 2015. The global mining industry is striving to develop more energy and cost efficient technologies for minerals processing. As ore grades decline, more and more ore needs to be processed to obtain the same amount of the valuable mineral and to meet production targets. This equation often results in increased processing costs and can prove problematic for miners.
Metso has responded to this situation, which is common among many mines worldwide, by developing larger and more energy efficient equipment for minerals processing. One result of this work is the world's largest cone crusher, the MP2500.
The Sentinel crusher order was valued at more than EUR 10 million by Metso. The MP2500 was selected for Sentinel because it can process large volumes of rock as a single machine. It saves costs, as fewer crushers, related infrastructure and maintenance are needed for achieving the same or increased amount of production.
Because the MP2500 crusher has the largest feed opening ever made, it can crush bigger chunks of rock. Its ability to crush rock further than the traditional crushers decreases energy consumption in the later parts of the process.
The MP2500 cone crusher is designed for use in secondary and tertiary crushing. It links easily with other Metso products to create a simplified, cost-effective process flow for high production sites. To duplicate the performance of two MP2500s, four smaller MP1250s would be required along with all associated infrastructure.
Serviceability and ease of maintenance was also a focus during the design. Since the part was so large, Metso developed a new method to remove the socket, which eliminates heating of the part in a difficult working space. This method also eliminates process variables associated with socket removal and reduces the overall stress on both the socket and main shaft. Metso has a patent pending for this new concept. Metso also refined the existing jackbolt locknut design to reduce the amount of manual work and replaced it with hydraulics to simplify the same work.
Metso is assisting Sentinel mine to guarantee the efficient operation of the new MP2500 by stationing full-time field service engineers on-site for one year after commissioning and by stocking critical spare parts in Metso's distribution center in South Africa as well as on-site.