Demand for Shiploading Equipment Rides a Rising Tide

Port mobile-plant specialist B&W Mechanical Handling Ltd. recently reported a double mineral industry success for a unique shiploading solution. The company, part of the Aumund Group, said initial successful commissioning of an installation in Peru by a major mining industry client provided a clear demonstration of how its mobile loading equipment can benefit operators wishing to retain full flexibility within their operation. As a result, said the company, a second South American order has been placed for a shiploading system operated from a fixed conveyor delivery point.

The original client, Gold Fields Ltd. through its subsidiary Gold Fields La Cima SA, first commissioned a new “narrow quay” installation to load copper and gold ores at the Port of Salaverry in Peru using B&W equipment. Mounted on a single chassis, the shiploader is equipped with B&W’s “New Generation” travel system allowing both powered in-line and parallel movement. The design makes the unit well-suited for use on narrow quays and finger jetties as small as 15 m wide.

At Salaverry, copper and gold ore at up to 2,900 kg/m3 is transported to the 25-m-wide x 225-m-long quay area by 30-mt-capacity trucks. The heavy-duty, 900-mt/h shiploader has an integrated 180° degree slewing Samson feeder, enabling it to discharge from either side of the quay. The 36-m-long, hydraulically adjustable shiploader boom is equipped with a 360° rotational trimming chute and loads into 25,000-dwt vessels with a maximum freeboard height of 10.5 m above the quay and a beam width of up to 22.9 m. The installation includes a full dust containment and extraction system.

According to the company, the machines are built to operate with a design life of 25 years at a normal 24/7 duty cycle. Changes to port layouts or the differing nature of commodities over time are easily accommodated. In contrast to fixed installations, relocation of the unit to another site takes hours, not weeks.

The second order reported by B&W is for the Chilean copper mining company Compañía Minera Carmen de Andacollo, operating out of the Port of Coquimbo. Designed to load copper concentrate at rates of up to 1,000 mt/h, this system comprises a 36-m boom, rubber-tired mobile ship loader; a mobile telescopic link conveyor with radial travel having a closed length of 26 m but extendable to 41 m, and a fixed length link conveyor that is 20 m long.

Meanwhile, New Zealand-based Cavotec MSL, announced it will supply a range of advanced cable reel, control and steel chain technologies to the ThyssenKrupp group for installation on iron ore ship-loaders at Port Hedland in Western Australia.

“This is a wide-ranging and complex order; pulling together our expertise in cable reels, cabin and console technologies, radio remote control units and steel chain engineering,” said Cavotec Australia national sales manager, Mike Stoney.

The equipment is set for delivery to China in 2010 for subsequent installation on four new iron ore ship-loaders at Port Hedland. The deal includes cable and hose reelers, Brieda operator cabins and consoles, Cavotec Micro-control radio remote control systems and Brevetti steel slew chains. The radio remote control units are FieldBus enabled, allowing for direct interface with the machine control system. Cavotec noted that the equipment used at Port Hedland must be designed to withstand the highly abrasive and viscous nature of iron ore dust.

The ThyssenKrupp deal follows another major order for Cavotec from Port Hedland. In April Cavotec announced the largest ever order for its MoorMaster automated mooring technology for Port Hedland Port Authority. Cavotec claims MoorMaster moors vessels in seconds, eliminating the need for conventional mooring lines and tugboats, and significantly reducing the risk of serious injury to shore-side personnel and ships’ crews.

B.C. Copper Project Buys $70M Mine Fleet

Copper Mountain Mining Corp. repored that it has placed an order for the mobile mining equipment fleet to be used at the Copper Mountain project in southern British Columbia, Canada. Deliveries of the equipment, according to the company, are scheduled to match the mining plan. The order includes than $70 million worth of Komatsu mobile mining equipment to be delivered in stages over the next 18 months. Preproduction mining is scheduled to start in June 2010.

The equipment package includes two Komatsu PC8000 electric hydraulic front shovels with 42-m3 buckets, thirteen 240-ton 830E-AC electric drive trucks, a WA1200 front end loader, two D375A track dozers, and a WD600 wheel dozer.

According to the company, mill-foundation work at the project is progressing well and concrete will continue to be poured through December 2009 to complete the building foundations in preparation for the erection of the building steel in the spring of 2010.

Copper Mountain owns 75% and Mitsubishi Materials Corp. owns 25% of the Copper Mountain project. The 18,000-acre mine site is located 15 km south of the town of Princeton in southern British Columbia. Copper Mountain is a past producer of 1.7 billion lb of copper that closed in 1996, leaving significant developed infrastructure on site that can be utilized. Copper Mountain has a reported current resource of approximately 5 billion lb of copper. Copper Mountain Mining said its goal is to develop the project as a mid-tier copper and precious metal producer by mid-2011.

Metso Presses Ahead with Tamfelt

Industrial consolidation in Finland continues. As well as the Outotec and Larox agreement reported last month, Metso and Tampere-based Tamfelt entered into a Combination Agreement in early November. The Tamfelt board unanimously recommended shareholders to accept a public tender offer from Metso that would follow. The combination, which Metso expects to be closed in the first quarter of 2010 at the latest, is estimated to increase Metso’s services business by approximately €140 million per year. Metso said it has had a close, long-term cooperation with Tamfelt, especially in product development, and is also already a major shareholder in the company.

Tamfelt, founded in 1797, is a leading supplier of technical textiles including wet and dry filtration media used in the mining and chemical industries. However, Tamfelt is a global leader in certain non-mining products, and the company will operate as a business line of Metso’s Paper and Fiber Technology segment. Net sales totaled €165 million in 2008 and €93 million in the first nine months of 2009. The company’s main facilities are in Finland with other production units in Poland, Portugal, Brazil and China.

Meanwhile Metso reported profitability and strong cash flow during the July-September quarter of 2009, although net sales were down 22% and overall new orders were 54% lower than in the third quarter of 2008—44% lower for the Mining & Construction Technology segment. At the end of September the order book was 18% lower than at December 31, 2008 but was still a substantial €3.34 billion.

Metso commented that most mining companies have continued to operate with clearly lower investment budgets than during the peak periods of the past few years. Some did upgrade their capex plans for 2010 during the third quarter, which may influence Metso’s business next year. Meanwhile the increased amount of Metso equipment installed in the boom years helped keep demand for replacement equipment and services at a satisfactory level. Mining and Construction Technology’s operating profit for January–September 2009 was €154.6 million, including capital gains of about €14 million relating to sales of shares in Talvivaara Mining Co.

Siemens Scales Up SAG Mills for Xstrata

Under the terms of its long-term strategic alliance with Bechtel, FL Smidth and Siemens, covering modular design and procurement of equipment systems, Siemens Industry Solutions Division received in early 2008 an initial order valued at €30 million for grinding mill motors, drives and power supply equipment from Xstrata. More recently, Xstrata placed a similar order, differing only in that the gearless SAG mill drive required is rated at 24 MW rather than the 21 MW specified in the previous order. The two ball mill drives ordered will be 16.4-MW gearless units. Ancillary supplies include transformers, protective equipment and operator control devices. Siemens did not report the value of this second contract.

The alliance with FL Smidth relates to basic mill structures and to crushing equipment and included an initial $43-million tranche of equipment and services. This was to expedite the possible development of six world-class copper facilities for Xstrata Copper including, potentially, Antapaccay and Las Bambas in the vicinity of Tintaya in southern Peru where feasibility studies started in 2008. When announcing Xstrata board approval for the Lomas Bayas II project in Chile (E&MJ, November, p. 14), Xstrata Copper chief executive Charlie Sartain said it was the first of five brownfield projects that the company is planning to move to the construction phase over the next nine months.

Minova to Open Research Center in Midwestern US

Minova Americas has announced plans for a new, state-of-the-art Global Research and Development Center to be located in Ohio, USA. The company expects the center to be operational by spring 2010.

“We have committed to a significant investment to establish a world-class R&D center for steel products at our location in Bowerston, Ohio,” said Minova Americas president and CEO Bruce Cassidy. “Our goal is to identify and solve challenges before they have a chance to turn into problems. Our scientists, engineers and support staff have been tasked with discovery and innovation—not just for Minova’s domestic U.S. customers but for our global customers as well.”

The company’s previous research and development efforts have produced a number of innovative ground control technologies, including the Cable Bolt with integrated head, the low profile cable head, accelerated quick-set times for Lokset resin cartridges, the Airtite premixed sealant series, and the Tek powder product series, among others.

Normet Raises Canadian Profile with New Subsidiary

Tom Melbye, COO of Normet Group and the Managing Director of Normet International, and Michael Rispin, vice president of Normet Americas, Inc. and managing director–North America, announced the incorporation of Normet Canada to provide Normet equipment and service for the Canadian underground mining and tunneling industries.

“We are very proud to add Canada as the 15th country in which we have established a permanent presence,” Melbye commented. “There is a rich history of Normet equipment in Canada and we look forward to building on this and providing an array of our internationally established services as well.”

New ITT Facility to Serve Mid-East Pump Customers

ITT Corp. has opened a production and service center in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. According to the company, the new facility provides local engineering, sales, and aftermarket support for ITT brands such as Goulds Pumps, PumpSmart controls, Plant Performance Services, ProCast replacement parts, Pro Services, Pure-Flo, Engineered Valves and ITT BIW connectors for electric submersible motors.

Capabilities of the new ITT facility include manufacturing and distribution of a full range of process pumps and systems; latest technology for quality assurance of new or repaired equipment; hydraulic testing of horizontal and vertical turbine pumps up to 4,800 m3/hour, and low and medium voltage variable speed drives; service and repair of process pumps and valves from ITT and all other original equipment manufacturers; installation and commissioning support at customer locations; onsite facility analysis and evaluation for energy and maintenance performance; and onsite training at the center or at customer locations.