Metso and Freeport-McMoRan celebrated an impressive milestone during the second quarter of 2017 as the new HRC3000, the world’s largest operating high-pressure grinding roll (HPGR) at the Metcalf Concentrator, crushed its 100 millionth ton of ore. Due to its capacity, it reached the milestone in less than three years. The HRC3000 began operating in May 2014 at the Metcalf Concentrator at Freeport’s Morenci copper mine in Arizona, USA. Morenci is an open-pit copper mining complex that has been in continuous operation since 1939.
Simple economies of scale allow for fewer lines of equipment, which reduces the amount of ancillary equipment. The HRC3000 is the first full-scale HPGR to incorporate new design features, such as the flanged tire design and the arch-frame. Metso’s largest HPGR has provided the Morenci mine with several benefits, including an estimated 13.5% increase in energy efficiency over similar units based on pilot-scale testing.