11 February 2020

Metso MX3 ‘quantum leap’ for Blackhead Quarries

By Simon Hartley, Inside Resources

Blackhead Quarries in Dunedin has commissioned its new Metso MX3 cone crusher.

The unit is only the fourth manufactured in Metso’s French factory in the city of Macon, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, and the only one of its kind in Australasia at present.

The 16.6 tonne unit arrived in Dunedin on 21 December and commissioning began on 13 January, with site visits by staff of supplier MIMICO and Metso; the latter from Perth, Western Australia, and Finland.

Next generation cone crusher

Blackhead Quarries quarry manager Gavin Hartley says there were aspects of the Metso MX3, which follows on from the earlier MX4 model, which he described as “cutting edge’’ and a “quantum leap’’ in cone crusher design and electronics.

The MX3 will mainly be doing AP30-AP35 product, but also basecourse materials around AP45 and AP65, when required.

“It’s not so much about tonnage, but smaller stone, around AP30 - AP35 range,’’ to boost the Barmac’s performance, Hartley says.

Auto-correct to finer specification

He says one of the unit's new features is an optional “Visiorock’’ camera, which could be purchased in the future.

It is mounted above the discharge conveyor and can detect when product is too course or too fine, and automatically change settings to suit finer specifications.

As with any new kit, Hartley says it had created a “bottleneck'', in that the MX3’s commissioning was placing a strain on the conveyor feed which could not keep up the rock feed required.

Changes to that feed will be completed shortly.

‘We’re expecting to trial full production within a week,’’ Hartley says.

The MX3 is worth around $500,000, and alongside installation and other kit-change costs, will come in under about $600,000.

Looking to future proof 60-year-old quarry

Hartley says the quarry’s 18-year-old H4000 Sandvik cone crusher, which will be sold, had been racking up too much unwanted downtime.

It was decided the MX3 offered a “technology leap’’, which will assist in future proofing the quarry, Hartley says.

Blackhead is a coastal black basalt quarry, established in the 1950s and from 1986 the quarry is a joint venture between Palmer & Son and Fulton Hogan, just 5km from Dunedin. It produces up to 300,000 tonnes annually, with potentially 30 years of resource remaining.

Features, tonnage and capabilities

Most cone crushers are either fixed bowl and moving head or the alternate moving-bowl and fixed head, but the MX3 can do both applications.

“Essentially it’s making smaller feed stock for the tertiary plant.’’

Hartley says the manganese crushing liners would usually need replacement after 3,000 hours, but he is confident of gains from the Metso, expecting around 15 per cent better wear from the manganese.

He noted the 150kw Sandvik was capable of up to 150 tonnes per hour, while the 220kw Metso was capable of up to 200 t/ph; in the product target range of ballast through to 0/20 mm material.

Hartley says electricians “had their work cut out’’ during installation as the Metso is designed and programmed to be the centre piece of any crushing system, and had to be reworked instead to integrate into the existing PLC system.

Aside from the MX3 installation and feeder changes, Hartley says the jaw shuffle feeder was replaced over the Christmas break.

In full production, an MX3 can be manufactured in about a week, but Blackhead Quarries’ took about three weeks, given only a handful had so far been constructed.

Hartley travelled to both France and Metso’s Finnish headquarters with Mimico late last year, to see the cone being manufactured and assembled, and to meet the designers.

Metso MX3 specs

  • Maximum power - 220kw
  • Maximum feed size - 230mm
  • Head diameter -1,050 mm
  • Length - 3.4 m
  • Width – 2.49m
  • Height – 2.84m
  • Weight – 16.6 tonne
  • Max throughput - 300-420 t/ph
  • Ballast production – 110-155 t/ph
  • 0/20mm – 155-220 t/ph
  • 0/10 mm – 90-110 t/ph
  • Sand production – 40-55 t/ph

Find out more about Metso's MX Multi-Action cone crushers HERE.

This article first appeared on Inside Resources.