Base metals miner Lundin Mining’s Zinkgruvan zinc/lead/copper/silver mine, in Askersund, Sweden, has signed a new life cycle services (LCS) agreement with diversified engineering group Metso.
The agreement covers mill lining and related services for five grinding mills and is valid for three years. Metso reports that a ‘cost per ton’ agreement ensures that both Zinkgruvan’s and its own goals are aligned for maximum production as well as safer operations, and is the result of the “unique and long-standing partnership between the companies”.
Under the new LCS contract, five mills in total, including a new autogenous mill that was commissioned in April, will be maintained and serviced at Zinkgruvan. The new mill is expected to help increase production by 10%.
“[In terms of the contract], Metso contributes both expertise and experience. Deliveries are on time and we can rely on the quality of solutions coming from the company’s factory in Ersmark, Sweden,” says Zinkgruvan mill manager Magnus Andersson.
He notes that technology plays a central role in ensuring improved overall efficiencies at the mine. Andersson points out that Metso has delivered most of the process equipment for the mine and is involved in the entire process, from crushing, grinding and beneficiation to finished metal concentrate. He says that there are normally three fixed maintenance shutdowns a year and highlights that every stoppage costs money and therefore all unplanned downtime needs to be avoided.
“Availability is a key word for Metso. Our job is to make sure that stoppages are short and safe. With Zinkgruvan, we have a frank dialogue with fast decision-making. We are set to deliver at short notice and do our utmost to resolve any problems that might arise,” says Metso LCS manager for Zinkgruvan Urban Klitsch.
He emphasises that health, safety and environment work is the main item on the daily agenda at the mine. Klitsch comments that Metso’s service personnel are also actively working to find new measures to improve safety, noting that, for example, as an extra precaution, there is a protective structure built around the mill during a maintenance shutdown.
“Here at the plant, our preventive work brings results: our lost-time incident frequency rate is currently 1.8, which is a very good result in the industry,” Andersson concludes.