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Apr 30, 2014

Optimized wears increase production at KMARuda iron ore mine

When processing extremely abrasive iron ore, the lifetime of the wear parts often presents a major challenge for the mine’s productivity and process uptime. Through wear parts optimization carried out by Metso, backed up by improved fine crushing, the Russian iron ore mine KMARuda was able to boost its production and extend the lifetime of the wear parts significantly.
Three people pictured in front of a HP cone crusher at KMARuda site.

During the wear parts and fine crushing development with Metso, KMARuda’s productivity figures went up, while milling time and energy costs decreased. The mine was able to process over 420,000 tons more iron ore per year, resulting in 193,000 extra tons of iron concentrates.

Thanks to the longer lasting wears and more efficient fine crushing, the grinding performance increased by 30%. The total grinding time needed went down by over 11,000 hours and energy consumption by 2.95 kW per grinded ton.

“Actually, thanks to our improved productivity, we could change the technological scheme and move one grinding mill from the primary stage to the secondary one,” says Main Grinding Specialist Vladimir Saveliev.

Metso chosen as wear and process expertise partner

Across from its huge open-pit iron ore mines, KMARuda runs a rather small-scale, but efficient underground iron ore operation in Stary Oskol, southwestern Russia. The mine’s present ore extraction amounts to 4.8 million tons per year, of which 2.1 million tons of 66% iron concentrate is processed.“Our cooperation began with cone and jaw crushers and now extends to pumps and wear parts development. Today we can well thank Metso for its support in constantly developing our mining processes. Any problems have been resolved quickly, and we have an excellent relationship,” he adds.“A few years ago, we faced difficulties with our processing equipment, mainly caused by the wet, extremely wearing, quartzite-containing ore. Then we learned about Metso and its crushers, pumps and wear expertise,” says KMARuda’s Main Chief Engineer Alexander Munkh.

During the extensive cooperation on crusher wears, different manganese steel grades and alloys were tested on site. Today, the jaw crusher is operated with Metso MX jaws of a two-piece design. Metso MX technology is a new material solution for high-wear applications. Three cone crushers benefit from extra thick XT720 manganese liners, thus requiring less backing materials than normal.

“The results are amazing. With Metso special wears, we could increase the lifetime with cone crushers by some 30% and with the jaw crusher even more,” says Munkh.

Finer crushing makes grinding easier

Another significant achievement has been made at KMARuda with the HP series cone crushers, used at the fine-crushing stage after the Russian KMD secondary cones.

“With our old cones, we could achieve fines smaller than 13-14 mm. With the HP200 and HP500 cone crushers, the corresponding size is 6-7 mm. This has significantly added to our grinding capacity and decreased electricity and grinding wear costs,” explains Alexander Borodin, Head of the crushing and grinding shop.

“With our wet fines and very abrasive iron ore feed, this can be considered an excellent result,” he adds.

Extended lifetime with Metso pumps

KMARuda has built a new, modern stowing complex for its main pumping operations in 2009. Today, the whole pumping process at the mine site is steered at a state-of-the-art automation centre.

“With our old pumps, we could achieve a lifetime of 2,500–2,800 operational working hours. In 2010, we consulted Metso specialists and installed 6 vertical pumps for underwater use; today we can achieve a total lifetime of 9,000–13,000 hours,” says Andrew Pisarev, Main Engineer at the stowing shop.

“In addition to the longer life, Metso pumps save 25–30% in energy at the same capacity. Metso pumps are easy to service. We are cooperating further and studying the possibility to use some plastic parts at our underwater application,” he adds.

Deeper with a new shaft

KMARuda is planning to almost double its iron ore production by building a new shaft, reaching a depth of 160 meters. By 2020, the iron ore production should exceed 7 million tons per year.

The mine has reserves to operate for 40 years. The majority of the mine’s iron ore concentrate is transported by train to the Tulachermed steel mill.

About KMARuda iron ore mine

  • location: near the city of Stary Oskol, southwestern Russia
  • pure iron ore 28%
  • common iron ore (in quartzite) 33-34%
  • mine depth: 125 m (present), 160 m (future)
  • ore extraction per day: 14,500 tons
  • number of employees: 2,300


*Metso Outotec was formed July 1, 2020 when Metso and Outotec merged into one company. This case study has been written prior to the merger under the old company name.

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