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Pilot Crushtec International and Metso come up trumps in Zimbabwe

Trust in equipment is an essential ingredient in the success of any mining operation, especially when it involves the purchase of pieces of multi-million-rand capital equipment to achieve predetermined production goals.

In 2017, an operator in Zimbabwe bought three Metso Lokotrack® ST2.8 scalpers from its long-term supplier and Metso southern Africa distributor, Pilot Crushtec International.

The customer was looking for a reliable and cost effective solution for the mining of alluvial ore under testing conditions and, based on previous experience, readily accepted its supplier’s advice on product selection.

This proved to be a fortuitous decision as the Lokotracks’ performances over the next few months demonstrated that they were indeed ideal for this application.  So much so that the company decided to purchase an additional three units, swelling the size of the fleet to six.

Pilot Crushtec International CEO, Sandro Scherf, describes the nature of the conditions in which the scalpers operate and how they are uniquely equipped to cope in tough working environments.

“Ore deposits are found in thick clay above the bedrock which varies in depths of between one to two metres beneath the surface. Complete bush clearing is not an option, so surface and subsoil vegetation provide their own challenges not to mention a rainy season and flash floods.”

This is where this scalper comes into its own.

“An aggressive screen box with a 15mm throw (50% greater than any other comparative product) substantially reduces the chances of blinding and pegging,” says Scherf, adding that the scalper can be fine-tuned to suit a variety of soil and surface conditions, including sand applications.

He explains that the innate strength and intelligence of the design, deliver other significant benefits to the operator.

“With such a powerful throw the box can be run at a relatively low 750 revs per minute. This is not only beneficial to the scalping process, but has the capacity to increase the operational life of the machine as there is less wear on the screen box.

“Current output is more than 100 300 tonnes per hour, well within expectations, and is greatly assisted by the tines (fingers) mounted on the bottom deck which serve to maintain production levels, even under the wettest conditions.” Considering the material is abrasive there has been no need to change the tines (bottom deck) or bofar bars (top deck) after 12 months.

Another important feature exclusive to the Lokotrack® range is its two-way split option. Should only two conveyors out of three be required for a specific application, the third conveyor can be removed for operations, instantly saving fuel, wear and tear and – from a safety perspective –removing the possibility of unnecessary entanglement with non-productive moving parts.

In addition to extracting ore, the customer operates a smelting operation on site where Pilot Crushtec International is also supplying a solution to process their slag and increase their material recovery.

The Pilot Modular crushing and screening plant will be in constant use processing slag, waste material that contains lumbs (pieces) of metal. The crushing process enables the miner to recover the metal fragments which add significant value to the operation as a whole.

Essential product information:

Lokotrack®ST2.8 scalper

  • Screen dimensions – 4,866mm X 1,524mm
  • Feed hopper – 4,5m³
  • Engine – CAT® 75KW
  • Weight – 26,000kgs
  • The Lokotrack® ST2.8 design incorporates easy access and working space to essential areas, including the engine compartment and screen box
  • Walkways, apron feeder cassette and conveyors are all manufactured from galvanised steel

Standard options on the products supplied to southern African customers include:

  • Hot climate kit
  • Heavy duty air filtration kit
  • Foldable 11m³ hopper extensions
  • Interlock cable to link with secondary unit
  • Light mast
  • 250-hour service kits

Pilot Modular Plant servicing smelting operation:

  • Pilot Modular GFH560 grizzly hopper
  • Pilot Modular BR0605 impact crusher
  • Pilot Modular DD2412 double deck screen
  • Four MC13600 conveyors
  • MC1000 belt magnet