Metso and Boliden have signed an extension of their service contract for Boliden's Aitik copper mine in Gällivare, in northern Sweden. The 3+2-year extension covers the supply of mill lining solutions and the preventive maintenance of the grinding circuit. The value of the order will not be disclosed.
The contract is a performance-based cost-per-ton agreement, in which Metso gets paid according to the output of the customer's process. The goal is to ensure the availability of the grinding circuit and to maximize valuable production time. Striving for a common goal benefits both parties.
Metso and Boliden have cooperated since the 1960s. In 2007, Metso supplied two 11.6 m by 13.7 m AG mills and two ball mills for the expansion of Aitik, and has been responsible for maintaining them ever since.
The new contract continues to strengthen the collaboration. Boliden is looking to further increase the grinding circuit's uptime and to boost annual production. To achieve this, they need to extend service intervals by maximizing the lifetime of the mill linings and keep the service shutdowns as short as possible. With its long experience and deep knowledge of Aitik's process, Metso is ready to take on the challenge.
"Metso is, without a doubt, the number one partner for Boliden in the Aitik concentrator. However, they constantly keep us on our toes and challenge us to reach new records, but it's a challenge we welcome with open arms," says Heikki Metsälä, Regional Life Cycle Services Manager, Metso.
Megaliner speeds up maintenance
The AG mills in Aitik will continue to be lined using Metso's innovative Megaliner(TM) mill lining. Megaliner helps to maximize the availability of large mills by utilizing an innovative design that speeds up replacement. The larger-than-average liners means that fewer are needed. Megaliner also has fewer attachment points compared with conventional liners, further improving installation and removal time. It also improves worker safety during maintenance, as the liners are bolted into position from outside the mill.
The ball mills as well as two regrind mills will continue to be lined with rubber mill linings.
Aitik is one of the largest copper mines in Europe. In 2014, the mine produced 68 thousand tons of copper and employed more than 650 people.