I know the title to this post is a rip off the James Bond movie title From Russia With Love, but since I’m in Russia, it seemed to make sense to use that title.
I had this opportunity for my first trip to Russia for business purposes and it was quite a haul to get here. I started off with a mid-morning flight departing Kelowna to Calgary. After a 6 hour layover in Calgary I then flew to Frankfurt where I had another 5 hour layover. Finally I made it to Moscow close to midnight where I spent a few hours of sleep and then flew out to the city of Chelyabinsk early in the morning and after another 4 hour drive from there, we arrived in Kartaly. I have to say that it was probably one of the hardest traveling and most tiresome trips I’ve ever had to take:
- Kelowna >> Calgary: 1h
- Calgary layover: 6h
- Calgary >> Frankfurt: 10h
- Frankfurt layover: 5h
- Frankfurt >> Moscow: 3.5h
- Moscow overnight: 8h
- Moscow >> Chelyabinsk: 2.5h
- Chelyabinsk >> Kartaly: 4h
- Total: 40h
“Why did you travel over 40h to get to Kartaly?” you ask. For a mine site of course. My company is providing equipment for a new copper mine that is being built here and my role on this trip was to provide some training for the operations team to get them familiarized with the equipment they would be running and some of the philosophies behind operating all the equipment together. Although I was looking forward to it, I was more excited at the future trips that will take place in a few months when the plant would be fully up and running and I would help the operations and processing staff to optimize the plant and make it as efficient as possible.
So now I’m here but unfortunately because they are in the middle of commissioning the equipment, the operators were not readily available for the training and so I will be cutting my trip short by 1 week and heading home tomorrow instead of next week as was planned. However it was good to see the site and meet the management and operating staff to at least network and put some faces to names. Our company supplied the equipment package for the comminution portion of the plant which, for those of you who aren’t familiar with mining terminology, is the size reduction portion of the plant at the front and includes crushing, grinding, and classification equipment.
The equipment package includes a primary gyratory crusher designed for a capacity of 4,000 tons per hour and two comminution lines, each with a design capacity of 1412 tons per hour. The comminution lines consist of two large semi-autogenous mills, two large ball mills, heavy duty cone crushers for pebble crushing and a pebble grinding ball mill as well as double deck screens.
Referenced from: MineWeb
So if you do some quick math, the two grinding lines combined are designed to process 67,776 metric tonnes in a day. Digest that for a second. Sixty. Seven. THOUSAND. Tonnes. In a single day! Granted that in the mining industry there are some mines that process over 3 times that amount in a day but that’s still a lot of rock to be moved around. For that reason you need some very large and very sturdy industrial equipment which is what Metso, my employer, is known for industry-wide.