first_imgIn line with a transition in the global industry away from mergers and acquisitions in favour of a focus on extracting wealth from existing assets, specialised equipment supplier Multotec is intensifying its process support activities throughout the mining industry to add maximum value to client applications where its products are operating.“We’re committed drawing on our in-depth application knowledge to add value to our customers’ assets by ensuring that their processes remain optimal,” Multotec Group CEO, Thomas Holtz, says. “These customers want to see predictable or consistent failure patterns, in order to plan their maintenance activities more effectively. It’s a given that plant equipment in the flowsheet will eventually wear out and fail, so it’s a case of managing the replacement of older equipment in the most effective way, both in terms of controlling costs and sustaining operational efficiencies while equipment is being changed out.“What differentiates Multotec in the marketplace is the diverse equipment support package we offer. We’re right there at an end user level, from plant commissioning and onwards into the day to day grind of running that plant 365 days a year for ten, twenty and thirty years at a time. We’re there for the lifetime of that plant and we make sure it remains as efficient as when it was first put together. Management and plant personnel move on and ore bodies change, and the efficiency of a plant will deteriorate over time without active collaboration between plant personnel and equipment suppliers.“This is the space we’ve played in very successfully over many years and, in the current climate, this is exactly what our clients are looking for. They don’t want catalogue salespeople — instead they need metallurgically knowledgeable people who are prepared to go into the plant, look at the application and see for themselves if cyclone cut-points are right, that the screens are functioning as they should, if the samplers are working effectively and the spirals are achieving accurate results. At this level it’s possible to recommend a design change that might improve the throughput or the grind.”Holtz adds that one the primary metrics of a plant owner is the cost per tonne. The owner cannot influence the price of the mineral, so the profitability of the operation is based on being able to drive down the cost per ton of ore being processed. Multotec’s value proposition focuses on this aspect of the plant.“It’s not about reducing the price of the products we sell you,” he stresses. “We’re not a low cost producer of product and, typically, this is not what gives you value for money. The value-add lies in having correctly specified products that work efficiently, fail predictably, are maintained sufficiently and that sustain the required efficiencies throughout their working life.  The key is being able to reconfigure or improve the performance of a particular piece of equipment so that it works to specification in the context of the circuit.”Multotec develops and supplies specialist process equipment primarily into the gold, platinum, iron ore, diamond, base metal, mineral sand, coal and chrome sectors and the engineers working on these commodity-specific product lines include qualified metallurgists and former plant personnel. Holtz says these professionals understand client applications and have the knowledge and experience to specify or reconfigure a particular product for an application.“Our strength is that we have the ability to conceive of the design, make the prototype, evaluate it, test it and then install and operate it,” he continues. “A tremendous amount of development goes into each application.  Every plant is different, so a slight customisation on a certain screen or cyclone has to be compatible with the next stage. Therefore, while our products are not unique, they are customised to each application by commodity experts.“For us to stay relevant in a globalised world, we must remain state-of-the-art in terms of the equipment we produce. This requires us to balance the two aspects of developing innovative new equipment, while ensuring its relevance in the flow sheet. This commercial and technical relevance underpins all our development activities as we work closely with our customers to extract top dollar from their existing investments.”last_img

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