Metso's in-pit crushing solution reduces emissions and improves safety at major Russian iron ore mine

Metso has successfully put into trial operation a state-of-the-art, in-pit crushing and conveying system for the Olkon (Olenegorskiy GOK) iron ore mine in Russia. After a two-year construction period, the system is now operating at full speed and yielding significant benefits.

Before the Metso solution, Olkon relied on a traditional crushing process with no in-pit facilities. Having an in-pit crushing and conveying process provides savings in the operating costs of truck fleets, prevents potential accidents and reduces CO2 emissions. Instead of hauling the blasted ore from the pit to the plant with trucks, the ore is crushed directly in the pit and conveyed onwards.

In the picture: Alexey Tyukavin, Vice Governor of Murmansk region; Alexander Popov, General Director, Olkon; Oleg Samarsky, Head of Olenegorsk.

"The successful start-up of the crushing and screening equipment and the belt conveyor in our mine gives many other mining companies reason to have confidence in the solution. In fact, we were the first company to implement such a system in Russia," says Alexander Popov, General Director of Olkon.

 "This system is unique for Severstal, as well as for the entire mining industry in Russia and Europe. We have been working with Metso for many years and completed several successful projects. In-pit crushing and conveying has now been added to this list," he continues.

To achieve a world-class, in-pit system, Olkon was looking for a single supplier with enough knowledge to provide a complete in-the-pit solution. Metso's expertise at Olkon covers both primary and secondary crushing as well as conveying, with a capacity of 1,200 tons per hour.

"This project is the result of excellent cooperation between Olkon, their technical representative SPb Giproshakht and Metso. Metso mobilized cross-national teams to design and implement the crushing and conveying solution in the pit. Olkon placed their confidence in Metso for our process expertise and project implementation capabilities, as well as in our machines. In return, Metso has provided a showcase in-pit solution," says Frédéric Barou, Senior Project Manager, Metso.

The Metso system consists of an AF10-84 apron feeder, a Nordberg® C200(TM) jaw crusher, an RF2448 mining screen, a Nordberg® HP800(TM) cone crusher, conveyors as well as custom-made electrics and automation systems, all feed and support structures, and maintenance equipment. Metso also provided installation supervision, startup support and commissioning.

Easier maintenance and reduced energy consumption

Clever engineering and attention to detail bring additional benefits. The conveyors, part of Metso's new Nordberg® NCHD mining range, are maintenance friendly and provide superb protection against the freezing temperatures. The hopper design features a notable buffer that reduces wear lining consumption. In addition, all components are controlled by a highly sophisticated, Metso-designed control system, which keeps the flow rate constant and optimizes the load on the crusher. This enables improved energy consumption per ton compared with uncontrolled crushing stations of the former generation.

To maximize safety, the system includes a comprehensive set of access and maintenance platforms for all machinery. Metso also designed and installed guards and covers, mostly on the conveyors and crushing stations, which comply with the latest standards. Electrical features include a very safe maintenance mode with local control boxes, as well as lockable motor isolation switches that are appreciated in all industrial plants, providing increased safety for maintenance personnel.

Arctic iron

Located 200 km north of the Arctic Circle in Olenegorsk, Murmansk region, Olkon is the northernmost and one of the major Russian producers of iron ore concentrate. The mine employs 1,900 people, and its production capacity is around 4.4 million tons of product per year. Its owner, Severstal, is one of the world's largest vertically integrated steel and mining companies.

More information about in-pit crushing and conveying:

Metso is the world's leading industrial company in the mining and aggregates industries and in the flow control business. Our knowledge, people and solutions help drive sustainable improvements in performance and profitability in our customers' businesses.

Metso has an uncompromising attitude towards safety. Our products range from mining and construction equipment and systems to industrial valves and controls. Our solutions are delivered and supported by decades of process knowledge and a broad scope of services backed by a global footprint of over 90 service centers, thousands of service employees, and an extensive logistics network.

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For further information, please contact:
Katerina Tolkki, Marketing and Communications Manager, Russia & CIS, Metso, Tel. +7 495 739 88 80, e-mail:

Anne Rantanen, Director, Global Communications, Metso Corporation, tel. +358 20 484 2253, email: