Falkland Islands quarry enlists crushing and screening train from Sandvik Mobiles to meet thriving demand
LOCATED on East Falkland, Pony’s Pass Quarry is a busy site at the heart of the island’s industrial operations. Despite its isolated location, it produces 160,000 tonnes per annum of quartzitic sandstone using a state-of-the-art mobile crushing and screening train.
To meet the diverse and logistically challenging requirements of this process, Sandvik Mobile Crushers and Screens were enlisted to ensure productive and well-engineered machines were at the centre of this valuable operation.
Being the only operational quarry on the Falkland Islands, Pony’s Pass carries the burden of responsibility for ensuring the islands’ broad range of aggregate demands are met.
Owing to differing customer requirements, the crushing and screening equipment must guarantee productivity, be durable in design and offer the operators flexibility in what they produce.
The quarry currently provides aggregates for road construction and infrastructure development projects, as well as supplying an on-site asphalt plant.
Current demand sits at 160,000 tonnes per year; however, future developments will see this increase to more than 300,000 tonnes.
Being more than 300 miles from mainland South America and with frequent extreme weather conditions, the solution chosen had to be able to tackle all potential challenges. And as almost every project on the island requires aggregates from Pony’s Pass, service and aftermarket support is another vital component to keep operations running smoothly.
In recent years, the operators decided to invest in modern and effective crushing and screening plant, and a reliable partner came in the form of Sandvik Mobiles, who were able to advise on a train of equipment to best deliver the uptime required for an operation of this scale.
The chosen crushers and screens consist of a UJ440i jaw crusher, two UH440i cone crushers, a QI442HS impactor and two QA451 triple deck Doublescreens, and since commissioning, the equipment has performed well with output levels always meeting expectations.
Quarry manager Marc Short explained: ‘We currently use our mobile crushers to produce three small end materials, these being 10/20mm, 5/10mm and 0/5mm crusher dust.
‘However, we have the ability to produce Type 1 (all in 0/32mm) and secondary crusher run all in (0/75mm). The machines are tracked up to the blast site where they are fed with as-blasted material with a maximum feed size of 700mm.’
The abrasive nature of the quartzitic sandstone and the need for machines that can deliver maximized uptime meant that it was essential for the quarry to have a durable and productive primary jaw crusher before the material is passed through to the secondary crushing stage.
The heavy-duty UJ440i jaw crusher has proved to be the ideal solution for the quarry. The jaw settings are easily adjusted hydraulically with a choice of jaw plates to suit the needs of the operation.
This means that the crusher can work at optimum levels for longer periods, with all impact zones having a rubber lining to reduce wear and noise. In addition, the 62.5-tonne crusher has a 1,200mm x 830mm jaw opening, allowing it to deal with the 700mm feed at throughputs up to 250 tonnes/h.
Following the UJ440i jaw crusher, the rock is fed into the UH440i cone crushers and the Doublescreens for precision sizing. Sandvik’s 50-tonne UH440i cone crushers are specifically aimed at large scale aggregates producers’ requirements, whilst the QA451 is the world’s first triple-deck Doublescreen.
The result is the production of fractions the quarry’s customers require. Mr Short explained: ‘0/5mm, 5/10mm and 10/20mm is used for concrete and asphalt production. Type 1, secondary and crusher dust is used for road construction. Some of the larger products are also used to build up sites with fill etc.
‘One of the main reasons for choosing Sandvik was the fact that we already have the same type of cone crushers on the site, which is beneficial for compatibility. We also already use two Sandvik drill rigs on site, which adds to this.
‘The procurement of a mobile crushing train was a huge commitment and investment, which took a lot of research. In the end, these particular machines best suited our requirements and proved to be a good return in investment.’
The islands’ highway’s authority also acquired a QI442HS impactor to provide primary and secondary crushing and screening in one unit. This machine features a new rotor position and locking device, innovative hammer locking wedges for quicker removal and fitting, as well as a new wedge removal tool to provide safer installation and removal, allowing it to deliver a wide range of high reduction ratios, excellent product shape and optimum uptime.
‘Service and support have been excellent. Queries are always answered immediately. We also had good support and training from two Sandvik engineers during the commissioning process; this covered a wide range of maintenance and operative information,’ said Mr Short.
Explaining why Sandvik’s support is so essential, he added: ‘There are 24 employees on site consisting of operators, labourers, shotfirers, drillers, a laboratory technician, two foremen and two managers. This number of employees is required as everything has to be done on site; they must all be trained internally.’
Further enhancing performance, all the equipment comes with Sandvik’s My Fleet remote monitoring system, which lets Pony’s Pass know exactly how their machines are being utilized and helps to facilitate accurate production forecasting.
The Sandvik mobile crushing and screening equipment has been operational since the beginning of 2020. Despite the hostile operating environment, it has consistently proved itself in one of the harshest and most isolated arenas in the world.
Pony’s Pass Quarry can now face the future with confidence, knowing that its new crushing and screening train is tough enough, reliable enough and productive enough as the site gears up to producing the extra aggregates the islands require.