South Korea's biggest supplier of dolomite answered the growing demand by improving uptime
Sambo Mining is the main supplier of dolomite in South Korea, selling the product to the Asian steelmakers. In 2017, the production of -30mm end-product grew close to 100,000 tonnes to total of 800,000 tonnes a year. Of this, 200,00 tonnes of premium light-burnt dolomite (LBD) was produced for POSCO, one the largest steelmaking companies of the world, in addition to same amount of regular dolomite. To meet the high demand, Sambo Mining has invested heavily in developing both its dolomite mine and subsidiary's Kwang Jin's limestone quarry with Metso solutions.
For Sambo Mining, plant performance and reliability are crucial. "We have to produce dolomite every day of the year to meet the demand, so our production plant must not go down," says Chang Hee Han, president of Sambo Mining. In 2014, the company noticed that too much oversized material from the crusher was not being recirculated by their existing screen in the dolomite mine. "We reached out to Metso experts, who recommended the three-deck ES303 screen. The performance has been outstanding, and it is also very reliable."
Following the successful deployment of the Metso ES303 screen, Han decided to invest in more Metso plants both for the dolomite mine and the limestone quarry. The sites are located four kilometres apart in Danyang, central South Korea. The investment included Metso NW106 mobile jaw crusher, Lokotrack LT106 and LT1100 mobile jaw crushers, a Metso NW220GP mobile cone crusher and a Barmac B6150SE vertical shaft impactor.
"The mobile jaw crushers have been fantastic. The tight-nip angle of the Metso crushers means that the material is crushing better in the chamber than in previous models. I now have four full Metso plants for Sambo Mining and Kwang Jin." Han says. He chooses the optimal equipment depending on the demand, site conditions and the nature of the raw material.
Han sees a lot of growth in the aggregates sector: "Limestone and dolomite can be raw materials for concrete. The mining business requires a lot of capital investment, which makes it challenging and hard to plan for the long term. In the next year or two, I will be looking to invest in a new mobile plant for our limestone quarrying business, so I will see what Metso has to offer."